THE LAW OF LEAST EFFORT – Day 6

So, it’s fascinating that around Day 5 and 6 of my experiment, I really hit some busy days, and I found the Law of Least Effort a real life saver.

It gave me permission to stop.

It gave me permission to say, “No, Kristin don’t send one more email, go to bed.” To say, “Shhh, baby girl, go slow, go gentle… ” We were speaking the other day in CREATE about how to become Sustainable Artists. We intend to be Artists that have careers their whole lives. And to do so, one has to run the race to last, not burn out.

When life starts to get busy (as it sometimes does, especially in New York!) I like to envision myself as a leaf in the wind — remember Forrest Gump — and I ask the Flow to take me. And in these busy moments, I like to invoke the powers of Joy and Ease. What if I get amazed about how easy Life is today? What if I consider myself on the lookout for Joy?

So, then, instead of my head getting caught in “The Story of Busy.” I instead find myself with unexpected delights during my day.

And as Artists and Creators, we have the opportunity to CREATE lives we love. Which means we get the opportunity to go within and ask ourselves “What do I love?” and “Where does my heart get excited?”

In my morning reading by Osho, he was discussing bliss and he said “never miss an opportunity. There are a thousand and one opportunities every day. Once you are alert you will be surprised how many opportunities you have been missing up to now.”

EXERCISE for Day 6:

Be a detective for Bliss! (Thank you, Candy!!)  How about we just notice today all the opportunities that Life is giving us to see the Bliss that is all around? Where do you notice it, post below!!

Vintage detective looking through a magnifier

THE LAW OF LEAST EFFORT – Day 5

I’m talking to my dear, amazing brilliant writer-friend Steve who is getting ready to leave town (for exciting career reasons) and he is telling me about all the things he has to do before he leaves. And we start laughing, talking about “The Story of Hard.” He says, “of course I have a list of 100 Things I Have To Do, but if I really get honest and boil it down, I only have four things I HAVE to do. But my head keeps making the case for the 100 Things I Have To Do, and then I get stressed out, and run around with my head cut off, not being present.”

And I start to think about “The Story of Hard,” which is a cousin of “The Story of I Have SO Much To Do,” and also a relative of “The Story of I Will Never Get It Done.” And they are all stories. Stories we tell ourselves. Stories that take us out of this moment, stories that take us out of BLISS.

When I think of the Law of Least Effort, what is really does is get us out of the story that we need to be the primary do-er. That maybe…we are working with another Force, which is already doing, and will do through us if we are open.

Interestingly enough, my friend Steve goes on and says, “And then I had this moment yesterday where I just let go of my list, sat down, and I just starting writing, and this new piece came out of me that was so inspired.”

I realize THAT’S why I am really doing this experiment in The Law of Least Effort… I’m interested in living MORE in inspiration, MORE in the magic, and less in the To-Do lists. That really I wanna work with the Universe in a new way… like have a new agreement between us…

Me to the Universe: “How about I make it my job to live in joy, bliss, creative expression, and following my heart? And in return, you take care of getting it done, making it happen, and working out the timeline and resources?” 

Universe to Me: “Finally! You get it!! I’ve been waiting YEARS for you to say that!” 

So, for me, The Law of Least Effort is also about invoking more miracles in my life, to be in deeper partnership with the Divine.

And you know what the Course in Miracles says: Miracles are natural. 

miracles

Oh! And speaking of, how’s this for a little miracle? I told Natalie (my delicious co-teacher) when I started this experiment, that I was just going to start blogging about it, not even broadcast that I was doing it…and then a member of the CREATE community, Kristin Stokes, found it and spread it on the CREATE community Facebook page. I was like “Good job, Universe! You shared my experiment with others, and I didn’t have to do anything but write it! Yes! Now, that’s the energy I like working with!”

And right now, I hear the sexy spiritual teacher Michael Beckwith’s words in my ears: “No more struggle, no more strife! I got the Spirit in my life!” 

So, if you are reading this, and you wanna do this experiment with me…leave a comment, write a question, let’s get in dialogue about it!

EXERCISE FOR DAY 5:

Share what your current “Story” is. What is the “Story” you tell yourself that you wanna re-write?

And in my next blog, I’ll drop some books we can share on this experiment together and maybe add some fun exercises!!

THE LAW OF LEAST EFFORT – Day 4

This is Day 4 in my experiment, and Day 3 came with a huge exciting email about the potential of something I’ve wanted for a long time! So that was pretty thrilling! And to me, it feels like it’s somehow related…this idea of taking my hands off the steering wheel, giving all to the divine and dedicating myself to moving with the flow of Existence.

I always think the Divine wants to show us, “Look what I can do!” It wants to be in that kind of relationship with us where it blows our minds with what is possible.

