What if letting go of one thing from your life would bring you totally into balance? And what if you would accomplish way more in this magical balance than “doing the million things” you are doing now?
Are You In Excess or Deficiency?
In Chinese medicine, it is understood that we thrive as humans when we are in balance. This is when we hear clearly. We have the energy to do whatever we desire. We know what makes us happy and it’s easy to stay on path.
One of the diagnostic tools used is looking at whether a person is in a state of excess or in a state of deficiency.
For most driven, goal-oriented people, a state of excess is the norm. We do a lot, consume a lot, and process a lot every day. Then, in order to accomplish all of the goals we want to achieve, we just add more and more to our plate, taking us even further off-balance.
In Chinese medicine, the way to find our way back to balance is to recognize that we are in excess and figuring out what must be deleted — even if only for a time.
So, what are some of the things we can let go of to bring ourselves back into balance, clarity, and focus?
Do One Less Thing
Although, this seems counter-productive to accomplishing great things, if our lives are filled with constant “doing”, it is very easy to lose focus on where we really want to be going.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. — Lao Tzu
The ancient art of wu wei is literally the wisdom of “non-doing”. It is about feeling into the flow of reality and riding that wave so that it only feels like you aren’t doing anything because there is nearly no effort needed.
Another aspect of wu wei is to not do irrelevant things.
So, what if your day is actually not in line with what you want in life? It could be deleting a social media app, checking email 10 times a day, or answering your phone during the workday.
Whatever we delete will both free up extra time in our day and also give us the brain space to ponder other interesting possibilities.
Although there may be a habit to break, very soon, this deletion feels so good.
Worry About One Less Thing
What would you love to stop thinking about?
Could you let go of worrying about money? Whether your partner loves you? Whether you will find the perfect person? Whether you will get the job? Whether you will ever be fit? Whether you will be able to do “something” in the future?
Sometimes it’s good to be pondering things in our back brain. Maybe we are simply looking at an issue from multiple angles, chewing it up, looking for an optimal solution. As long as it isn’t driving us crazy, it’s great to let those interesting programs continue — something new is being born.
Instead, we want to look at letting go of the looping worries — the worries in our lives that seem to continue no matter what is actually going on. Maybe we worry about money when we are making nothing. Then, our writing starts to take off and we make our first $1,000 on Medium. Then we start worrying about getting into bigger publications, and how soon we can pay off our credit card debt, and should we buy that new car now?
Think of the brainpower wasted on this worry.
If we let it go, the only thing that would happen is that we would use that brainpower to write great new articles — maybe about how to let go of worrying about money. We would stay centered and simply feel grateful. We would feel energized to create more of what we love to do.
Again, there’s a habit to break initially — saying “No” to the rabbit hole just as we are about to jump in. But what a relief a few days later when that is no longer taking up valuable bandwidth inside and we can actually focus on other things.
Decrease Consumption of One Thing
In the yogic tradition, prana is everything that we take into our system. It is breath, sunshine, and life-giving energy. It is also news, opinions, TV shows, and everything that we ingest mentally and emotionally as well.
Deepak Chopra once said that when he was an ER doctor, he would often see horrifying things that would bother him for days — especially if children were involved. He said that his system had to take the time and energy to digest every experience in that ER in the same way that he had to digest the orange juice he had for breakfast that morning.
Every single thing we allow into our consciousness and body must be processed, digested, and then integrated or released. All of this takes energy — energy that you probably don’t want to be wasting.
So, are there any inputs that you would like to let go of?
For some people, it could be deleting certain food groups that make them feel sluggish and tired. It could be decreasing their coffee intake by one so that they sleep better at night.
For others, it might be decreasing consumption of news and opinion pieces — to not always be digesting the thoughts of others and leave open space for their own inspiration.
The Infinite Possibilities of Zen
One interpretation of zen is “nothingness”. In our Western world, this is often considered a lack of something when, in fact, it is the opposite. It is the space where anything can happen.
It is the creation of these small pockets of zen in our lives that allows us to be open to new inspiration. It is the space that calms our nervous system so that we can breathe more deeply and think more clearly. It is having these “spaces between the musical notes” that let us really experience our lives in an intimate and real way.
What if we could delete one thing each month? Imagine how clear we would be. Imagine how simple and authentic our life would be. Imagine how much quieter our minds would be.
And the wild thing is that we would accomplish everything that we wanted and more…. just by deleting one little thing.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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