Thursday, May 13, 2010

Working as a Flute & The Law of Least Effort


When you work you are a flute through whose
heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
... And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your
heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth....
~Kahil Gibran, The Prophet


Everyone has a purpose in life ... a unique gift or special talent to give to others.

What Kahil Gibran prohetically wrote is of an exultation of spirit that arises when we are being of service to others, the ultimate goal of all goals. Drawing the threads of our day from our heart, our life's work can be worn like a cloak by the Divine.

It is a fortunate thing to be able to work for a good cause, or to involve oneself in work that moves energy and people towards positive actions. Life, even in the best of circumstances, isn't always perfect though, which can be a good thing if we grow in times of challenge, but if we feel stuck, then how do we get back to the flute weaving our work into music?
When we feel our spirit is crushed, or we feel derailed from purposeful tasks, how do we regain the rhythm of the heart? Sometimes the workplace is not a healthy place. Ask your self how you feel, content or undervalued? appreciated or manipulated? When do we know when to move on, or how to move on to more fulfilling occupations of our time? It is so important to do what you enjoy, but also to enjoy doing it.



Sometimes in the workplace we spend wasteful energy defending our position, or we become aware that others are being ineffectively defensive. The cycle can go round and round. The weave of threads in our day gets knotted, and returning to Grace with a responsible harmonious word, action or deed is our soul way back to the fluid weave of flute-like days.

As Deepak Chopra states in his early 90's best seller, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success , "When you feel frustrated or upset by a person or a situation, remember that you are not reacting to the person or the situation, but to your feelings about the person or the situation."... "These are your feelings, and your feelings are not someone else's fault." ~ Deepak Chopra

One of the components of Chopra's Law of Least Effort is responsibility. "Responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for your situation, including yourself. Once we accept our circumstance we then have the ability to have a creative response as it is now."

ALL PROBLEMS CONTAIN THE SEEDS OF OPPORTUNITY FOR THE CREATION OF SOMETHING NEW AND BEAUTIFUL, AND EVERY SO CALLED TORMENTOR OR TYRANT WILL BECOME YOUR TEACHER. Reality is an interpretation. And if you choose to interpret reality in this way you will have many teachers around you, and many opportunities will evolve. Deepak Chopra's The Law of Least Effort

In your yoga practice on and off the mat, try the The Law of Least Effort. Practice using a creative response to turning your problems and obstacles into a teaching experience, an opportunity for growth. And if you are not sure what the lesson is you are to learn, try this piece of poetic advice from Rumi:

Hear the wordless subtleties, and understand what catches not the understanding.


It takes meditation.
Before your yoga practice, set an intention to meditate on the silent subtleties.
Each morning, set an intention to meditate on what catches you, or what you choose to ignore.
Plant a seed, take a creative response, and Work as a flute, with the Law of Least Effort.

My father used to say how much he always liked to get up in the morning, because he loved what he was doing.
Twenty plus years of rolling dough, cutting doughnuts and selling thousands a day at his namesake business, Allie's Donuts, was what occupied a huge part of my father's best years (and mine growing up). These years were filled with people working hard along side him, with music and conversation, sweat and sometimes very heated arguments, but still the days were lively, and every one was different, though the patterns of the day stayed fluid. The fluid predictability of the day and the sounds of the bustling "backroom" and friendly "frontend", with its lines of anxiously awaiting, but profoundly patient Rhode Islanders in lines out the doors, was a weave of many thoughts, actions and deeds. People getting their Allie's dozen, jimmy donuts, glazed crullers, hot honey dip and chocolate frosted raise for a relative down at the beach or a nice neighbor. Serious stories were told while my sisters and I powdered donut holes, or silly jokes were shared to pass the monotony of trays of raised yet to be frosted. It all sang.

When bad moods arose, the moment would freeze with tension; the radio still played, but the music died. It was only when someone took responsibility for the moment, usually with humour or kindness, that our creative juices would continue to jam, and the customers would feel the positive, buzzing energy and we'd all be served a little more love.



This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again,
and fillest it ever with fresh life. This little flute of
a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and
hast breathed through it melodies eternally
new .... Thy infinite gifts come to me only on
those very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and
still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.

~ Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali