Erin Lanahan Method

Signature method to get fit from the inside out!

Align With Nature: Retire When the Eating is Done January 5, 2011

To keep on filling is not as good as stopping.  Overfilled, the cupped hands drip, better to stop pouring.  Sharpen a blade too much and its edge will soon be lost.  Fill your house with jade and gold and it brings insecurity.  Puff yourself with honor and pride and no one can save you from a fall.  Retire when the work is done; this is the way of heaven. 9th Verse Tao Te Ching

I decided to share the above with you,which is the 9th verse of the Tao Te Ching as spoken on Dr. Wayne Dyer’s Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life Audio Book,  because it touches on something that we all experience or have experienced at one time or another. We live in a society that is addicted to more, more, more.

We have become disconnected with the ALL THAT IS within us.

Deep within ourselves, we know when enough is enough,and that we actually already have everything we could ever need. Connecting back to this, is to be like the Tao, knowing exactly when to stop, and to just let go and enjoy the fruits of our labor, knowing that all is already perfect.

There was a time in my life when I could never get enough anything. There was never enough love, enough money, enough weight loss, enough food, enough alcohol, enough drugs, enough attention, enough validation, enough achievements, enough success, enough beauty, enough fun, enough freedom, enough talent…never enough anything! In fact, the more I consumed of these things or of the things I thought would bring me happiness, the more I wanted, and although I became satiated quickly, I continued to over consume. It was a very ugly and vicious cycle. The more I consumed, the more I wanted. I was desperately seeking everything outside of myself to make me feel better, to tell me that I was doing a good job, and to give me some kind of anchor or feelings of safety in the Universe. I was so far removed from the truth that resides within me, that I was actively participating in the “more is better” and “more will bring happiness” movement. I got sicker and sicker as a result.

My life became extremely unmanageable, and ultimately, I was no longer able to live in the world and function healthfully.

When it became too difficult for me to show up for my family and friends, and for my own life, in a way that felt honest and authentic, I knew it was time to take a real look at what I was allowing into my experience. My obsession with the overconsumption of everything had its hold on me, and I was no longer an active participant in the creation of the life I came here to live.

Overconsumption was my solution, and I’d been consuming whatever I could to relieve me of the feelings I didn’t feel strong enough to face. I was trying to avoid what awaited me, and I finally realized that it would continue to wait for me until I confronted it. Afterall, my solutions were not working anymore, and therefore it was time to deal with the real problem…me and my stinking thinking.

You see, I had to come to terms with my own abusive behavior and lack of self-love before I could be available for healing. I had to come to terms with the “radical concept” that  Enough IS Enough, and that we can never get enough of what we DON’T actually want, so we must find what we are really looking for. If it’s happiness and freedom we seek at our core, then money, relationships, beauty, and success, will never feel like enough, because ultimately they cannot bring us those feelings of peace, joy, and freedom within. We must arrive at those places within ourselves FIRST, and let the rest manifest from there. Otherwise, we end up with a whole lot of stuff on the outside, with nothing but pain, suffering, and feelings of being broken on the inside. Hence, stuff does NOT bring happiness, but happiness certainly can manifest great stuff.

I needed something much bigger than myself to help me see things differently, because I was screwing things up nicely trying to do things on my own, and in my own way. Therefore I landed in a place of pure and utter humility. Coming from a place of ostentation and overconsumption, humility was actually the perfect place to begin a transformation. As a result of this humility, I was willing to do whatever it took to get better physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Only then did a paradigm shift begin to take place in my life.

Here are 5 things I did to embrace this shift in consciousness and to support total transformation in my life:

1) I stopped the use of all mind altering substances. For me, I just cannot stay connected to Source when I am using something outside myself to cope with life. Therefore, it was my path to seek help so I could begin to make different choices. Staying connected to Source means, I remember daily who and what I am, and what my purpose is in this life. It means that I live in alignment with nature and the Tao as best I know how on any given day, because for me that is living in accordance with my soul’s plan.

2) I began to seek the tools I needed to help me reconnect with the ever-present, ALL THERE ISness, inside of myself. I used and still use meditation, prayer, different forms of yoga, a life coach, lots of self-development and spiritual books, and became a part groups of people who were involved in the community and sharing a similar healing and spiritual path as me. I find community is a huge resource for healing and I truly believe that if we stay connected to others, we stay connected to Source.

