Growth Tools - Practical tools for meaningful growth

Don’t work so hard!

“The effortless life is the life that brings light into our eyes, an expanding warmth into our hearts, a sense of pride into our bellies, and an assurance that we can manifest something truly meaningful through what we do. It’s the life we are meant to live.”
-- Ingrid Bacci

Are you trying too hard?

“The less effort, the better.” This guidance came from a Tai Chi Chih class I’m taking. Now that’s my kind of exercise!

And it seems everywhere I turn these days, I’m getting that same message: relax!

I’ve grown up in a culture that reveres effort. From early childhood, I was told to make things happen, try a little harder, ‘no pain, no gain.’ Well, it seems that advice wasn’t very helpful.

I’m now learning that the more I tense my body in effort, the more I block the life energy that truly makes things happen. The more I relax, in my thinking, feelings and body, the more healthy I can be. So many self-help authors these days describe disease as ‘dis-ease’ for good reason.

Let’s be clear: effortless living does not mean not doing anything at all. It simply means doing whatever we’re doing more easily, with less physical tension.

As an example, play with this exercise around seeing. Imagine that you see not with your eyes but with the back of your head. How does it feel to allow your eyes to ‘soak up’ images of life around you, rather than ‘reach out’ to focus on objects around you?

My Tai Chi Chih instructor reiterated this point with this simple little story:

When you’re traveling on a train, you can carry your own luggage. Or you can set your baggage down and let the train carry it.

Makes sense to me!

~ Patrice

“To develop effortlessness… involves changing the way we live in our bodies, letting go of the push and pull that creates everything from low quality performance to chronic disease.”
-- Ingrid Bacci

Does this topic interest you? I highly recommend Ingrid Bacci’s book, The Art of Effortless Living. You might also visit her website at

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