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October 25, 2011

Effortless

Have you ever wanted to flow through decisions and processes effortlessly, having things fall into place seemingly effortlessly? Whilst we obsess over this effortlessness enough while out swimming, cycling or running, how often are we putting in the same amount of work towards these elements existing in our work lives, our love lives and our family lives?

One of Taoism’s most important concepts is wu wei, which is sometimes translated as “non-doing” or “non-action.” A better way to think of it, however, is as a paradoxical “Action of non-action.” Wu wei refers to the cultivation of a state of being in which our actions are quite effortlessly in alignment with the ebb and flow of the elemental cycles of the natural world. It is a kind of “going with the flow” that is characterized by great ease and awake-ness, in which – without even trying – we’re able to respond perfectly to whatever situations arise.

This may not mean you are doing nothing. Sometimes, going with the flow means making complex situations work with incredible decisions.

But we can make these effortlessly in a way, by being mega aware and very awake. This allows us to respond correctly the first time and satisfy the situations with the least amount of effort.

While I have your attention, make sure you read these 4 articles in a while about how to be the change you want to see (each line contains a link):

1. Start very small.
2. Do only one change at a time.
3. Be present and enjoy the activity (don’t focus on results).
4. Be grateful for every step you take.

Whilst this is all quite zen and out there, it’s still relevant to what has been a crazy year for every person I speak to. Often we listen to the stories of others’ lives and surely, like me, you wonder if people are trying too hard.

I find myself trying too hard, often. Then – if we step back just a little, let go just a little to the attachment and the outcomes, things flow better and success comes. It’s a fascinating process. Often, as my great friend Collin says, we should just walk slowly. It reminded me of this quote:

‘Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.’ ~Thich Nhat Hahn

We have to walk in order to run. I try and start all my runs with a walk as well as finish them with a walk, to remind myself to be aware because being me means I want to run out the door and back into it most of the time. Often I cannot tell you if a race went through a beautiful area if I was on the gas. At O till O, I tried to take in every step of the scenery as I felt incredibly blessed to be out there on that route.

Back to being effortless (yes, I am much like a Labrador puppy when it comes to attention span).

To summarise, we need to look at right now. To make some choices to attain this effortlessness. Cut down on certain things and go with the Happy Scared feeling that comes with that. Being effortless takes bravery and commitment. Ask any pro athlete. To be a pro takes massive Happy Scared commitment.

But it’s out there.

How badly do you want it?

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