print by Bree Madden on etsy
“Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free”
—from the Shaker Hymn “Simple Gifts”
This year, for the third year of full time self-employment doing work that adore, I am playing with ease in my business. It is hard work. There is a lot of shedding involved-releasing the idea that effort and “hard work” are the only keys to success, rearranging my idea of “success” all together, letting go of the negative self talk I engage in automatically when I think I am taking the less challenging route. Embracing ease is a practice that is as rigorous and disciplined as sitting zazen for an hour in the early morning everyday-and of late I have been asking…why? Why is ease so damn difficult?
Learning to lean back as it were and embrace ease was a practice I knew I would have trouble with. The hardest yoga pose for me is always Sivasana-lay back, let the earth support you, still the chatter in your mind and let your breath be easy. Uh huh. Ease. As in, not hard, not a challenge, not worth the effort, as in slacking off, and being lazy? Not so long ago (and still sometimes today) that was the track my mental train would ride.
Then three years ago while I was birthing my glorious business I got pregnant with a phenomenal little boy. Nine months later when I was in my thirtieth hour of labor a line from the Hindu sacred text the Bhagavad-Gita floated across my mind:
“To action alone you have a right, never to its fruits. Let not the fruits of action be your motive.”
In the story the Lord Krishna utters these words to his best friend on the eve of a big battle. As I was huffing and puffing my way ever closer to a C-section I knew in my bones I did not need, let me tell you that I aimed some pretty heretical thoughts in Krishna’s direction. I felt that this was totally unfair-here I was putting forth such great effort, why now of all times was I remembering a line from sacred scripture reminding me that the fruits of that effort were not mine to savor-my role was only to act? And why, while we were on the subject, was this birth not going the way I had planned? Clearly my desire to will myself into natural childbirth was so not working.
Amid these thoughts stillness came over me and I reexamined the passage (I guess you could say it was my focal point!); what if what Krishna was really teaching was that the relationship between action and results was not just a simple 1-1 correlation? What if, more effort did not necessarily lead to a better outcome? What if effort was just a con artist seducing me with the promise that I had control over something that was never mine to begin with?
What if all this time I had been trying to micromanage a miracle?
I relaxed. I gave in. I thought clearly out into the universe to all of the faces of the Divine that I knew and loved-not my will, thine. About six hours later I gave birth to a healthy baby boy-those last six hours were the easiest of my labor too.
Despite the good press its been getting, kindness is still often mistaken as weakness. Trusting in something receptive, soft, simple, or beautiful can come across as too easy, not hardcore enough, un-serious. Those of us who engage in kindness know that it’s the exact opposite-it is a practice and an act of devotion to ourselves and our sweet world. What we devote ourselves to is what gives our lives shape. What we commit ourselves to is where we find our freedom. I choose ease, kindness, and trust. Not my will but thine-easy to say but a practice that never runs dry.
|Hi! I’m Bri Saussy and the sacred arts are my vocation, I read tarot cards, zodiac wheels, & whatever else comes my way while dishing it with Spirit and listening to the Faeries. I write about magic, ritual, & mythic arts. I teach courses on folk magic+walking closer to the Divine. I light devotional candles & create custom rituals for the most amazing people-my clients-its the best work ever. I am also a cheerleader for others working in the “woo woo” sacred arts field. I believe that intuitive tools and techniques are vital and needed more now and than ever. I’m passionate about helping woo’preneurs find ways to make bank & a better world. Let’s hear it for sustainable spirituality and let’s make magic!|