From my own experience and that of my clients and loved ones, I see that we desire the path of least resistance. Should we give in to this desire, we sink into the depths – an effortless descent into despair, isolation, and complacency. Some of us war against this descent, flailing and thrashing about, grasping for direction, but barely keeping our heads above water. Then there are those who gather their strength, thoughtfully exert their energy, and skillfully swim their path.
We are all subject to entropy. We move inevitably and invariably toward chaos, unless we actively choose not to do so. And there is never an end to this active choice. There is never an end to the swimming, to the mindful placement of limbs and breath and thought. We want so much for there to be an end, for the effort to cease and give way to a perpetual contentment. When this doesn’t happen, we give in to entropy, let go of our efforts, and begin to sink once more.
It’s not a lack of effort we should seek, but a practiced effort that begins to feel effortless. Or at least like habit, like a natural state of consistent movement. Like swimming.
NOTE: I feel like I should mention that my boyfriend gave me the treading water/swimming visual a while ago, although I think he would apply it to behavior. The image has been germinating in the back of my mind until recently, and I have applied it to internal processes. I love and am grateful for his mind.