What does 'non-efforting' really mean?
There is an unwritten 'law' of non-efforting that is prevalent in countless spiritual texts with regards to walking the spiritual path. It is something we frequently refer to here at Openhand. It is of course about following the natural flow of the universe in every moment and not resisting it. However, it seems that frequently, this unwritten law is used as an excuse for not taking a certain step that's clearly presenting itself, or indeed not doing anything much at all! In our view, this is a serious mis-understanding of what true 'non-efforting' really means and is potentially very limiting...
To do or not to do
Personally I have quite a strong Ray 1 influence in my life. In other words, I have a strong driving yearning to create and 'do' things. It's what you might call the warrior energy. Earlier in my life, when ego was ruling the show, I 'owned' my Ray 1 which made me very goal orientated. I was fixated with achieving outcomes. This made me quite unsatisfied and not at all content with my 'lot' in life.
Fortunately, when I woke up, the ego masking my Ray 1 began to quickly fall away, allowing space for my Ray 2 - the divine feminine consciousness of surrender - to come through (you can read more about the subject here...Seven Rays of Divine Impulse). Now I find I can surrender much more to the natural energy of the moment and accept things as they really are.
But what does acceptance truly mean? And is there still a place for the drive, commitment and passion of the Ray 1?
I'm reminded of the time when Trinity and Myself moved into our current house in Glastonbury. The house was pretty run down. We were blessed with a huge back garden, but unfortunately filled mostly with concrete, old iron railings and the odd shopping trolley thrown in for good measure.
As you can imagine, it was a huge job to bring it back to a more natural state of being. It involved a daily, seemingly herculean, commitment from us all. Now I'm not at all what you would consider a 'handy-man'. The last thing in the world that crumbles my cookie is digging, clearing rubble, repairing, painting, carpentry etc etc. It seems I'm just not made for that kind of work - it's always been a challenge.
Odd then, ironic even, that I was presented on a daily basis with EXACTLY that kind of work. I quickly noticed a pattern forming. Nothing seemed to want to work. There always seemed to be resistance to the tasks that presented themselves. Nothing turned out the way I envisaged it.
At one point, when I'd literally had enough of the universe's shennanigans, I stopped, went down on bended knee and humbly asked... "Am I heading off on some kind of tangent here? Am I going in the wrong direction in life? Why won't anything work? Please show me, show me what this is really all about."
Practically immediately, I was given this message...
- "Sometimes to be in the flow, is for nothing to be flowing at all"
WOW!!! It was a bolt from the blue. I quickly rationalised what "being in the flow" really means. What exactly is "the flow"? What is it's purpose? To me it has just one purpose:
- By the Law of Attraction, the flow reveals distortions within us,
so that we may confront and dissolve them
in order to fully liberate and express our soul.
Which means that to be in the flow, is to take us into all those places we might get 'stuck' or where we tighten or close down around what we're being and doing. So I realised, that in actual fact, even though nothing wanted to work, I WAS in the flow. I was in exactly the right flow to help me dissolve the constricting tightness within my being around performing such challenging menial tasks.
And in order to fulfill that immediate chapter in my journey, I had to give it loads of energy, in fact barrow loads of Ray 1 commitment and Ray 2 surrender in order to get the job done. And the result? Well not only do we have a beautiful oasis of a garden, but the five years of commitment helped me through a very important milestone - a Gateway - in my own journey.
Now that I've achieved what my soul was engaging me with, others have also appeared to help carry the load, both in terms of the micro-community where we live and also through the Openhand work in general. But I'm acutely aware, NONE of this help would have materialised had I not first learned and processed what I was meant to.
The key to effortless creation
Many times it would have been easy to give up - why 'effort' in this way? But this is not the true meaning of the term 'efforting'. Efforting simply means being attached to the outcome. It doesn't mean not to give energy, commitment, focus and passion. These are all authentic characteristics of the soul and especially employed in the authentic creation.
So how do we know then if we are meant to do a certain task if it appears to have huge resistance to it? The key is always to watch our inner state of beingness. If there is some resistance to what is being presented to us, or even denial of it, then this is a sure sign we are in fact heading in the RIGHT direction. And when this direction constantly activates internal frictions, then we can be sure we're revealing a pattern. This synchronicity is a sure sign we're on the path of Right Action.
In these cases, a key to integrating the lesson and transcending the pattern is as follows...
- To watch for the synchronistic pattern continually activating similar aspects of inner tightness; then to work with the energy, not deny it, but to apply oneself with commitment, diligence and resolve. At the same time, to keep surrendering, opening and expanding internally so as to overcome the restriction of our beingness.
Picking the real fruit in life
So as you journey through life, the invitation is to truly look at the deeper meaning through the daily events, trials and tribulations. Is there a perceivable pattern of what is being presented? What are you being invited to do? How can you benefit from the situation and apply yourself to expanding and evolving into a higher state of grace?
- Remember, nothing that was ever truly worth having, ever came easy.
As my good friend and colleague Lesley says, "if you want to truly pick the fruit in life, you've got to be prepared to go out on a limb". Sometimes there's just no easy way!