Monday Musings ~ Effortless Effort

Effortless Effort Framed
As many of you are aware, I’m practicing the concept of  “effortless effort”. I know what you’re thinking. Ha! How hard can that be? Well, actually it takes some effort to find your flow. My Tai Chi Master said, “You’ll know you’re in the flow when your feet are rooted in the ground and the movements flow through you effortlessly.” Being “rooted in the ground” is a rather new concept for me – I tend to be the girl with her “head in the clouds”…just sayin.

I realize my Tai Chi instructor is a master of his craft because he’s been a student and teacher of Tai Chi for over forty years. Developing expertise, or mastery in any field of endeavor takes time, patience and practice. I’m reminded of the 10,000 hours rule cited by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outlier – The Story of Success.

“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.” – Malcolm Gladwell

(I rather enjoy that Gladwell used the words “research” and “magic” in the same sentence!) Anyhow, I clearly have many hours of practice ahead of me before I master the art of Tai Chi.

However, in my effort to live in the flow of life, I discovered a new concept that has me fascinated!

“Purposeless wandering”

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, seriously this chic has gone off the deep end, but wait…before you rush to judgment, hear me out. Or better yet, listen to the wisdom of the ancients.

“Chuang Tzu refers to this type of being in the world as flowing, or more poetically, and provocatively, as “purposeless wandering!” How opposite this concept is to some of our most cherished cultural values. To have no purpose is unthinkable and even frightening … And yet it would be difficult to maintain that our current values have promoted harmony and balance…” ~ Ted Kardash, Taoism, and the Wu-Wei Principle.

The concept of “purposeless wandering” resonates with me because it describes the path I’ve been walking for the last few years. After decades of hard work and raising children, I finally have time to wander aimlessly and wonder.  My curiosity plays the role of tour guide and I am forever entertained.  I’m constantly tripping over a new found treasure on the trail!

Wander not lostMy most recent discovery is – poetry!  Last week, I wrote eight poems -in one day! That’s more poems than I’ve written in my lifetime. What’s up with that? Shhhhh….it’s magic, just sayin. If I can summon enough courage I may debut one of my poems here on my Friday Features post – stay tuned.

Although I’m enjoying following my curiosity and wandering the trail, I do believe I’m making progress on my journey.  I believe I’ve already mastered one of the most  important concepts of living in the flow (Wu- Wei) and that’s letting go of future outcomes. I can’t believe I’m gonna say this, but I don’t really have attachments to future goals or outcomes. Yeah, I want to finish my memoir and master the art of Tai Chi, but hey, the world won’t end if I don’t.

And yet, I believe I’ll do both, not because I have to, but because I want to. Writing and Tai Chi are now part of my flow. Not yet effortless, but give me another 9,000 magical hours and I’ll get there!

In the meantime, I’m enjoying my purposeless wanderings along the path. Thank you for joining me on my journey!

Have a magical Monday my fellow travelers! ~ Namaste

Friday Features ~ I Am Another You

Mayan Greeting Final

I attended a lecture years ago on Our Shared Humanity. The speaker opened with a greeting, “Welcome, I am another you and you are another me.”  This ancient Mayan greeting, he explained, was used to express the interconnectedness of all things. The lecture focused on the common threads that bind us together and our ultimate “oneness”.

I am another you

In our human experience, he explained, we see everything as separate from ourselves. The “Others” are those who do not look like, dress like, think like or believe as we do.  We focus on those differences. We debate over who is right and who is wrong. We give energy to our separateness in an effort to strengthen our own ego. All too often we cultivate an environment of fear around the “otherness” of those not like us. The mere presence of the others is seen as threatening .

“And sometimes it’s the very otherness of a stranger, someone who doesn’t belong to our ethnic or ideological or religious group, an otherness that can repel us initially, but which can jerk us out of our habitual selfishness, and give us intonations of that sacred otherness, which is God.”
~ Karen Armstrong, Author & Scholar

And so I had a thought. What if we celebrated our common humanity? What if we held festivals and feasts to celebrate our love of family, friendship and our need of community? A festival where all Earthlings can be seen, heard, loved and respected and most of all – accepted.

A Festival of Earthlings

Earthlings DayJust as we celebrate “Earth Day”, with the mantra: Join the fight for the future of our planet.  I’d like to champion an “Earthlings Day”: Coming together with love for the future of all Earthlings.

I’ve often wondered if it will take aliens arriving from another planet to finally unite the human race. I hope that’s not the case. I can envision the aliens arrival as they descend from their spacecraft, extending their hand in friendship with the greeting, “I am another you, and you are another me.” 

Aliens Earth Bar Framed

Could it be that all those we see as “Others” are the sacred otherness which is God, as Karen Armstrong suggests? Could it be, that I am you – and you are me?

Sending love and light to my fellow earthlings. Have a magical weekend! ~ Namaste

Monday Musing ~ THE CHASE

Chase Framed

They chase me as I walk along the trail. They try to run me off the road when I’m driving!  Lately, they creep into my garden while I’m tending my flowers. I’ve thought about telling them to leave me alone but I need them.

And so I’ve turned the tables and now I capture them.  I have several of them trapped in a press. They sit, simmering…waiting their turn – waiting to be released. I check on them often, watering them, some of them grow, others shrivel and die. The ones that grow get released. Sometimes I put two of them together and they thrive and morph into something quite unexpected.

I don’t mind them chasing me anymore. I’m ready for them; I’ve armed myself. I still have to pull off the road to capture them safely, but now I have the proper tools on hand. I have the devices needed to capture these wispy, fleeting, magical things. So what chases me? What do I desperately need to capture?

IDEAS!

I asked the universe to send me ideas and I may as well have cast a spell! Because now they won’t leave me alone! They’re everywhere! Pure magic!

“Ideas are disembodied, energetic life forms.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

I was reassured when I read those words in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic. She validated what I know to be true. Ideas are things, magical things. They seek us out – chase us, haunt us – if we’re open to receiving them. This part is important. If you don’t believe in magic you won’t experience it. This doesn’t mean you won’t have ideas, they’re just harder to come by and feel more like work.

The magic of the universe is effortless and fun. So let’s play a game of chase and see how many ideas you can capture today – tag, you’re it!

~ Namaste