We are on number six of the Eightfold Path, and number six is Right Effort. This is according to the Buddhist tradition, and the world according to Marilyn Harper, and Adironnda and company.
Right Effort, what does that mean? That we have to make an effort in a specific way? You know, what it means to me is that anything that you experienced, anything that you are doing, anything that you are moving forward on, taking right action on, right intent, or Right Effort. It is about doing it with an attitude that is enthusiastic, an attitude that matches your own energy, an attitude of grace, an attitude of excitement, an attitude of clarity. You see, Right Effort, I have to make sure I got it right, Right Effort is about putting forth the effort to do whatever it takes as congenially and positively as possible, in a way of honor, in a way of connection. It could be enthusiasm.
You know, an old teacher of mine used to say, “If you act enthusiastic, you will be enthusiastic, eventually.” And, you know, there is a part of that that is true. That if you approach something with, “Wow, I am going to go clean out my car,” and you approach it with, “I’m honoring my car, and I am excited about pulling the mats out, and scrubbing it down, and really taking care of it,”. So, if you approach it and act enthusiastic at the beginning, then the attitude will come through, and the car will feel better, and so will you.
And I think that is what Right Effort means, is to approach something with an attitude that matches what you would like to receive back, maybe. You don’t want to, you know, put forth an energy that is not honest and true to your soul, to just put the illusion up, because that is not of integrity either. So, there is a fine line between, sometimes you just have to close your eyes and put a smile on, and eventually you feel like smiling, but if you close your eyes and put a frown on and get cranky, then eventually you are gonna get crankier.
So, instead, see what effort you can experience with your own attitude this week. See how you feel. See what it is like when you approach things with a little zeal, a little zest in your step, and see how that changes things, you know, with that Right Effort.
Experience that effort that you put forth with gratitude, that, “I am so grateful that I am doing this because I have wanted to do it for a long time, and now I am doing it. I am so grateful for that process,” or whatever that you are looking at. Just see how that Right Effort plays through with your attitude and your enthusiasm for moving forward in this world.
See you next week.
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