The other day, at the suggestion of Scott Noelle (whom Iíve mentioned in this column before), I sat and watched the water drops as they formed and slid down my shower door. Later that afternoon, I watched the raindrops collect on and flow off of my windshield before I started the van.
If you observe what this looks like, you may have just discovered the secret to the path of least resistance.
To put it in perspective, we all know what that can mean if you are on a hike. If thereís a clearly marked path, chances are thatís the route youíll go. There will be far fewer scratches, snagged garments, tripping and falling. Youíll likely get to your destination more quickly and be happier for it.
Now, if you watch drops of water collect, once one starts to move, you will notice a few things. A drop of water will almost always take the path of another before it, even if that means veering off in one direction or another regardless of whether down may be the most direct route. It flows around obstacles without effort. If there is another drop in its path, the two will often merge and go on together. You wonít find one trying to be different and go upwards, and sometimes it is easiest to stay put until another one comes along.
In every instance youíll notice there is no effort, no trying. Nature just waits until the easiest avenue is made clear and then takes it. We can notice this in the behaviour of our children ó and pets ó and the growth patterns of wild vegetation.
When thereís a job to get done and one can find ease in it ó maybe picking strawberries from the garden at the same time as weeding, or building a fort from the snow collected from the driveway ó it becomes a whole lot more enjoyable and satisfying.
I know when I am guilty of trying to force things to happen when they arenít coming naturally. I can feel it. Sometimes I even find myself saying out loud, ďWhy isnít this working?Ē or ďWhy is this so hard?Ē
Making progress in oneís day shouldnít feel like we are forcing a square peg into a round hole. There is a difference between hard work and determination, and plain old beating your head against a wall.
When we feel stressed, it means we are resisting in some way. Maybe itís too many deadlines or chores, trying to fit in too many appointments or get to too many places within a day.
If things are not coming with ease, that indicates that you arenít in a flow. Think about those drops of water. They all end up getting where they are going eventually. If we invite more of this mentality into our day, we canít help but experience a lot more grace and joy along the way.
Kirsten Andrews offers courses, workshops and private consultations on Simplicity Parenting in the Corridor. For information like Sea to Sky Simplicity Parenting on Facebook, visit www.SeaToSkySimplicityParenting.com or email email@example.com.