The Art Of Effortless Living


“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning.” – Lao Tzu

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished” echoes the quote by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu.

There is an inherent rhythm to life – everything follows an intricate order seen in a flock of birds, flying and ducking in unison. You needn’t clutch to things since life takes care of matters in due course.

Every condition maintains its own self-organising system to yield a perfect outcome. Everything flows in harmony without having to worry it won’t carry on as planned.

As we abide by this awareness, our willingness to trust life exceeds our reasoning. In their book, The Power of Flow by Charlene Belitz and Meg Lundstrom, the authors reinforce this message stating, “Flow is the natural, effortless unfolding of our life in a way that moves us toward wholeness and harmony.”

Effortless living then is the willingness to embrace the flow experience while setting aside the need for intended outcomes. We let go of circumstances which no longer serve us, instead of anxiously clutching at life. To let go signifies mental and emotional withdrawal from circumstances outside our control.

Energy is spent opposing life rather than going with the flow. It is the egoic mind which affirms it knows better than the infinite intelligence which guides the stars and planets. We recognise the folly in that assumption since we are a small cog in a well-orchestrated process.

In her book, The Art of Effortless Living, author Ingrid Bacci, Ph.D. reminds us, “…if we let go of doing and move toward being, every part of our lives will change for the better.” Ingrid’s passage affirms if we yield to the natural order instead of resisting it, life evolves in our favour. Accept what transpires by allowing it to work for you even when the details are obscure. The seeds of fortune are contained within adversity. We must look for hidden opportunities in every condition.

Avoid hastily casting judgement given the capacity to convey a biased opinion. Have you tried to rush through something and have it fall apart on you? Thomas Edison declared the light bulb required 10,000 trial and errors for its invention. You can’t rush what needs to evolve on its own timeline. Effortless living acknowledges cooperation with the forces of life.

Explore patience as a virtue if you are inclined to rush through life. What are you missing out by rushing? A hamster scurrying on a wheel recognises the harder it runs, the less it gets to where it needs to. Trade the hamster wheel for the slow path – everything that must come to pass will do so naturally. If you are in a hurry, examine the cause. What are you avoiding? What are you afraid to see if life slows? That you are not in control?

Remain open to new experiences, new vistas and new doors which usher in welcomed change. Those who claim life is dull resist this facet of life. It might be unclear to you yet your presence in this space-time continuum is testimony to your magnificence. Do not be overshadowed by this realisation. Change forms the process of life and is essential to harness your personal power.

“If a warrior is to succeed at anything, the success must come gently, with a great deal of effort but with no stress or obsession.” – Carlos Castaneda

“You just have to let things be and not do anything about them. That is probably the greatest discipline in the world because our whole thing is about making it happen. The point is to be present and trust the process,” state Charlene Belitz and Meg Lundstrom.

Similarly focus on what is important and let everything else fall away. You need not do more to carry out more. In fact, doing less often yields greater results.

Avoid your attachment to people, places or events since everything is impermanent. Clinging is rooted in fear which perpetuates more fear. Transform these thoughts to allow what needs to flow into your experience.

Let go of possessions which you no longer have use for. If you haven’t used it in the last three months, consider repurposing it. Having fewer material goods liberates us from the need to manage more. I am not suggesting you live an austere life, instead you should not seek solace in material possessions to reinforce your sense of self.

“Want what life wants,” affirms philosopher and spiritual teacher Guy Finley.

Avoid following the masses given the tendency to perpetuate mindless thinking. Popular culture expresses a recycled thought consciousness. If you seek to blend in, a place awaits you and you need not fight your way for it. Yet if you wish to be a thinker, a radical, an inventor, an optimist or creator, go out on a limb where the fruit is more satisfying. Life invites you to take risks. Those risks may or may not pay off while others inspire you to experience yourself with renewed enthusiasm.

In his book, The Luck Factor, renowned author and psychologist Dr Richard Wiseman affirms, “Being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind.” The state of mind Dr Wiseman is referring to is possible when we honour our true nature instead of waging an inner battle that we are bound to lose.

Effortless living follows from our resolve to quiet the muddy waters of our mind to allow the stillness to echo through us.

Lao Tzu reminds us that everything is accomplishing when we harmonise with the flow of life – not some things, yet all things to include the life we seek to live.