Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Healthy Activities, Thought | Posted on 07-07-2015
[Jill’s Note: If you prefer to listen rather than read, please scroll to the bottom of this post for the audio version.]
Last week I had been listening to Michael Neill’s Effortless Success program (mostly because I love listening to Michael’s voice!) when I took a little kayak break in our local reservoir. As I was paddling about in the water, I realized how effortlessly I was able to get from point A to B. Now I’m not talking about physical effort. I certainly had to keep paddling in order to move forward, but it didn’t take any thinking. I simply looked where I wanted to go, paddled away and arrived. This was true whether I was heading for somewhere straight ahead or a more out of the way destination. My arms just knew the right amount of give and take that I would need to get there.
Life’s The Same Way
It occurred to me that this was very much the same as trying to accomplish any goal in life. Once we know what we want to accomplish, as long as we have a clear mind, it just seems to happen effortlessly. And again, we may still have to put forth some physical and/or mental effort, but it just doesn’t feel like effort when our mind is clear. In other words, there are no voices in our head giving us all the reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t do whatever it is we plan to do. We just do it, and it’s easy.
More to the Story
I thought that analogy was pretty cool and had planned to write about just that. But an interesting thing happened the next time I took my kayak out for a spin (literally it turns out). There’s a little rudder that came with my kayak which I slip into place on the bottom right before I put it into the water. It’s not the kind of rudder that steers, it’s just for stabilization. On this day, however, I couldn’t seem to find it inside the kayak itself where I thought I had stored it for the walk to the water. I figured it either fell out somewhere along the path, or I left it at home. Not wanting to go back to look for it, I decided to go without it.
This time on the water I was floundering–a lot. I couldn’t just paddle left-right, left-right, left-right and get to where I wanted to go. For some reason I had to do maybe 3 lefts, then a right. Then one left and 2 rights. And even then, I’d slip sideways or get completely turned around! After having such an easy experience the previous time, I was finding it to be extremely frustrating.
Then it Hit Me!
Paddling without the rudder in place was exactly like trying to reach a goal or do anything in life when we don’t have clarity of mind. While a rudder stabilizes the kayak, a clear mind stabilizes our lives. We may eventually reach our goals when we’re caught up in thought, but it’s a heck of a lot harder. It takes much more effort because of all the floundering and getting ourselves turned around along the way.
I described it in this video when the analogy hit me:
It’s Been Inside All Along!
The most amazing part of the story happened when I got home. I remembered to look around for the rudder as I was walking back, but didn’t see it. So I looked in my yard where I keep the kayak, but still couldn’t find it. I was starting to get annoyed wondering where it could be when I saw a little point inside the kayak sticking out between the side wall and the floor (it’s a blowup kayak). That was it! The rudder was inside the whole time, I just couldn’t see it!
Which is the exact same thing as having a clear mind! Clarity is ALWAYS inside of us. We may not see it when we get caught up in our thinking, but it’s most definitely there underneath all the personal thought. As soon as our thinking settles (and we make it home) we find our clarity of mind just where we left it!
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