Thursday, August 14, 2008
Bit by bit I'm managing to read my way through Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and last night I came upon a very important chapter, "The Law of Least Effort". Let me clarify here that what I'm really after, what I really want in life more than anything else is joy. Plain and simple. So when I read the book, I tend to insert joy where he says success.
Anyway, this chapter talks quite a bit at first about nature (near and dear to my heart) and basically how nature doesn't have to TRY, it just IS.
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 it's own axis; it is the nature of the earth to spin with dizzying speed and 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 believe this to be true and can see how much frustration I create when I try to force things to be a certain way. It does nothing but tie me up in knots and impedes creative thought. Here is a very simple example. This morning when I took that picture on my walk, a particular song was repeating in my head. I don't even remember what it was, just that it wasn't a very good or favorite song and I really wanted to get stuck on another song. So I tried, but my brain kept going back to the original and I kept forcing it to try to play the one I like more. Every time, I reverted back until finally I remembered this law of least effort. Go with was is, right now, right here in the present. Now I can't even remember what song it was. It played itself out.
The only stumbling block I've come to with this law has to do with disciplining the kids. Yesterday we were at Jackie's store which is a place they feel very relaxed. She has great kids stuff in there for them to play with and sometimes her kids are there and mine with hers tend to get a little wild. (understatement) Well, it was just my kids this day but I gave them the 30 second speech in the car about what was acceptable behavior in a store and what was unacceptable. I spelled out what I would take away from each if they failed to remember the rules. And yet, Lauren ended up flying through the store howling on a broom, Allie was throwing wooden eggs and John was doing every big brother thing he could to be a wild banshee antagonizing his sisters.
So, applying this law of least effort, was I supposed to say to myself, "Gee, I see my kids are behaving like wild untamed hooligans. This is their intrinsic nature, I think I'll let them be." Or, was I right in taking away some of John's prized Lego boats and dessert after dinner from the girls? I wish he would address that one.