Going with the Flow

Much of our pain is caused by failing to heed the following rules of the road. Peace comes from recognizing what we can and should do, rather than what we “need” to have happen. It is not inaction as is pointed out, but taking the right action for the right reasons.

From Fractal Enlightenment

It goes by many names, “the law of least effort” and “going with the flow”, to name a couple, but the path of least resistance is a theme we hear about in many spiritual texts. At first glance, it may go against everything you have ever believed was true about following your dreams and achieving your goals. Is this concept actually implying that doing LESS work, putting in LESS effort will help us achieve things faster? Not exactly.

The path of least resistance does not suggest that you take NO action, but that you take PERFECT action. For example, the biggest thing we can observe applying the path of least resistance is nature. Everything in nature has a sole purpose, and 100% of the time, without fail, each thing in nature sticks to their purpose and therefore takes perfect action.

A tree grows towards the sun, takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen… always. A bee pollinates flowers, or makes honey…. always. You wouldn’t see a tree struggling to swim like a fish or a bear struggling to be like a cloud. Each thing knows its purpose and place in the grand scheme of things, so no effort is put forth into being something that doesn’t come naturally.

However, don’t worry if you don’t know what the “perfect” action is for your life. As Eckhart Tolle says, “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for your evolution of consciousness. How do you know that this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.” Which means that every action is perfect, nothing ever goes wrong per se.
the path of least resistance
We create problems for ourselves when we sit in resistance of a situation, we believe in our heads that things should go a certain way and when they don’t go that way we are frustrated. Or when a situation has repeatedly shown us that things are not working out, we may continually try to force what we believe to be the way things should go on people, places or things only to be disappointed over and over.

The greatest thing about the flow of our lives is that it is always trying to push us forward. We create dams and blockages for ourselves by our limited belief systems. So how do we know if we are following the flow or going against it? Here is path of least resistance checklist to help you out:

1. Am I listening to my thoughts about a situation or my body’s cues?

Your thoughts will lie to you. They will tell you eating a quart of ice cream is a good idea & then after you do it, they will tell you that you should be ashamed of yourself. Your body-mind cannot lie, it’s the tension you feel in your body when you are around certain people, the upset stomach you get when you are in a stressful situation, the tightness in your chest you get when someone or something makes you uneasy, etc… When you pay attention to your bodies cues instead of your thoughts you can decipher which situations make you FEEL good which will guide you only to things that are ultimately going to make you more fulfilled and happier.
path-of-least-resistance
2. Do I accept situations as they are or do I find myself wishing people/places/things would change to meet my expectations?

There are going to be things in life we cannot change. We can’t change who is in our family, we can’t change the past, we can’t change the way another person behaves. When we learn to see the difference between which things in our life we can change vs. which things in our life are unchangeable, we learn the power of acceptance. Also we empower ourselves to change things in our life that make us unhappy, and accept the situations that we can do nothing about. When we accept things we cannot change, we allow ourselves inner peace because we are not living in the how we think things “should be”, and instead are living in the how things are.

3. Am I motivated by fear or love

When love is behind our actions we will know it. We will feel good and happy and joyful when we are engaged in those activities. Fear is tricky, because many times it will disguise itself as love. For example, a person may stay in an unhealthy relationship too long under the guise of “but I love him/her.” Even though they know they are unhappy and the other person is as well, the fear of not wanting to be alone outshines the love they should be showing to themselves.

When we switch our motivation to love we naturally attract situations to us that make us feel good. Being in love with life will help us progress with the forward flow of life more quickly than staying in unhealthy situations a little too long.

4. Am I too attached to the “how” something will happen instead of the “what” I want to happen?

This is a huge one. Our ego/thoughts are always trying to make sense of everything, so when we choose a specific goal that we are trying to work towards our mind automatically starts coming up with a plan of how it is going to happen. And if a goal sounds too unreachable your mind may also tell you to forget about it, it’s not going to happen. These types of thoughts create roadblocks in our path, because if we don’t believe it is achievable, it won’t be. When we follow the path of least resistance here we open ourselves up to limitless possibilities, instead of closing ourselves in to exactly how we believe things should happen.
determination
5. Can I find purpose in my day to day existence?

It doesn’t matter if you are a garbage man or a stay at home mom… every job has a purpose. When the perspective of our job is how much we hate it we are in resistance all day long. No it does not mean to work at a job that is unfulfilling your entire life, what it means is that for the time being, while you have to work where you work, enjoy it.

Focus on all the ways what you do helps people, or makes them happier, or makes their life easier. When you see your job in these terms, the day flows faster, because we are happier and sitting in acceptance. Not only that, but when we are happy we attract to us more opportunities…which may eventually lead us to our dream job. When we go with the flow of our life instead of against it our life runs more smoothly, and progresses more quickly.

And the great thing is that it’s never too late to start following the path of least resistance. In fact, it’s probably the easiest thing you can do because you do what comes naturally instead of forcing things to go how you think they should. This path opens us up to the intelligence of the universe instead of the “intelligence” coming from our own ideas and thoughts, which means we become open to the limitless potential that exists in the universe… which can be an amazing thing as long as we allow it.

