I went to Gainesville, Florida, a couple of weeks ago to meet with Michael Singer. Mickey, as he prefers to be called, and I had a private conversation after his Sunday morning service. We strolled around the magnificent grounds in which the Temple of the Universe is situated and soaked in the sheer beauty all around.
I learnt more about Mickey’s long-time interest in Ramana Maharshi and the enlightened beings he speaks about in his talks.
He shared a story I had not heard before.
You see a man in water who is desperately thrashing about. He shouts and cannot breathe. He flounders. It would appear that he is in imminent danger of drowning.
You rush to help him. And you notice that he is in the shallow end of the pool. The water is only three feet deep.
All he needs to do is stand up.
And that is our predicament. We are overwhelmed. We rush around frantically and fail to make a dent in our to-do lists. We feel stress.
We are firmly convinced that we are ‘doing’ things, and we are falling behind.
Try a different approach.
Let things happen. There is a ton of stuff you do every morning without ever feeling that you are ‘doing’ something. You brush your teeth. You go to the toilet. You shower.
But then you go to work and change the narrative. ‘You’ have to make decisions – should I hire this person? Should I sign off on the marketing budget? How should I respond to a competitor’s pricing move? In your mind, these are important decisions ‘you’ have to make. This is not like ‘brushing your teeth’. There is cognitive effort required on your part.
That is a story you are telling yourself. In truth, all of your decisions can happen spontaneously. You can watch life unfold effortlessly. In fact, your experience of life may be a great deal better if you let this happen.
Michael Singer gives a riveting account of how this happened in his life in his book, The Surrender Experiment.
I recommend it highly. Stop thrashing about. Stand up!