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Inner Smile

This came to me in my Weekly Pinterest email. Upon reading it, I made it my instant, constant practice. (It’s been about a month now.) I can tell you honestly that this practice is like going through life with the best secret in the world. Very little can ruffle one in the face of an inner smile. In fact, almost nothing. Try it. You’ll see.

 

cc49b5de90ea51cd82c3be80f0cde114In ancient China, the Taoists taught that

a constant inner smile,

a smile to oneself,

insured health, happiness and longevity.

Why?

Smiling to yourself is like basking in love:

you become your own best friend.

Living with an inner smile

is to live

in harmony with yourself.

The Path of Least Resistance

thumbIt took me many years to understand that the path of least resistance, for me, was learning to say Yes to reality instead of No. Here’s another wizard’s take on it.

 

 

Achieve More By Resisting Less: Understanding the Spiritual Law of Least Effort

dontresist

By: Traci Pedersen

“Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality, it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.” —Eckhart Tolle

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you ended up pushing it farther away? Or perhaps there was a time in which you mentally and emotionally resisted a situation or problem so intensely that you more than doubled your suffering.

In our culture, it’s actually a popular concept to “fight” for what we want—to struggle and persevere and to never give up. We wage a “war” on drugs, we “fight” cancer, we compete, we resist, we come out on top—or do we?

In the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, as taught by Deepak Chopra, there is a concept known as the Law of Least Effort, or least resistance. It is based on the idea that you accomplish more by striving less. It sounds like a paradox, but when you think of it in terms of energy, it makes a lot of sense.

The law is based on the idea that nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease: whether it’s a blossoming flower, a drifting cloud, a rushing river—each moves in harmony with the universal energy of love without having to “try” and struggle. In fact, everything is the way it should be at this moment.

Now imagine your body as a vessel of energy. You can choose to save energy or expend energy, depending on your emotional state of being.

When we are motivated by fear and ego, we waste large amounts of energy and even set up blockages that inhibit positive flow. Likewise, we waste this precious energy when we mentally and emotionally resist our present situation; it’s similar to struggling against a riptide instead of just floating with it until the current ends.

When our actions are motivated by love, however, we tap into the organizing power of the Universe, and we really take off. When we go with the flow—or accept things as they are—we conserve this precious energy, allowing us to better accomplish our goals and manifest our desires.

According to the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, we can put the Law of Least Effort into action by participating in the following three actions:

  1. Practice total acceptance. Instead of mentally resisting unwanted factors in your life— your body, your job, your relationships, your current situation—decide that you will accept these things completely just as they are today. This doesn’t mean that you won’t work to resolve the situation; in fact, it is just the opposite. By accepting the situation as it is and not struggling against it, you free up a lot more energy to actually accomplish what you set out to do. You also lower your levels of suffering, as suffering is built on our own mental resistance to a situation.
  2. Take responsibility. This applies to all the choices you have made in the past and present. Do not place blame or guilt toward yourself or others. Focus on what you can do today to heal yourself and realize that every problem is an opportunity for growth.
  3. Be defenseless. Don’t waste your energy on arguing with others in an attempt to prove a point or convince them you are right. Instead, enjoy the feeling of being open to several points of view without attaching yourself so rigidly to one. Truly listen to others. Refrain from trying to force an outcome that is not ready to manifest.

Commit your actions today to the Law of Least Effort and watch your productivity and spirits soar. As you learn to expend your life energy in the most efficient way possible—by not wasting it on resistance and unnecessary struggle—you will begin to plant the seeds of peace and patience and joy in your life. And in turn, you will enjoy an abundance of energy to manifest your dreams into reality.

 

Traci Pedersen is a professional freelance writer who specializes in psychology, science, health, and spiritual themes.

Empty Next Syndrome

download“Nothing’s happening!” I hear this wail from one client or another at least weekly if not more often.

I always reply the same way.

“How do you know?”

I’ve never yet gotten an answer to my query from anyone.

Then along comes (yet again) a blog post from Donna Henes’ Beliefnet blog which answers the question perfectly. Here you go, with gratitude for the wisdom of Wendi Knox. Find more from Wendi here.

