Why The Art of Effortless Living Is The Key To Happiness

Published on: May 4, 2015

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Cooperate With The Forces Of Life

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning.” – Lao Tzu

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished” echoes the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. There is an inherent rhythm to life where everything follows an intricate order seen in a flock of birds, flying and ducking in unison. We needn’t clutch to circumstances since life takes care of matters in due course. Every condition maintains its own self-organising system to yield a perfect outcome. Everything flows in harmony without having to worry it won’t carry on as planned. As we abide by this awareness, our willingness to trust life exceeds our expectations. Effortless living is the willingness to embrace the flow experience while setting aside the need for intended outcomes. We let go of circumstances which no longer serve us, instead of anxiously clutching at life. To let go signifies mental and emotional withdrawal from situations outside our control. Is this an idea you are willing to embrace in your life? I assure you whilst it may seem scary at first, it is because we are entering unchartered waters.

Energy is spent opposing life rather than going with the flow. It is the egoic mind which affirms it knows better than the infinite intelligence which guides the stars and planets. We recognise the folly in that assumption since we are a small cog in a well-orchestrated process. Therefore, we ought to avoid casting judgement given the capacity to convey a biased opinion. Have you tried to rush through something and have it fall apart on you? Thomas Edison declared the light bulb required 10,000 trial and errors for its invention. You cannot rush what needs to evolve on its own timeline. Effortless living acknowledges cooperation with the forces of life. This is why it pays to explore patience if you are inclined to rush through life. What are you missing out by rushing? A hamster scurrying on a wheel recognises the harder it runs, the less it gets to where it needs to. Trade the hamster wheel for the slow path since everything that must come to pass will do so naturally. If you are in a hurry, examine the cause. What are you avoiding? What are you afraid to see if life slows? That you are not in control?

Quiet The Muddy Waters Of Your Mind

“If a warrior is to succeed at anything, the success must come gently, with a great deal of effort but with no stress or obsession.” – Carlos Castaneda

Remain open to new experiences, new vistas and new doors which usher in welcomed change. Those who claim life is dull resist this facet of life. It might be unclear to some yet our presence in this space-time continuum is testimony to our magnificence. Change forms the process of life and is essential to harnessing our personal power. I am drawn to the sentiment echoed by authors Charlene Belitz and Meg Lundstrom who write in The Power of Flow: “You just have to let things be and not do anything about them. That is probably the greatest discipline in the world because our whole thing is about making it happen. The point is to be present and trust the process.” Similarly, we must focus on what is important and let everything else fall away. We needn’t do more to carry out more. In fact, doing less often yields greater results. Have you noticed this? Where the more you do, the less energy you have do the things that really matter? The things that bring fulfilment and joy to your life. Therefore, we must avoid our attachment to people, places or events since everything is impermanent. Clinging is rooted in fear which perpetuates more fear. We can transform these thoughts to allow what needs to flow into our experience.

Similarly, we learn to let go of possessions which we no longer have use for. If we haven’t used it in the last three months, we ought to consider repurposing it. Having fewer material goods liberates us from the need to manage more. I am not suggesting we live an austere life, instead we shouldn’t seek solace in material possessions to reinforce our sense of self. “Want what life wants,” affirms philosopher and spiritual teacher Guy Finley. Moreover, we must avoid following the masses given the tendency to perpetuate mindless thinking. Popular culture expresses a recycled thought consciousness. If we seek to blend in, a place awaits us and we need not fight our way for it. Yet, if we wish to be a thinker, a radical, an inventor, an optimist or creator, we must go out on a limb where the fruit is more satisfying. Life invites us to take risks. Those risks may or may not pay off while others inspire us to experience ourselves with renewed enthusiasm. Effortless living follows from our resolve to quiet the muddy waters of our mind to allow the stillness to echo through us. For Lao Tzu reminds us that everything is accomplishing when we harmonise with the flow of life; not some things, but all things to include the life we seek to live.

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