Last week I posted on Facebook about a path with heart - holding yourself with compassion when you fall short. Itís also about learning to hold seemingly opposite concepts.
This is from the Tao te Ching, ďAct without doing; work without effort. Think of the small as large and the few as many. Confront the difficult while it is still easy; accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.Ē
Learning to work without effort is about learning to let go, to not work so hard. Itís just doing the next step. Letting go of what happened before, of how this next step might turn out, of where this next step may lead.
It is about being totally plugged to this next step which allows us to utilize the full capacity of our strengths and talents. Being plugged in also brings an emotional quality to the task - interest, excitement, creativity, curiosity.
Effortless is defined as requiring no physical or mental exertion. It just flows. Itís the next right thing, the next logical step. There is no judgment, no expectation, just action.
So where does that next logical step come from?
The practice of mindfulness allows us to reduce the chatter in our minds and come closer to a clearer sense of knowing our path, our next steps. As we live in this way, not trying so hard, being present emotionally, mentally, spiritually in our lives, the next step usually shows up. Weíre more aware of how we feel, what we are thinking, more attentive to ideas that pop up.
When we are present in this way there is a satisfaction and vitality in our next steps. It doesnít matter if there are one thousand more steps, that step we just completed was satisfying. If we didnít quite nail that last step, we learn to be compassionate toward ourselves and we just continue on. If what we accomplished doesnít seem to work, we learn to not try and force it to fit, but to pay attention to what the next step is.
That is living with heart. Being compassionate toward ourselves and not having to work so hard.