P. S. I had to laugh out loud when I found her site. I’m wearing a yellow silk scarf covered in dragonflies as I write these words. No mistakes.

***

Full disclosure: I’ve been suffering from Empty Next Syndrome

posted by Donna Henes

By Wendi Knox

I know this isn’t a condition that’s commonly discussed.

A) Because it’s so uncomfortable.
B) Because I just made it up.

Of course, there’s lots of talk about “empty nests.”

But you don’t need to be sending a kid off to college to feel that deep, hollow ache of “NOW WHAT?”  echoing  through your soul. You can experience Empty Next Syndrome (ENS) after a birth, a death, a move, a milestone, a breakup, a breakdown, a success. a failure, a change, a challenge or any random act of reality.

I first became aware of this condition in January. I began the New Year full of energy and a to-do list a mile long: Work on blog, edit videos, start book, blah-blah-blah.

Then, Life Happened. In the most heart-aching, soul-shaking, stress-making way. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s been the stuff of sleepless nights. And nightmare days. For months, I’ve been stuck in the muck of drama and trauma, agonizing and strategizing. Most days, I couldn’t even face the grocery store.

In time, when the drama and trauma subsided a bit, I sat down to start writing. I tried. And I tried. And I tried. But I was totally at a loss for words. (Which is pretty rare for me.)

I panicked. If I couldn’t even write a single blog post, how could I make my bigger visions soar?

Day after day, staring at the blank screen, it finally hit me. We are not machines. When our circuits are blown by a crisis, a challenge or a change in our lives, we can’t just flick a switch and start functioning like nothing happened. And when you’re a do-er, a fixer and an accomplisher, like so many of us are programmed to be, this can be a major shock to our systems.

I kept trying to “pull myself up by the bootstraps,” “to get back in the saddle” and to “put on a happy face.”

But none of those clichés worked. This did: I gave up.

After dozens of attempts (and tirades about what a loser I am), I stopped trying to come up with clever tips for navigating Empty Next Syndrome. Instead, I lit a candle, planted my feet on the ground and took some deep breaths right into my heart.

Then, I imagined an electrical switch on my brain and turned it to OFF. Next, I envisioned a switch on my heart, and turned it to ON.

I asked the universe, “How can I help others who are struggling with Empty Next Syndrome?” Instead of avoiding the void, I went into it. Out of the emptiness, these words emerged:

You suffer from the belief that the only way to move forward is in a straight line. Instead, try thinking of your life as a spiral. With the goal of going deeper, rather than further, you’ll find much more peace in your heart. This cultural preoccupation with “Next” has you hurrying through life with a grocery cart, trying to stuff it full of everything on your list.

When you choose to trust that everything is happening in its perfect time and that standing still is its own sacred movement, you’ll be free. And discover things far beyond the confines of a list.

What if instead of seeing yourself stuck in the muck of nothingness, you believed you were pregnant with possibilities? What if you viewed the empty times as rests between musical phrases? Or the white space in a vibrant painting? Or the pause of punctuation in the run-on-sentence of your life?

If you can accept the concept that life here on earth is a classroom, then this so called “Empty Next Syndrome” is a much-needed vacation. Give yourself permission to rest, to restore, to rejuvenate, to recalibrate, to reclaim and to revisit Who You Are. Let go of what has been. Allow the new form to come in.

The presents of presence.

I’m not sure exactly where those words came from. Whether it’s from my Heart, my Soul or my Inner Dragonfly, I do know that this message is meant for you as well as me.

We all have access to deep wisdom and healing if we’re willing to delve into the discomfort of not knowing. Of course, when our lives are broken open,  it’s human nature to look for a cure in the outside world, No matter what you’re going through, instead of looking for a way out of Empty Next Syndrome, I hope you’ll find the fullness within.

Honoring the space between What Was and What Will Be, allows us to find the gifts of What Is.

If you or someone you love is facing ENS, you are not alone.

***

What wonderfully affirming words. Let them steep in your heart, Beloved.

When my wailing “Nothing’s happening!” client get refocused, we always discover that plenty’s happening—in the Unseen—where all forms of true magic happen.