I have a cleansing ritual I look forward to anytime I go away somewhere with warm ocean water. I reflect upon what’s weighing me down, holding me back, or getting the best of me. Then I walk into the ocean and visualize that energy releasing from my system as the water surrounds me. As each wave approaches, another weight releases. Once the negative feelings have cleared, I look up to the sky and set new intentions. As I walk out of the water, a fresh start awaits.
This is usually a relaxing and empowering experience. Until the other day, that is. In Kauai, I went to a beach off the beaten path that had a hand painted, wooden sign hammered to a tree, “Tourists beware. No lifeguard on duty.” No big deal. I’ve been swimming my whole life. As I passed the sign and looked at the water, I felt like I was in heaven. The ocean and its huge waves were endless shades of blue, full of life and movement. The size of the waves seemed to match the size of my issues that needed releasing.
There were a few tourists taking pictures of the waves, and a few other brave souls who dared to go in. They seemed to be getting knocked down pretty quickly but eventually managed to make it past the break and into the calmer, rolling waves. I was nervously excited, partially thinking I was crazy, but fully knowing I HAD TO GO IN. If I didn’t, I’d miss my opportunity to release some of weights. I patiently waited for the right opportunity and glided into the water with no problem.
I went through my normal process, soaking up every moment of it and feeling better as each wave approached. Some I dove into, some I floated on top of, but either way I could feel the strength of the water around me. It was exactly what I needed. Fifteen minutes later I felt released, recharged, and ready to get out. But I couldn’t.
I’d swim for a few strokes only to be pulled right back to where I was a few seconds before. At first it amused me. But quickly I started to panic. No one knew I was trying to get out. No one could see I was making no progress. In my panic, I started resisting the waves.
Mentally I became completely frazzled and imaged the worst – the ocean swallowing me whole without any warning. The more I unsuccessfully tried to out-swim each wave, the more defeated and overwhelmed I felt. I could feel my heart racing and my arms tiring from the struggle. My resistance to the waves was getting me nowhere fast. AND it was ruining my cleansing experience! The break exiting the ocean was supposed to be the hard part, not the big rolling waves!
What should I do repeated in my head. (Sparing you the expletives.) Then Deepak’s smooth buttery voice popped into my head (because I’ve listened to his book, Seven Laws of Spiritual Success, maybe about 100 times in my car and read it another 30 times), “you don’t want to stand rigid like a tall oak that cracks and collapses in the storm. Instead you want to be flexible, like a reed that bends with the storm and survives.”
Exactly! This is exactly what I would be telling a client who was resisting or struggling with a situation in life. These waves can be my struggle or my savior. The thought (and Deepak’s Buddha-like voice in my mind) broke my anxiety. I realized that if I trusted the waves to carry me in, and went along with them instead of struggling against them, eventually the right one would come along and guide me to shore. Within seconds of releasing the struggle, that’s exactly what happened. Without exerting any physical movement, a big wave carried me right in.
This is what Deepak calls the Law of Least Effort. It’s also known as the law of doing less and accomplishing more. He goes on to say that when we struggle against a moment, we are actually struggling against the whole universe. When we make the choice to not struggle against the whole universe by not struggling against the moment, we allow nature’s intelligence to operate on our behalf. When we release control over a situation, we invite miralces.
Walking out of the ocean, in addition to experiencing my cleansing ritual, the universe gave me an important reminder of this powerful law. When I tried to control the wave I got nowhere. When I surrendered, the miracle happened. When I try to control situations in my life, I block miracles. When I surrender to the law of least effort, I invite miracles into my life
Where are you forcing, controlling, struggling or resisting? Where might you be able to apply the law of least effort? Release control? Invite more by doing less? It’s as simple as acknowledging and choosing differently.