Stop trying so hard

Yesterday was another day where I just felt like life wasn’t what I wanted to be. All the guru’s promise an easy life full of abundance once you follow your true path. So where’s the peace of mind? Where’s the money? When will it all become easy?

By the time the kids went to bed I felt exhausted end emotional, and decided to go to bed for a while, trying to rest a bit before making an effort to work on my blog.

The questions of why life wasn’t as easy as I was hoping for and wondering where the abundance was kept returning into my half-conscious mind. In this meditative state I sometimes have conversations with someone or something. Maybe it’s my unconscious mind, maybe it’s a guide or angel, but this voice can give me answers I can’t come up with when I’m stuck inside my head.

I was in a storm. A storm that blew everything around me away, people included. Afraid of being blown away as well, I pressed myself against a wall, trying to get a grip with my fingers. I desperately tried to hang on.

Suddenly there was a friendly voice who said: “You can relax. When you don’t worry about being blown away and loosen the tight grip of your hands, you will see there is actually no storm. Even though the people around you might experience a storm and even being blown away, you will see that when you stop trying so hard to hold on, nothing bad will happen. It will actually turn out much better, because you can let go of the worry and let go of the pain in your hands. Life is much easier when you stop trying so hard.”

A tube of toothpaste

At times when it seems everything in your life is changing, it’s easy to get disappointed or impatient with the results you’re experiencing at the moment.

Let’s make a comparison with a tube of toothpaste. When you are toothpaste and you are in a tube, everything is fine as it is. There is balance; you know what your life looks like. You might have a sense of ‘Is this all there is?’ and maybe you suspect there is more space, a larger universe out there where you feel connected to. But because of the walls of the tube, you can’t contact it.

At some point you decide it’s time for changes. It’s time to move. You know you want more. More space, more challenges, more abundance, even though you don’t know what this ‘more’ will exactly look like. Maybe you don’t even know in which direction to move. But you have the intention to move. Suddenly your whole world starts to move, and you start to move with it. You are pushed and pulled into a narrow space. “Oh no, this is not at all what I wished for!” you might think. You start to create resistance and try to stay where you were, in the old world that you know. Maybe it wasn’t all you wanted, but at least you knew it. But there’s no stopping the movement you once wished for. For a while it’s not comfortable at all. You have to go through the narrow hole to get out of the tube. When you resist, and try very hard to stay where you are, you will lengthen this time of feeling stuck and disappointed for a long time. Maybe forever. You will end up as a dried piece of toothpaste that sticks inside the tube.

What if you would surrender to the flow? You will feel uncomfortable for a while too. But this time will be short and as soon as it is over, you will experience a whole new world. It’s like being born. Once the birth process has started, there’s no stopping. When the baby resists it can take a while and be very painful for both the mother and the child. But if both surrender to the flow, it will still be painful, but it will be a beautiful, smooth process.

Follow the flow

You can do two things in your life: try very hard to change what is there, or go with the flow. Giving your best to be an amazing person is a great thing to do. But once you go into the state where you try very hard to create something that just isn’t there, you are revisiting what is. And resisting only costs energy and won’t change a thing.

When your bike has a flat tire you can try very hard to resist reality. ”What if I hadn’t taken this way but another route, the tire might not have been flat.” But ‘what-iffing’ yourself downwards doesn’t change a thing. It costs energy, makes you emotional and your tire is still flat.

I practice not trying so hard every day. Especially in my own house. I clean the whole house once a week. Almost every time within an hour after finishing the cleaning, things will happen that undo the visible results of my effort. My kids love to play outside in the sand, collect acorns, chestnuts, branches and shells. They bring them inside, empty their shoes next to the doormat while spilling over another glass of lemonade. I’ve tried to resist these actions by asking them to be careful, taking off their shoes on the doormat, etc. I think most parents will recognize it when I say this didn’t make a large impact on the mess in the house. I’ve tried very hard to keep the house as clean as I thought it should be. A method that cost a lot of time and energy, with the same (lack of) result ánd a tired and emotional me.

So the easiest way for everyone was that I stopped trying so hard to keep the house clean. Yes, our house is messy, and sometimes I get tired and emotional from seeing that. But more and more often I can just let it go and accept that a messy house is a sign that people live here and enjoy their life J

Now I try to transfer this experience to other parts of my life. I trust that I’m following my heart in the right direction. I trust my intuition to guide me. I trust that when I give my best without trying too hard, abundance and peace of mind will come my way. I trust that when I’m in the mood for intimacy I can show that without a fear of being rejected. I also trust that I can let the other person know when I’m not in the mood for intimacy, without trying very hard to change my mood (and have intimacy in a way where my mind is not present and I don’t enjoy the time very much – which is different from the times where my mood is easily changed and I love the experience ;))

Join me in an experiment and see how stop trying so hard can change your life. Each time a situation in your life isn’t like you want it to be, try to be thankful for this learning opportunity. Don’t resist by wishing life was different, but rather experience it fully, completely, deeply. Change is an ongoing process and your life might look different very quickly once you let the current take you and bring you somewhere so beautiful and abundant you didn’t even dare to ask for that much.

I stop trying so hard and I’ll trust the process, giving life my best effort to enjoy every single moment.

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