I grew up with very hard-working grandparents and parents that taught my brother and I the meaning of “elbow grease”. I remember my grandmother saying “It doesn’t matter what you have, but how you care for what you have.” My grandparents humble home looked so rich to me as a kid - because it was always pristine, orderly, and cared for.
Since 12 years old, I’ve been working in an industry that is known to be one of the meanest and most dishonest businesses out there - with a degree of rejection that would make most people cripple with insecurity. Truly, I’ve had thousands of no’s against my 3 or 4 golden yes’s. I’ve always believed that if you’re going to succeed you have to care for what you have, work hard to gain more, and never give up. I still believe this to be true, but as I get older, I am beginning to tamper it with a deeper spiritual principle: the law of least effort.
If this sounds familiar, you may have read about this as one of the "Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" by Deepak Chopra. And such an amazing principle. It evaluates what beliefs we actually hold about life and suggests that "nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease and abandoned carefreeness." When we learn this lesson from nature, we get on the right track to fulfilling our desires.
Nature is a brilliant teacher, and Life is so intelligent. There are infinite examples of how nature meets seeming obstacles with an evolutionary intelligence that evolves and adapts to the circumstances. So, what gets in the way of this evolutionary Intelligence demonstrating in our daily life? For me, it’s that lingering belief that things can’t be accomplished unless I am being the obsessive control freak that wants to effort on everything and never trust a graceful easy flow! ”Efforting” makes me feel accomplished, busy, and “virtuous”. If I’m “efforting”, I am assured that I’m not “waisting time”. Oh, but how much time is waisted in busy work that gives me the illusion of accomplishment when I could have greater progress if I were aligned with natures graceful easy unfolding?
We are creative beings. Our thoughts become tangible things. And the mental dialogue that runs our Monday through Friday can be maddening, and actually be less productive. These days, I’m learning to consider my actions from an intuitive nudging rather than a compulsive mental dialogue. And I actually get more done in less time.
I love this. Chopra says, "If you observe nature at work, you will see that least effort is expended. Grass doesn’t try to grow, it just grows. Fish don’t try to swim, they just swim. Flowers don’t try to bloom, they bloom. Birds don’t try to fly, they fly. This is their intrinsic nature. The earth doesn’t try to spin on its own axis; it is the nature of the earth to spin with dizzying speed and to hurtle through space. It is the nature of babies to be in bliss. It is the nature of the sun to shine. It is the nature of the stars to glitter and sparkle. And it is human nature to make our dreams manifest into physical form, easily, and effortlessly."
I can’t say it any better than that. So, join me this season in working smarter - not harder. Let our endeavors be motivated and inspired from a graceful easy intelligence rather than the compulsive mental crazy that often keeps us running in circles with little to show. A more peaceful road to even greater success.
My friend Jimmy likes to wake up in the morning, throw on some sweatpants and take his dogs on a morning walk. He usually takes the quieter streets, soaking in the morning sun and connecting to the life that surrounds him. My old gal pal Jessica has the same approach, but she hikes the beautiful trails in the suburbs of Seattle, allowing herself to get completely enraptured by the wonder of nature. An old boyfriend of mine used to wake up and center himself with Buddhist chanting near his bedroom alter. My girlfriend Tonya gets on our knees by her bed, drawing wisdom from a passage in the Bible, and claims her joy, abundance, and wisdom in Jesus name. I meditate in the morning. Sometimes at night if my spirit feels extra hungry. I like to use my walk time to the gym to listen to a sermon, audiobook, or something that helps me get my spiritual food.
Many of us avoid any consideration of a daily spiritual practice because religion has left some deep scars. We know now that religion has it all wrong in that our tangible quality of life has nothing to do with a creed, a profession of intellectual beliefs, or some building we go to one morning a week. We know now that our quality of living is proportional to our daily participation in our own spiritual wellness. And that can look any way you want it to look as long as we are doing something that connects us to Spirit.
I could go to the gym, sit there by the smoothie bar and talk to a buddy, but that won’t give me the body I want. I can speak often about my passion for fitness. I could even try to convince my friends that they should believe in fitness too. But the experience of fitness isn’t mine until I take personal action to get fit. I got to keep flexing that spiritual muscle every day.
Today’s blog is merely to remind myself of the importance of taking daily actions to stay spiritually fit. I also want to encourage you to discover your own unique way of connecting with a power that is part of you that is within you, yet greater than you. Have fun with it. Let it replenish and nurture your soul. Let it become a part of your lifestyle.
When I started meditating in May of 2009, it was a simple 10 minute commitment in the morning. And that little bit of time had the most profound expansive results. It doesn’t take much.