Last night, as I was going to bed, this Michael Beckwith quote came to my mind, “We don’t have to make it happen, we make it welcome.” It’s like opening ourselves to what is possible… And not pushing the metaphorical bolder uphill. Harmony, invitation, allowing. How do we play with these energies in our life?

So The Law of Least Effort is showing up in my life in different ways…some big, and some small. For example, this morning, I went for a run, I usually like to do 5 miles. And sometimes I really push my body, even when I don’t feel like it. But this morning, I wanted to look at the colors of the fall leaves and just be in awe of the world… That’s how I was feeling called. So, I walked for a bit, then ran for a bit. A tiny adjustment, but it got me into deeper listening with my body, my joy. (And look at the beauty I got to behold…!!!)

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I feel like I’m courting “Ease” into my life. And I love to treat “ease” like my number one job! Natalie and I taught on “Ease” in CREATE a few months back, and I pulled up the lecture to see what nuggets from it wanted to jump out at me… Check out this one: “If all we ever are is the presence of love moving forward in the world, how can love not move with ease? So, we don’t push, but rather move with love. Push is a lie of the ego, that says you’re not enough so do more, harder, faster.”

So, The Law of Least Effort isn’t about not doing anything, but perhaps moving from a conscious place. Not pushing from the Ego, but moving with Love.

Here are three steps I’m practicing:

  1. Get still. There’s the verse that says “Be Still and Know that I’m God.” So, get comfortable with Stillness and know that everything that is created comes from that place deep within where we are one with our Creator.
  2. Tune into Inspiration. There’s a part of us that knows what direction to go, or where to move because we get turned on! Our enthusiasm (en-theos, translated to mean “the God within” or “fire from the Gods”) knows exactly where we are meant to go.
  3. Move from Love. Once we know the direction we want to move, can we move that way with Love as our compass and our engine. Because that’s ALL WE ARE. We are just the presence of Love moving through the world.

EXERCISE for Day 4:

How might you incorporate a little more Stillness in your Life today? Maybe just list one way that sounds juicy and yummy… maybe its taking a nap when you feel like it? Or going to bed early? Or taking five minutes just to turn inward instead of doing the next thing. Tell me all about it!!

THE LAW OF LEAST EFFORT – Day 3

Here’s an interesting thing on the Law of Least Effort…

Every wild, wonderful life-changing thing that has happened in my Life has come to me. I think of the shows I’ve gotten to direct that have changed my life, the relationships that formed me… All of them came in, like a blessing from the Divine. I did not seek them out, or “make them” happen. They came in, I welcomed them, and I kept showing up, even when it got challenging. I was even ready to release them if I had to. Sometimes Life asked me to let go, and then brought them back better than ever. But it has all been a deep lesson in Trust. As spiritual teacher Tosha Silver says, “When you make the Divine your Source, you move through life with an ease and lightness, with an open hand. You allow whatever wishes to come, come. And whatever wishes to go, go.”

Yes…ease and lightness…that’s where I intend to live.

And why the Law of Least Effort is so interesting to me now is because Natalie and I have watched our community C.R.E.A.T.E. (where we teach holistic tools to artists) grow to over 1,000 members in about a year. All of this happened “without trying.” Now yes, we show up every week, and yes, we prepare our talks, but the growth happened organically.  Natalie and I laugh about the fact that anytime we have wanted to make growth happen, we can’t! Nothing moves. Every time we let go and let growth happen on its own…it’s magic.

So, you can see why I’m like, “Kristin, maybe apply this to every aspect of your life. Let go fully. Allow the way of Life’s wisdom to dictate your steps.”

Updates in my experiment: I slept 10 hours last night, and I also got an email that I have a large chunk of money coming to me. Just noticing!

And I keep asking myself and my body and the Divine, “What is the next step you want to take? Where does my Joy, my Spirit, want to lead me?”

In my research on not trying, I found this great article by Edward Slingerland, and in it he talks about living life the way Michael Caine talks about acting… spontaneously. It quotes Charlie Parker when he said, “Don’t play the saxophone. Let it play you.”

Here’s the entire article here if you want to check it out:

http://www.utne.com/mind-and-body/the-art-of-wu-wei-ze0z1402zhou?pageid=1#PageContent1

So, that’s what I’m practicing…being in the flow…being in the Joy…and letting Life play me.

Lastly, I found this mantra for the Law of Least Effort: Om Daksham Namah.  It means: my actions achieve maximal benefit with minimal effort.

Yes, I will totally sign up for that!!

Exercise for Day 3:

Play around with the chant Om Daksham Namah… and really play around with it! Be silly! Sing it! Dance it! Any time you think you need to get into hurry or rushing, use your new song & dance!!!

PS: You are very cute! Just, FYI… I’ve always thought so 🙂

THE LAW OF LEAST EFFORT – Day 2

Ooh, I’m loving this living in the flow! And going with the evolutionary impulse.

How’s this for least effort? I spent until 11am this morning in bed cuddling with my Sweetheart. Isn’t that what’s life about?

