365 Challenge: Day 135 – Effortless

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Effortless: requiring no physical or mental exertion; achieved with admirable ease

As we dive into today’s 365 Daily Challenge, the first step is to stop and think about a few things in our lives that we’d consider effortless. Take a few minutes if needed, but picture two before reading any further. {Insert elevator music… 120… 60… 30… 3… 2… 1…} Ready?

  • Strolling through nature simply to enjoy the beauty surrounding you
  • Listening to music and allowing your body to react however it feels the need to

Those were the two I’m focusing on as I write this post. While some might say both of those require a tad bit of physical exertion, I disagree. You can put as little or as much as you want into each action, ensuring your own level of admirable ease is met. It’s rare for me to engage in either of these activities purely for the sake of just these activities. If I’m walking through nature, I’ve usually got a problem I’m trying to solve. If I’m listening to music, I’m usually feeling something emotional that wants to connect with lyrics and sound from an artist I admire.

But have you ever just stopped what you were doing purely for the sake of allowing something effortless to occur, without worrying about what you get from it in return? Without choosing to mold or shape the journey to fit whatever path you want to embark upon? Rarely, if at all, would be my guess. Effortless is not a word that most people think of or feel as part of their normal day. We have schedules and clocks. We have to do lists and goals. We have fears and concerns. There’s always something we need to accomplish and our minds naturally look to focus on achievements before relaxation. We are programmed to put effort into a task so the outcome is beneficial. But that’s where we often fail to recognize what’s right in front of us sometimes… doing something that requires little or no effort and has no specific tangible outcome might actually be exactly what our bodies and minds need, so that we can continue to reach our future expectations.

Today was a busy day for me. I flipped my schedule so that I spent most of the afternoon writing. Within three hours, I had drafted 5K words for Father Figure, finding myself remarkably impressed that the story was flowing from my fingertips to the keyboard with relative ease. But it wasn’t effortless in the beginning. I stopped and started. I re-checked the outline several times. I had a few interruptions with phone calls and a visit from the repair man (the freezer has been fixed). But after about 45 minutes, it felt like the most natural and normal experience. By late afternoon, feeling thoroughly accomplished and in need of physical activity, I went to the gym. Then I headed across town to meet the significant other and some friends for dinner and an early show. Linda Lavin was having a cabaret performance at Birdland here in NYC, singing a few songs, telling a few stories and reminiscing about all the shows and tv series she’d previously acted in. And all I had to do was sit at my table, have a few drinks, relax and enjoy the entertainment for several hours. It was an effortless experience where no one needed me to do anything and the only required duty from me was to listen.

effortless

Enter the adorable, sweet, creative, fun, intelligent and charming Roda from Growing Self. We chatted for a few minutes about cookie dough, magic, clones, writing and opportunity. She could tell I was struggling with the right 365 word, then drew a card from her set of Earth Magic Oracle Cards created by Steven D. Farmer. The card, as the picture shows above, was Effortless. It displayed a picture of a waterfall, sharing a story about the natural, graceful and powerful flow of water cascading through a rock formation and settling in an exquisite pool of simplicity. The message was clear: to allow yourself to surrender to the will of Spirit. Essentially, give yourself permission to relinquish control to another. Could my decision to choose a word and write the post be anything other than effortless at this point?

I bet you’re wondering why I didn’t choose permissive after that experience, but how could I? My takeaway from the cards pointed me towards that feeling I’ve been having for the last week… among all the items on my list of things to do, I most feverishly and frequently looked forward to sitting at my desk to begin writing the chapters for my second novel. Once I allowed myself to let go, forgetting about everything else I needed to address, writing no longer felt like a task on a long list of to-do’s. No one was expecting anything from me. My mind was open and ready to create life from the outline I’d finished last week. And all I had to do was give myself permission to move forward with these steps for me to see it was truly an effortless activity.

Life doesn’t always give you the freedom to choose what you want to do. But when it does, you need to wisely accept that chance. You need to allow the world to show you what it is that you haven’t been able to see for yourself. Find the path that feels as effortless as either your stroll through nature or listening to music — whatever your two items were at the top of this post. Don’t let yourself be so caught up in everything that you’re supposed to be accomplishing less you forget the beauty of your own effortless waterfall. You might just get swept up by its sheer serenity, finding yourself landing in an even better place than the water chose for you.

