How Smart Living is Easier Than Hard Work


There is a way of living that’s easier—smart living!

It applies to our physical bodies, our emotional lives, our relationships and even the way we do our jobs.

For many years I’ve struggled with a physical condition that prevents me from exerting myself or pushing myself too hard. If I do push too hard, I pay a high price in pain. As a result of this limitation, I’ve been learning not to overexert myself.

Although the limitation I have is primarily physical, I’ve come to realize that overtaxing myself mentally or emotionally also exacts a price—fatigue, stress and tension.

Can we get better results with less effort?

When I remain relaxed I’m more creative, more receptive and better able to connect with other people. As soon as my sympathetic nervous system kicks into high gear—as a result of pushing myself too hard—for the most part, I enter a state of increased pressure and decreased results.

What does it take to live smarter?

Smart living comes from seeing without looking

My mentor, John Weir, told me about this. He was 90-years-old at the time. He said he’d learned to see without looking. He made no effort, he just allowed the world to come to him. At the time, I didn’t really understand what he meant. Now, I’m starting to. I have glimpses of this experience—mostly in my interactions with my wife, Hannah. Instead of trying to bring about some outcome—by efforting—I just see her.

Smart living requires us to know and respect our own limits

If we develop greater awareness, we recognize when we are beginning to push past our personal limits. If we notice when we are reaching our edge—physical, mental or emotional edge—we can step back, take a break, do a simple ritual like the four-minute meditation and reconnect with ourselves.

Smart living requires us to recognize our separateness

If we recognize that we are separate from other people, then we don’t need to plug into their nervous systems or invite them to plug into ours. If we remain aware of our separateness we are better able to witness other people without becoming reactive, even when they are telling us about ourselves. And if we know Perception Language, we have an incredible advantage because we realize what they are actually doing is telling us about themselves.

Smart living requires us to attend to the present moment

If we maturely express our frustrations and disappointments when they are just embryos, we help ourselves stay in the present. And we keep little things from turning into big things that are much harder to decipher and resolve. And, again, if we know Perception Language, we can take responsibility for ourselves by simply expressing what we are doing within ourselves and not acting as if the other person is doing something to us.

Smart living can be so easy, and the paradox is that it requires an initial step that some people find very hard. It can be hard to stop pushing—pushing your body, your mind, and your emotional limits. You push your emotional limits when you let others treat you in ways that you don’t like. So, it can be hard to start this process—hard to change old patterns of behaviors, hard to set boundaries for ourselves, hard to be present and hard to see without looking.

This is why our retreats are six to eight days long, because that provides enough time to break the old patterns and establish new ones. Learning to use Perception Language takes some effort—that initial effort—but once you do . . . then your life can be forever easy, or easier.

So, hard once, easy forever.

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