 

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Four Genuine Acts of Immanence

Taken from Fractal Enlightenment:

“Only as high as I reach can I grow. Only as far as I seek can I go. Only as deep as I look can I see. Only as much as I dream can I be” –Karen Ravn

Immanence is the presence of the divine within all things. Individually, immanence is presence, but a kind of inherent presence that subsumes time and space. Namaste is an immanent interjection meaning the divine within me recognizes and honors the divine within you. In seeking a more balanced spiritual life, we must proactively and authentically engage with each other and with the world. Practicing Namaste is practicing social immanence. In this article we will break down and analyze Karen Ravn’s quote to see how these four acts of immanence might help us grow more spiritually robust lives.

1. Only as high as you reach can you grow

“The greater danger with most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo

If you would be immanent, be a paradigm crusher. Flatten all boxes you’re forced to think inside of. Transform all rigid boundaries into transparent horizons. Dare to reach higher than you did before. Adventure lies on the other side of your comfort zone. Stretch it. Be elastic. Like Socrates said, “Let him who would move the world, first move himself.” The more you reach for the unknown, the broader your comfort zone becomes.

The broader your comfort zone becomes, the more of the world you encompass. The more of the world you encompass, the more your fears are transformed into courage. And courage is all you need. It’s better to shoot for a difficult target and miss, than to perpetually hit easy targets and stagnate, because even when you’re missing you’re still growing. And growth is the essence of the journey being the thing. Allow the journey to be the thing and adventure and immanence will surely be yours.

light at the end of the tunnel2. Only as far as you seek can you go

“One must be willing to stand alone – in the unknown, with no reference to authority or the past or any of one’s conditioning. One must stand where no one has stood before in complete nakedness, innocence, and humility.” –Adyashanti

Imagine you’re at a crossroads. There are two signs. The one pointing to the right reads: Comfort, security, certainty, and the end of knowledge (blue pill). And the one pointing to the left reads: Discomfort, insecurity, uncertainty, and the pursuit of knowledge (red pill). Which one do you choose?

This is the ultimate crux of the examined life: if pursued wisely, there is no end to the discomfort and uncertainty. The more you seek, the more cognitive dissonance is experienced, and the more previous knowledge becomes uncouth. The only certainty is perpetual uncertainty. But there is a joy in discovery that trumps the bliss of ignorance. Indeed, there’s a ecstasy in new knowledge that utterly eclipses the pleasures of comfort and security.

So if you would be immanent, I beseech you, choose the uncomfortable path of perpetual knowledge over the comfortable path of stagnant knowledge. It’s worth any amount of discomfort. And with enough practice, wrestling with your doubt, cognitive dissonance, and insecurity will become an art form and a state of peaceful immanence will be yours.

3. Only as deep as you look can you see

“A little bit of agitation gives resource to souls and what makes the species prosper isn’t peace, but freedom.” – Machiavelli

Undeceive yourself. Break the illusion. Recondition the precondition. Don’t settle for the spoon feeding of advertisements and corporate controlled media. Question them instead. Demand to be slapped with the truth rather than kissed with lies. Look deeper than you dared before.

The deeper you look the more you will see. The more you see, the more you’ll see how everything is connected, and the more you’ll care. Sure, there are scary things in the Desert of the Real, but so what. There’s truth there. There is freedom there. And there can be no immanence without freedom and truth.

art,photography,scull,butterflyeyeliveanddie,butterfly,eye-97b96ad785319a638db77c3cf03f419a_h But there is also no evolution without the questioning of what’s deemed true. Stir up all comfortable roosts, especially your own. Ruffle all serious feathers. Reform all stagnant forms. Disturb the peace, especially when it masks war. Shakeup the status quo with your courage to question it. Keep looking, deeper and deeper. Be Alice, “curiouser and curiouser” in Wonderland. Be Neo, transcending the Matrix. Be Dante, eclipsing hell. Do as Walt Whitman suggested: “Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults your soul.”

4. Only as much as you dream can you be

“I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat. I have read, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God.” –David Whyte

6fdd75e2b4e0Dare to dream beyond yourself. Even if the dream seems unreachable, dream it anyway. It is through the striving of your dreams that immanence becomes unique to your soul signature. Striving for your dreams is allowing the journey to be the thing. Indeed, the journey is the thing not just because it sharpens our souls and strengthens our hearts, but also because we are not perfect creatures.

We will fail. You will fail, over and over again. And that’s okay. That’s part of your journey. You must dream anyway. You must strive for your goals despite any and all setbacks, even if, and maybe even especially if, others are telling you to do otherwise. You don’t achieve authenticity by acting out the conditioned reflexes of your culture; you achieve it by undergoing a process of self-discovery that requires a psychosocial death, a letting go of the comfortable and the familiar.

You reach it by passionately delving into the Abyss; replete with its orgies of pain, its orneriness of angst, and the certain defeat of your expectations. Only then can you gain the capacity to rebirth yourself and rise up like a Phoenix from the ashes. And it’s in the rising up, again and again, where the essence of immanence reveals itself.