Life as Effortless Effort
You'll often hear people say "It just fell right into my lap". I love this and it's usually an indication that something is right in our lives. It's simple, easy and aligned with what we're doing so of course it's right. There's usually some work of 'right action' to get there, because there's the ease of working towards it in small steps driven from the deepest place of our hearts, and then boom, it falls into our laps. How beautiful.
Life is really an effortless state of flow. And we can be like the water and let the pace of life naturally take us, or we can struggle upstream over and over and over. I know which kind of life I want to live.
People say "well you have to work hard to get what you want" and I believe this to be true to an extent, but that it's actually meant in an opposite manner. Once the easy thing comes into your life, such as an idea, a burst of creativity, or the fire of passion, i believe you begin to work hard at it because you are so enamoured with what you do that you can't imagine not doing it. So if it so strikes you that you want to be a doctor, you begin to learn to heal. If you want to be a yoga teacher, you come to your mat day in and day out. Entrepreneurs, at the very high of their creative fuel, are working 10-12 hour days because they feel this fire inside propelling them forward. They're feverish with passion and eager to share that with the world. That's not really a struggle. That's hard work, but it's easy for them.
This is life as effortless effort.
People also say, Well Michael Jordan didn't make his high school basketball team! As a way of stating that if we fail at something we should keep trying. I concur with that, in the sense of this: MJ was really really good at basketball so whether he made the team or not, he was still going to play. Playing was the easy thing to do. So he just went on playing bball until someone else took a chance on him and made him a team member. It wasn't like he 'struggled' to continue to play. It would have been more of a struggle to STOP even though he was rejected. So he took the easy route and just kept playing, increasing his skills, and eventually someone took a chance on him. But if you listen to any interviews by him, playing basketball was the easiest thing he did in life because it was his passion - his right action.
So as life starts coming up for you, notice the areas where life is easy and where it's a struggle. Move towards the things that are easy. They're easy because they're perfectly designed for you. They're easy because they're coming from a place of passion and a spark in your heart that can't be faked. If something is hard, evaluate your intention behind it. Is there a place you could surrender there? To stop swimming upstream and instead place your heads behind your hand and just relax and trust the flow of life?
- I'm excited because I just accepted an Executive Director position with a local non-profit and, in tiny moments of doubt or wondering "Can I do this?" I think, what is easy work for me to do? What have I always done? I have always done non-profit work and just never been paid for it. It's always been my easy path because it's where my heart goes too. It now just fell into my lap at the perfect ending of mat leave and that's no mistake. I work at this work because it comes from a place of fire in my heart and that makes working easy. That can never steer you wrong.
- I then think at times, am I crazy to move up the mountain to Big White? But as I think about how this cabin came to me, I'm not even sure where or how it did. It just fell into my lap at a perfect price and, with one trip up there and only 5 minutes in it, I chose it. So, it really chose me.
- I then am like, "How am I going to have childcare for my son there?" But after a little bit of questioning, I came up with an ad and posted it in a few places. After a few people contacted me, I found a woman who brought doughnuts on a Saturday morning to us, who is perfectly designed to take care of Onyx and live with us part-time. She wants to eventually run a forest daycare up there and gets to study and discover and move towards her right action as well. It couldn't be more perfectly designed.
- And then I look at some of the other commitments I had that will have to stop or take a pause while I'm in all of this change and I think there was actually some struggle around those organizations or events. I had to really work hard at them. So perhaps the realization that now I have to stop them is a gift. It's true freedom. It's like a friendship that is just easy - you can be yourself, it's relaxed and you just connect with no pressure when you connect. You know those friends that are like a breath of relax when you're finally with them, like "Oh man you wouldn't believe my life these days!" and you both laugh and laugh and cry and cry. Those are the kinds of friendships I want, not the ones where it's a constant challenge or where it's hard.
Life isn't meant to be hard.
No longer does it have to come from a fear based place.
When I look back on my life I think about the areas I really faced serious struggle and I think most of them are because I wasn't aligned with those areas or there was a struggle to show me a re-direction. Those times gave me a sense of reflection and realization that certain things or people weren't for me so I could continue moving around the small boulder and continue down the river.
Our generation has evolved to live from a place of ease.
So look at your life.
Where is it easy?
Where are you struggling?
Where can you let go?
Could you just trust, surrender and flow?