2009-07-30 / Faith
Art of Being
"Make a commitment to follow the path of no resistance. This is the path through which nature's intelligence unfolds spontaneously, without friction or effort. When you have the exquisite combination of acceptance, responsibility and defenselessness, you will experience life flowing with effortless ease."
Life flows—don't push it
I just returned from an early morning walk in my meditation garden, and I made some observations that I want to share with you.
Everything appears to be in bloom now; each tree is bringing forth the fruit it was created to manifest, each bush revealing the beauty of the flowers it was meant to share with the world—it's beautiful to witness.
As I sat in the quiet among the fruit trees, palm trees and various kinds of flowers and roses, I listened and watched closely—not once did I hear or see even one of these beautiful expressions of life grunt, push, manipulate or try to force its fruit or flowers to grow.
Everything in nature has its own natural rhythm—its own way of trusting the Life Force and surrendering to the flow of the energy coursing through it, within it and all around it. It appears that the things in nature grow and produce without any effort by just being.
When I compare how nature does life with such grace and ease to how we so often struggle, thinking we have to force or push the energy of life in a specific direction in order to create a fruitful and rewarding life, I have to chuckle. Life flows—we need not try to push it.
When you stop to think about it, that is often what we do, isn't it? We do it with our relationships. We do it with our finances. We even do it with our bodies.
We try so hard to make things go in the direction we want them to, we end up short-circuiting our own good by not honoring the same Divine Intelligence within us that does such a great job in nature.
A rose doesn't live in fear of being judged by the other roses because it is not as lovely. An apple tree doesn't grow apples with a hidden agenda. It's doing what comes naturally.
What would happen if we could be like the apple tree or a rosebush and just let life do the work? It sounds too easy, doesn't it? It is actually so easy it is one of the most difficult things we will ever do.
The way to access what Deepak Chopra refers to as the Law of Least Effort is simple; practicing it is another thing.
In his timeless classic, "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success," he discusses the three basic components that will enable us to access and use this principle: 1. Accept what is in every given moment; this doesn't mean we have to like it—we just have to learn not to push against it. 2. Take responsibility for how we respond to what is; rather than blaming anyone (including ourselves), we remain conscious enough to look for the seed of a blessing in what is unfolding before us. 3. Live in defenselessness; we do this by letting go of the need to control other people's opinion of us.
Interestingly enough, this leads us back to acceptance of what is.
If an apple tree can just be in "what is" every day and never blame the weather for its problems and never apologize for a poor apple production when the weather doesn't cooperate, perhaps there's something we humans can learn here.
You can't force your life to grow faster than it should anymore than you can force a rose to blossom or an apple to grow, but you can trust that life always knows what it's doing. You are not here by mistake.
That means you can trust that your life will unfold perfectly in its own season, in its own space and time when you don't resist what is.
This does not mean you don't have an active role to play in creating a life worth living—it simply means you live consciously, knowing there is an Intelligence within you that is willing to do its part if you are only as willing as a rose to allow it to do so.
Dennis Merritt Jones is a local spiritual mentor, keynote speaker and author of the book "The Art of Being: 101 Ways to Practice Purpose in Your Life." Contact him at www.DennisMerrittJones.com.