I promise you, your quality of life will definitely expand beyond your expectations if you just decide that every day you will turn within. ##
(Follow Levi’s blog at www.levikreis.tumblr.com)
It seems to be within our nature to tether ourselves to that which we hope will never change. I know the paralyzing fear of losing a job and suddenly having no reliable source of income - sitting in the middle of absolute uncertainty. I know what it’s like to watch family dynamic change. It’s a painful experience right now to watch the matriarch of my family slip away from Alzheimer’s. Relationships change as well. On and on , we are reminded how much we hate that word - change.
Listen, you can not allow the conditions of this world to be the barometer for your faith. Sometimes our intellect is our greatest hinderance because all it wants to do is weigh pros and cons, access conditions, make the more logical decision, and fear begins to flood over you, doesn’t it?
I am certain that we could continue to assert our absolute control, manage our surrounding conditions, and I’m sure we would manage fine. But what if you could move through these transitions with a deep abiding sense of freedom? Is it possible to consider that maybe we could let go of ever attachment we have to how we think things should be and trust that there is a greater, Infinite Intelligence whose nature is to orchestrate all Life in order and harmony? Is is possible to consider that there is an Infinite Wisdom and Infinite Understanding waiting for you to surrender so that It may move through you and carry you through this with greater ease?
We are wired for this my friend. Freedom is who we are. Peace is who we are. Harmony is Life’s most natural state. And while change can be scary, in the midst of it all, our DNA remains the same - our Divine Natural Authority. This Intelligence is not something somewhere above you that you can petition to and hope to get a response - it is right there within you because it is who you are!
Today, join me in discovering what it means to be an untethered soul. Let go of every transition of life that you think needs your management. If it’s just for a moment today, let go. Let go and trust that something greater than you is the truth of your being. It takes two second to speak the words “I Surrender All”.
There is a part of you that is part of the One Life. It knows how to move you through these transitions with a deep abiding sense of freedom and a peace that passes all of your understanding. ##
Some days you don’t feel like having a Monday morning. Some days you don’t feel like giving of yourself, handling the morning work load, being articulate and present with those around you. LOL. In all candidness, that’s so me today. But in these moments, I’m reminded that I don’t have to be in the mood to have a great day for my greatness to come forth in this day - right where I am.
At each moment, I get to simply remind myself of my DNA, my Divine Natural Authority! I can simply say, “Levi, regardless of what you feel, you are not separate from Source: I am never separate from the wholeness of God.” In this gentle, silent reassurance I raise the level of the mundane to a level of the Divine. I secure the fact that a Divine, Loving Intelligence is illuminating every cell of my body, and is so close to me that I could never be apart from it, no matter how cantankerous I feel!
Today, I take it moment by moment. Today, I acknowledge that silence is my friend, and I can make my silence a sacred prayer. I can give a little smile and know that I am choosing to allow something greater than myself to take over and carry me from one simple action to the next. It’s nothing I have to reach for, and is always there even when I don’t feel it. It’s in my DNA. It’s in your’s too. ;-)
I remember working in New York City in 2004 with a brilliant (and very handsome) woodsmith. Such a great designer. In his shop one day, I heard him explain to me the importance of cutting wood in the direction of the grain. Going “against the grain” may produce less satisfactory results, inviting possible chipping and tear-out. Now, I am no woodsmith, and I’m sure I can’t explain the technicalities of this in a way that does his knowledge justice, but I do see the logic. And this morning, I think it’s a great metaphor for the action of life.
How much of life do we engage in effort and strain? How much of life do we press against conditions to “make” things happen? How often are we at odds with our current conditions? I admit that most of my life, I’ve thought it virtuous to believe that “life is tough and see how impressive my determination is.” So silly when you think about it.
Natures way is graceful. It is a law of growth that continuously expands Itself under the law of least effort. When we align ourselves with the constructive play of the universe, life flows more easily. But when we “try” to make something happen, then it can be a very difficult experience.
I heard Rev. James Mellon say once, “What you think 51% of the time, there goes your life.” If my mind is spending most of it’s creative energy focused on “life is hard”, the universe says “your wish is my command”. If my mind spends it’s creative energy contemplating the Intelligence that supports and expands all of life, I am inviting and allowing an entirely different experience to happen for me today.
Cutting through your current conditions “with the grain” begins with the simple and consistent acknowledgement of a life principle that supports you! Do you hear that? You are supported! Divine Intelligence is so much greater than any condition (effect). It is the Originating Cause that is always expanding and supporting you in overflow! From this consciousness, we then move about our day inviting and allowing Intelligence to move through us, moving us into divine right action and through our current conditions with greater ease.
You are a completely equipped microcosm of the macrocosm - a perfect expression of Life. Allow Life to flow through you and work for you, and today won’t feel so much like it’s happening “by” you.