 

REMINDER: The poll will close today regarding any changes I might make to the 365 Daily Challenge posts. I appreciate everyone who voted over the last six days. If you haven’t had a chance to vote, here is the link: Vote for Changes to 365 Daily Challenge.

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Patricia @ Tea And Tales. We met just a little over three months over a shared excitement over cozy mysteries. As I got to know Patricia, we learned there’s so much more in common. We both loved Hush, Hush… Sweet Charlotte, are excited researching our genealogy and found Fifty Shades of Grey just awkward! We’re constantly checking each other’s reviews out on all types of books, but mystery has been on the top genres we both flock towards. Her website is extraordinarily beautiful in its colors and tranquility. The menu on the right clearly shows all the different types of categories for her posts… everything from cooking to faith to life to humor and of course tea! You will definitely find a few books to pick up as well as a new online friend. If you don’t believe me, check out the below blurb from her About Me section:
    • “Welcome to Teaandtales1… I love talking Tea and hearing a good Tale, or a new Cozy Mystery! Have a favorite of either? Let us know, we love a good tea and/or tale. We have a Facebook Page also, which is full of Tea news, offers, discounts and Cozy Mystery Book Reviews.  Facebook Link“”

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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19 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 135 – Effortless

    Roda said:
    July 24, 2017 at 11:54 PM

    BRILLIANT!

    Liked by 1 person

    declutteringmylifeweb said:
    July 25, 2017 at 12:11 AM

    Even children are socialised that idler will have problems in life (La Fontaine The ant and the cricket). You say that you have done nothing on a lazy day when actually you have had rest. Then you complain about burn-out. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    superwifeandmummy said:
    July 25, 2017 at 1:04 AM

    This one really touched me. I’m very emotional after reading it- so well put. Sometimes I miss effortless days. Thank you for posting, as always 🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    Mischenko said:
    July 25, 2017 at 6:46 AM

    Great post, James. I love reading about your activities. I’m so happy for you that you’re getting your book done too. That has to feel great every bit at a time. I hope you have an excellent day today! 💗👍

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 25, 2017 at 8:28 AM

      Good morning, Jenn. Thank you so much! I appreciate it. I don’t go out all that often, but when I do, I try to make it fun! Linda Lavin was great. I can’t believe she’s 80 in a few months. So funny tho.

      Liked by 1 person

        Mischenko said:
        July 25, 2017 at 9:18 AM

        It is hard to believe how time flies. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Sounds fun! 💜

        Liked by 1 person

    Rae Longest said:
    July 25, 2017 at 12:35 PM

    I went back to school and making an effort after an effortless day and a half (planning for school and writing handouts Sunday afternoon prevented it from being two effortless days), and I definitely want to plan at least one effortless whole day this week ahead. Your comments about the concept of effortlessness were right on !

    Liked by 1 person

    mainepaperpusher said:
    July 25, 2017 at 2:47 PM

    I just love this post. I can picture the words flowing from and through your fingertips. What a magical feeling! I can see Roda helping you find the word, the right word, for your challenge. I can feel the happiness you had in your day. This is such a warm and inspiring post. What a gift that day was to you, and now to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    BrizzleLass said:
    July 25, 2017 at 3:33 PM

    What a perfect post! Being effortless is so difficult as you say, I meditate every day to try and let go of all the effort and stress and that is probably my most effortless time. I find when I’m writing very effortless once I’m over the hurdle in my mind of getting started, once the words are coming and I’m in the zone it’s very natural. It’s so great to hear you are getting so much writing done!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 25, 2017 at 3:37 PM

      Thank you, I appreciate it. Today was a bit slower, but I edited chapter one a lot.

      Meditation must be cool. I can’t focus for some reason.

      Like

        BrizzleLass said:
        July 25, 2017 at 3:43 PM

        I always used to have that trouble but I had someone teach me to do it properly, I started only meditating for a minute at a time, then I increased it by a minute a week, now I do between 10-30 depending on my day and mental health levels.

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        July 25, 2017 at 3:45 PM

        Some day I will try!!!!

        Like

    wakinguponthewrongsideof50 said:
    July 28, 2017 at 7:58 PM

    Ok….I think you know my time with nature this week was beneficial to me! When I think effortless, I think about an old boyfriend. He was not normally talkative, but he always said conversation with me was effortless…..I’ve always thought back on that….I don’t know if that’s good or bad….

    Liked by 1 person

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