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  • Writer's pictureMichele Kean, JP

Less Effort, More Heart

For as long as I can remember, I loved going to weddings! I loved all of it: sharing space with friends and family, meeting new people, reminiscing, creating new memories, basically being with those that make your heart sing, and of course all the dancing!

I had decided in my early twenties that getting married wasn't for me but I would certainly support anyone that did! I especially loved being a bridesmaid! The more I watched my friends wed, the less I needed it for me! As fate would have it, that decision to not wed would shift later on.

The mindset flipped when I realized a wedding doesn't have to mean stress. I was learning that when something always is done in one way, it doesn't mean it must always be done in that way.

Though I had witnessed almost every one of my friends get married, there always seemed to be this huge pressure along with it. It appeared it must go hand-in-hand.

One friend in particular, grew ever more stressed the closer to their wedding date. It was hard to be around her. Even her groom who never worried about anything, was being affected by the pressure.

The day was here and being in the wedding party, I arrived insanely early at the bride's home for hair and prepping! I was bracing myself for more stress. The moment I saw her, I felt an unusual calmness rush over me. She was the most peaceful I have ever seen her. When I inquired, I remember her saying, "I decided to just let go."

In my upbringing, I didn't even know what this meant, let alone, how to do it! The rest of day was for me to learn more!

There were many times in the next 24 hours that she would be tested on this profound awareness of surrendering to what is. Once was in between the church ceremony and the reception, when we were to have photos taken. The entrance into the most spectacular gardens was mistakenly locked that day and seemed to not be any way to enter. I turned to the bride to comfort her but she beat me to it and said something like, "It is what it is" and her body language was totally calm. Right then one of the groomsman found the way in! This was my first knowing witness to what happens when we surrender.

To use the situation as a metaphor: When you let go, the gardens open up for you.

To this day, it was one of the best weddings!

It got me to think, if she could do that for a weekend, why not longer? A decade or so later, I used her example. That is when I asked my now-husband to marry me. I did it with that intention. And whenever stress started to creep in and I felt myself efforting and forcing, I paused and checked in with my heart! Whenever I could, I let go and when I did my heart took the lead.

You don't need a wedding to test it! Stress shows up in our daily lives. How good does it feel to fight and push and resist and struggle? Not very good, right?

Now, how good does it feel to allow, accept, let go?

I believe this is our inner knowing speaking to us. If it feels frustrating to put forth an incredible effort to "try" to force something into fruition, maybe there's a better way. Really, why does it have to feel so difficult?

In those moments, what if we check-in, take a pause, take a breath? Recall those times in your life when you simply allowed. Usually when we do (and we don't have expectation otherwise) we enter into a flow. It is effortless.

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