And then I walked through Central Park, looking at the fall leaves, drinking a latte, and communing with my Soul. It’s so funny I realize, I’ve spent so much of my life doing “what I think I should do” to advance a project forward, or create the next thing, or be productive, I’ve often let joy take a backseat to achievement.

Interestingly enough, I have this poem-like declaration I wrote a 14 or 15. It’s like a mission statement and I keep it on the wall beside my desk to remind me of who I am. It says “through living out my passion each day and finding achievement within myself am I truly successful.” 

I think of how somewhere in my 20’s I got that confused with being successful in the world. And now I see how I’m trying to flip that paradigm. To wonder and be curious about what does it mean to be successful within myself. What does my Soul want for me?

As I wandered through Central Park today, I thought about how often I have in my life jumped from one project to another. Workshop a musical, to make a film, to shoot a music video, and yes, ALL of this is fun! And I create from my heart! And it’s a blessing to be able to do so! But…I was thinking about how I rarely have left downtime between projects. Time to reflect. Time to think about what do I want to make next. Time to be still and go deep within. And I know the work will be better if I do so.

And then something wonderful happens when I don’t push myself…when I’m listening to my body and just doing the thing that comes next. This radical, overwhelming JOY. A joy that comes from being AT ONE with life. Of feeling the flow.

Oh, then after all that, I actually felt inspired. I felt like I wanted to write. Like I wanted to do my emails. Like I wanted to participate.

And I realized something is at the base of letting go, and the Law of Least Effort. Real trust. Trust that Life loves you. Trust that the Divine wants you to be in joy. Trust that we are supposed to follow our heart and our body and that there is a wisdom there that is bigger than we know!!

“When one is in a deep let-go with the whole, the consequence is Bliss.” — Osho

Exercise for Day 2:

What’s something that sounds like fun that you want to do today? Maybe its stare out the window? Waste time? What would you do today if you were just listening to your Soul and taking care of that?

And PS: I love you!!

THE LAW OF LEAST EFFORT – Day 1

So…I just finished a big project. A workshop of a new musical. And right afterwards, I got sick. It was like my body was declaring “HELL NO, K-Hanggi, you aren’t going anywhere, you aren’t doing anything. You are going to lie there, in bed, and rest…And maybe watch Netflix.”

Don’t. Do. Anything.

By the third day, just when I was starting to get a little energy back, I thought. “This is HEAVEN. I love not doing anything.” And I heard a voice say to me (and my deepest insights come, of course, from that Voice), “I want you to completely see how you are NOT the do-er. I am. Let me show you.”

In my life, I’ve always been one to push the ball up the mountain. In high school, my Mom said I burnt the candle at three ends, not just two. And yes, I’ve spent some time in Workaholics Anonymous years ago when I realized it was, um, an addiction.

Since then, I’ve gotten deep into exploring my feminine energy…being receptive…taking time off…listening to my intuition. All that good stuff.

And in the CREATE workshops that I teach with Natalie Roy, we always talk about the balance of the masculine and feminine energy. The process of getting INSPIRED IDEAS in the Feminine and then TAKING ACTION on those ideas in the Masculine.

But…over the last few days…the same few words keep coming back to me: The Law of Least Effort. I can hear Spirit encouraging me to give up effort. Really. And I can hear the urging to give up trying, hustling, all of that — because I’m being taken to a new place. An up-leveling. And there’s a certain amount of Surrendering, Trust, and Listening that are essential to this new place.

And as soon as I thought about blogging about this topic, I got excited. Could I practice “least effort” in every area of my life as an experiment? And see what happens?

Deepak Chopra talks about The Law of Least Effort in his book, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.” He compares it to following the example nature sets. He says “Grass doesn’t try to grow; it just grows. Fish don’t try to swim; they just swim. This is their intrinsic nature.”

The Tao Te Ching, which I LOVE, talks all about non-action. It says all sorts of things, to roughly paraphrase, that comes down to this idea: The Master does nothing and yet nothing is un-done. It’s the concept of We Wei  — being in harmony with nature, letting things flow, engaging in life in an effortless way.

And I’ve seen this in my directing too: the less I interfere, and allow the actors to find it on their own, well, the more organic the scene is. It’s coming from a real place. So, the less I “direct,” the better.

I also know ALL THE PLACES that I try to “make” things happen in my life. I see it in the advancement of my career, in finance, with my body, and especially with my “to-do list.” And guess what? It just doesn’t work. I’ve also seen in my romantic life, the more I just allow, the better. The easier things flow.

So, I’m going to do a little experiment of not trying, just allowing, following the flow… And then see where it leads me!

If you wanna do the experiment to, here’s…

Exercise for Day 1:

Where do you see yourself trying hard? Pushing? Is there any area of your life where you just let things flow? And other areas where you really try and push? What’s the difference???

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