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Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty, only because there is ugliness. All can know good as good only because there is evil. – excerpt 2nd verse of Tao Te Ching

I like this verse of the Tao Te Ching. It speaks to me because I believe I understand the paradoxical nature of life and existence itself; which includes the truth that everything is as it should be. In other words, all is good.

We’ve all heard it, said it or thought it: “There can be no life, without death.” “There can be no good without bad.” These ideas and words might be strung together to make someone feel better or used to find meaning in the seemingly meaningless. The statements are true. But the only way that life and death, or good and bad, can become things that don’t hurt us, is when we actually ascend to heaven. This does not mean death.

“Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty, only because there is ugliness.” Under heaven? I believe the author of the Tao Te Ching infers heaven as a state of being which is attainable in life, as well as in human death. I’m not a believer in some organized religion’s doctrines that state that there is a place our souls go to called heaven.

Wrongs make right

Under a less than conscious life, “under heaven,” there is beauty and there is ugliness. But, as I see it daily in my chair as a hairdresser, there is only good and beauty and exquisiteness. When a client comes in to the salon where I work and sits in my styling chair and she feels bad, I’ll notice that she picks on herself, her hair and her “skin imperfections.” She feels “ugly.” Granted, it is my philosophy that it’s my job to elevate my sad client by making her feel beautiful again. I can simply achieve this by doing a great color and cut and style on her.

But I also believe that am doing a better and more spiritual service to my client by “being in my heaven” while I do my hair services for her. Being in my heaven is knowing that my client is a perfect soul put in a perfect body living in a perfect world. If I was living under my heaven while I did her hair, I would see her gray hair and pimples and think that she was actually the sad thing who was going through a nasty divorce.

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Of course I address my client’s problems by listening. I’ll recommend a facial or a night crème for her skin, if needed. Her hair will turn out flawless and sassy. But living in my heaven while I do my client’s hair allows me to understand that her skin is telling her to get more sleep and take care of herself. Living in my heaven opens my eyes to see that her relationships that she’s stressing over are the perfect ones for her to teach her how to live in her heaven. Living in my heaven allows me not to judge her and to just let her be. I’m simply doing my part to facilitate her journey in life by doing her hair and listening. It’s a pretty powerful thing, being a hairdresser, especially if you live in your heaven while doing your job.

Living in my heaven helps me to let go of my own thoughts of my own “ugly imperfections” as well as what might be thought of as good or bad in my life. So it is I who seems to get more out of doing my client’s hair. By seeing how perfect my clients are lets me let go of what is ugly, bad and evil in my life, if only for a short time; and that’s all good.

Live the Tao today: See the perfection in everyone and everything today.

Live in your heaven for as many minutes today as you can.


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