A Window is Where the Wall is Absent

The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stop trying

I was sitting in some long meetings today and these words arose in awareness: Stop trying. Below the radar of conscious awareness there was a lot of chronic trying going on. Trying to look good. Trying not to mess up. Trying to stay safe and comfortable. Trying to do a good job.

But does the trying produce a
 job well done? Perhaps sometimes, but more often the trying seems to impede the flow of energy.

Effortlessness is the valve through which good pours forth into this world.

The words repeated softly a few times throughout the day: Stop trying. Stop trying. This is another way of saying: allow what is to be. There was an upwelling of energy and quietness as the habitual contractions of pointless efforting eased.

I shared these thoughts on Facebook and my friend Vicki Woodyard made this comment:

"One day I will have a needlepoint pillow to remind myself: 'The answer is not Try Harder.'"

Amen to that!  The less driven I feel, the more genuinely productive I am.  We need a new work ethic where work is experienced as play....



Vicki Woodyard said...

There is a quote from an old Zen book I have:

"When working, let the body dance."

Colleen Loehr said...

Ah, cool quote...I love it. Thanks Vicki.

No One In Particular said...

This reminds me of twelve-step program stuff. The more you "let go" and stop trying to control things, the "better" things tend to turn out; life is then unfenced, and unlimited by the inadequate imagination.

Perversely, the less the story of life is regarded with consequence, the "better" the story tends to go.

Love those paradoxes.

Doreen said...


MeANderi said...

i love it when "Spirit" breaks through and tells us just exactly what we need to hear... :)

Colleen Loehr said...

"Life is unfenced..." Love that Suzanne. It is paradoxical that efforts to control create chaos, while relinquishing attempts at manipulation reveals harmony. Thank you Suzanne, I hadn't made the 12 step connection until I read your comments. Makes sense, we are all addicts...to notions of separation.

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Doreen, Thanks also for recently letting me know about the excellent website Made By Survivors. com. I would highly recommend this website to everyone.

Colleen Loehr said...

Yes, there is a deeper intelligence than the mind, as you allude to Christine. This continues to amaze me, and there is a sense of growing trust of this greater intelligence. Thank you Christine.

Leslie said...

NOIP :),
Such sweet Wisdom on this lovely Blog. Ever grateful for this heart sharing.

nothingprofound said...

Colleen-I love your posts. They always hit home with me. I guess that's what I meant when I wrote: "If it's work you're trying too hard." Now, inspired by this post, I just came up with a new one:

"Not trying makes everything easy."

Colleen Loehr said...

Cool n.p.! I love "Not trying makes everything easy." I always light up when I see you've left a comment, thank you so much for visiting.

Diane AZ said...

Dear Colleen, I love this post! "Stop trying...Effortlessness is the valve through which good pours forth into this world...allow what is to be...work experienced as play..." All of these words resonate here which is pretty amusing since they are opposite of what society usually teaches.

Eckhart Tolle immediately comes to mind, "Ask yourself: Is there joy, ease, and lightness in what I am doing?...See if you can give much more attention to the doing than to the result that you want to achieve through it...When the compulsive striving away from the Now ceases, the joy of Being flows into everything you do." ~from The Power of Now.

P.S. Thank you for vising my "Simply This" blog and sharing it on Facebook, a nice surprise. :D

Dan said...

It can difficult juggling everyday life with spirituality. Most humans are trapped inside their ego's, thus doomed to suffering, chaos and complexity. And then there is the Unknown, that which has no form, and can not be described. The place where all paradoxes are reconciled.

Know Thyself First

Tim Goulding said...

Thanks, as ever, Colleen.
Synchronicity at work. Just read this quote from Francis Lucille:

" The mind is like a bee, if you try to take the bee to the flower,
- Good luck.
But if you leave the bee alone it will find the flower itself. "
- Francis Lucille

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Diane,
It is interesting how often the opposite of the standard quo turns out to be much truer than the standard quo. I loved reading your comments.
I was happy to share a link to your blog on my Facebook wall. I did this easily using the "share" tab at the top of your blog. Since I have learning how easy it is to share blog posts on FB, I am now also posting my blog posts on my FB wall.
Thanks also for the great Eckhart quotes Diane- they are music to my heart.

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Dan,

Great comments- I enjoyed reading them so much. Thanks so much for visiting. I tried to see if you have a blog but couldn't tell. If you do have a blog of Facebook page, I'd be happy to know about it in order to visit you there.

Thanks again,

Colleen Loehr said...

Wow- awesome quote from Francis Lucille Tim. That makes the point so clearly. Nature is a great teacher. Force in terms of external manipulation is really a kind of weakness masquerading as strength.
Whereas tapping into that inner force is true power, and ironically, it is accessed not through effort, but through the trust and openness that are effortlessness.
It's always a joy to see you Tim. I miss seeing your blog and other blogs lately due to busyness, but looking forward to visiting soon.

Anonymous said...

I really liked the way you worded this one. I think it really depends though. It seems to me when I try the most is when life seems to be best overall. And when I, I don't know, give up trying, it all falls apart.

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Mary,
You make a good point and I agree. There is a kind of trying- exerting effort- that is exhilarating- and feels like we are riding God's wind, and the energy of the universe is moving through us as a joyful effort of working on something. I feel that way sometimes when I'm writing blog posts- I feel focused and that a deep effort is being exerted to express experience with honesty and clarity.

So "trying" can also be great. And there is a kind of "not trying" that comes from being discouraged or fed up, and you point to this.

I appreciate the wisdom and balance in your observations Mary. Now I'm thinking of making a second post called "Give it all you got- the joy of full effort". It's interesting how seemingly opposite statements often both carry a lot of truth...

Thank you Mary- you always open my mind. There is no greater gift.


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