3) I made a committment to CONSTANT and CONSISTENT Awareness. I began looking for answers in every conversation, every experience, and everything that crossed my path. Healing takes true courage and commitment, to stay with your process even when you don’t want to or it feels way too intense. I just kept asking for guidance, and then I opened myself wide open to receive it. I also had to work on, and still have to work on, practicing patience, so I can wait for that which I want from a state of excitement and anticipation, rather than focusing on it not being here yet. This helps me enjoy the ride, just like I would on a plane 🙂

4) I began to find ways that allowed me to feel more fully self expressed. I knew that a large part of my addiction to more, was because I was not in alignment. I was out of balance with Source, and with my purpose and passions. So I started blogging first and foremost. I also made sure to honor my body, eating only the foods that nourish and nurture me, and I stayed committed to exercising regularly. Feeling healthy and being creative were the best ways for me to feel fully expressed in the beginning, and those loving acts toward myself lead to many other outlets for me to be even more fully expressed. Being fully expressed is what our hearts and souls long for, because this is our birthright. By taking one small step at a time, I was able to express myself in small ways, slowly getting more connected to who I am, my truth, and the message that resides within me. I gave myself permission to listen to the language of my heart, and to speak from that place. It just gets easier and easier to connect to your heart, which leads you to who you are, the more you allow yourself to do it. ”


“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” -Lao Tzu


5) I got brutally honest. I just stopped. I called it complete. Enough was enough. Through my committment to awareness, I began to realize how bad I felt when I over consumed things. Even after I stopped the use of mind altering substances, I was still over consuming in lots of ways. I was using things like sugar, caffeine, food, work, and I was interacting and engaging way too much in unhealthy relationships. However, awareness took the numbness away that had previously allowed me to ignore the pain and destruction that resulted from my behaviors, and I could no longer continue. So I got brutally honest with myself and with others, and that was the beginning of my reconnection with Source and the remembrance of who and what I truly am.


“The only way to get what you really want, is to know what you really want. And the only way to know what you really want, is to know yourself. And the only way to know yourself, is to be yourself. And the only way to be yourself, is to listen to your heart.” -The Universe

What the 9th verse of the Tao Te Ching is helping us see, is that we must “Retire when the eating is done.” Eat, but stop when you are full.
“To continue stuffing food into a satiated body, is to be trapped into believing that more of something is the cause of your happiness.” -Wayne Dyer
The same goes for stuffing yourself and your life with any false sense or artificial symbol of success.
Be like the Tao:
1) “To keep on filling, is not as good as stopping.” Enough is not only enough, it is in alignment with the total perfection of the eternal Tao.
2) “Seek the joys of your activities without focusing on the ego’s agenda.” Ego will have you imprisoned in gathering more, more, more for your actions, for as long as you allow it. Shift. If you are in a loving state and feeling appreciation for all that is, then you are in a state of letting go of worrying about how everything might ultimately benefit you. This is true freedom.
Do the Tao- Practice with your food. Practice portion control and pay attention to your motivations behind eating, or consuming anything for that matter. After several bites, ask yourself if you are still famished and if not, just stop and wait. If no hunger appears, then call it complete, and practice humility rather than overconsumption. At this one meal, you will have practiced the last sentence of the 9th verse of the Tao Te Ching. “Retire When the Eating Is Done, this is the way of heaven.”
Are you struggling with the more, more, more mentality? Are you using food, work, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, or something outside yourself because you still believe that is the answer? Enough is Enough. I am here to listen to you, so please leave your questions and comments below for me. Thanks for visiting. Here’s To Your Health, Wellness, and Vitality!

4 Responses to “Align With Nature: Retire When the Eating is Done”

  1. Jan Says:

    First things first, BRAVO again! I absolutely LOVE Dr. Wayne Dyer’s audio book “Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life”!!!! It was one of the first things I opened myself to when I began spiritually seeking for the “rest of me” and I found it at my public library, right on time, for changes and attitude adjustments I need in my own walk with myself.

    For me, I have faced challenges of having to constantly be moving,, whether it is my address, my mind, or my plans. Seems to be always seeking, never enough. Questioning myself in a tiger chasing its tail kind of way. Meditation is teaching me quietness and peace. I can actually hear what my heart and mind wanted to tell me all along. Awesome gifts!

    Love your transperancy and gift of breaking things down to where we live with the written word. Thanks for sharing! Grateful for the Journey! Jan

  2. Erin Lanahan Says:

    Hey Jan, thanks. Well, I’m no saint, and I definitely still struggle with the more, more, more voice in my head. But today I know that I am not my thoughts, and I can shift my perception at any given moment. I know there’s an inside job to do when I start feeling like I can’t have enough of something or that there isn’t enough of something.

    Yes, meditation will definitely help you connect to the language of your heart. Everything you need is already there. I think many of us run, run, go, go, stay busy, busy, because it’s hard knowing what else to do. However, the more you can practice breathing and getting slow and quiet, the easier it will be to align with your true nature. As I am telling you this, I tell myself as well:)

  3. Jude Says:

    @happyjude here

    Another beautiful post. This one screamed out to me 🙂 Thankyou for taking the time to create and share this!

    • Erin Lanahan Says:

      Hey Jude:-) Thanks for dropping in on me here! I am happy this resonated with you. This post was very special for me to write and I am honored that it came through me to share with others. Thanks for sharing your energy with us here on Erin Lanahan Method. Lots of love and light to you:)

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