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!
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!
My 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