September 26, 2016

Daily Wisdom: The secret of acting with appropriate effort

Michael Phelps wins in the men's swimming 200m individual medleyFrom Sally Kempton’s Awakened Heart:

Someone asked me to write something about appropriate effort–effort that doesn’t involve struggle. Here are a few thoughts, and I’d love to hear what others have to say.

Appropriate effort starts with clarity of intention. The intention will create directionality to what you do. Once you’ve made the intention, notice the objections and doubts that come up, and ask yourself, “Can I let them go?”

Notice the resistance. Notice the stress. Notice the expectations, hopes, fears. Keep asking, “Can I let this go?”

Ask for help from the invisible world. Learn to sense the slight shift in the field when your request is received.

Then do what you have to do, with full presence. Presence is the secret. When you’re making effort with full presence, your effort has a feeling of inevitability and power.

For me, the secret of acting with appropriate effort is to ask myself, “If this were the last act of my life, how would I want to do it?” That question always brings me into full presence, without fear for the outcome. It lets me bring my whole self into what I’m doing–and savor the process.

Be Sociable, Share!
About Joe Perez

Joe Perez is a spiritual mentor, author, poet, and scholar. He is best known for his 2007 book Soulfully Gay. one of the first memoirs in the tradition of World Spirituality based on Integral principles. He serves as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Integral Wisdom. His work in progress includes Gay Spirituality and Kalen O'Tolán.

Speak Your Mind