Do less. Appreciate More.

In a world where we are constantly told that pushing harder, achieving more and beating the competition is the way to success it seems counter intuitive to consider doing less. But how much energy do we waste pushing ourselves in one direction only to find that we end up coming out of balance, and backlashing in the other direction just too try and bring back some semblance of equaminity?

Example 1: You work long hours all week, constantly thinking ‘I wish I weren’t stuck at this desk, I wish I were out enjoying myself’ – the push in one direction. Come Friday night you are so happy to be finally out enjoying yourself you drink a red wine or two more than you probably should and wake up Saturday morning tired and headachey. Pushing and backlashing.

Example 2: You’re really getting into your workouts and are starting to find your stength and flexibility improve. You think if some is good more must be better and start loading up on the stronger weighs, longer sessions and more intense challenges. Your body starts sending you warning signs, something doesn’t feel quite right but you ignore it. Before you know it you have injured yourself and can’t do any workouts at all for at least a month. Pushing and backlashing.

The problem with these natural attempts to bring balance back to our lives is that both the push and backlash are causing unnecessary suffering to ourselves. If we simply aim for equanimity from the start we can eliminate the see-saw effect and find peace throughout. In the first example we could try finding more pleasure in the time at work, appreciating the people or environment there, taking time to enjoy the moment instead of hanging out for the end of the week. In the second example we could cultivate attention to the body, listening to its warning signs and appreciating the strength and power of even simple movement.

One of the great fears of considering doing less is that we think we will stop achieving our goals – but if you can just trust for a moment you will soon see the results. True equanimity actually helps us realise our goals much faster than the cycle of striving and sabatage ever did.

About karen2202

I am writing my PhD on children's yoga and it's place within mainstream education. I am also a yoga teacher in Sydney, Australia.

Posted on October 8, 2011, in Meditation and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Do less. Appreciate More..

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