If It’s Work, It Doesn’t Work

February 14, 2010 | 43 Comments »

My good friend and ex-beau, who moonlights as my dog walker, lawn scooper and grocery shopper came by this morning to medicate feral cat Roxy.

(Roxy had a bunch of teeth pulled last week and is on pain meds and antibiotics.  You might imagine a feral feline in pain isn’t the easiest cat to medicate!)

Anyway, my ex asked why I was on the computer on a Sunday morning.

I showed him an inbox with over 120 recent emails from paying clients, people who want to be paying clients, colleagues proposing collaborations, etc. and told him I also needed to get an article in to my editor and post something new on the blog.

That’s why I’m in the office on Sunday.

My ex (who is somewhat LOA savvy after his time with me) said to me, “If it’s work, it doesn’t work.”

Words he shared to help me remember that spending Sunday with an overflowing inbox and writing deadlines and a phone that kept ringing wasn’t actually the best thing I could do for myself if I wasn’t enjoying it.

If it’s work, it doesn’t work.

I’m shaking off a little embarrassment that I needed the reminder.

When we try too hard (or try at all) to make something happen, we keep that very thing from happening.

Not that “work” is bad in and of itself.  It’s just when it feels like work, in a hard and exhausting way, rather than in an enjoyable and uplifting “flow” kind of way, that it’s not serving us.

We know the difference, right?  If not, we’d be well served to get a handle on it.

It’s just like Abraham’s upstream vs. downstream analogy.  When we’re paddling upstream, we’re headed in the exact opposite direction of what we want, because everything we want is downstream.  And it’s not hard work to float downstream.

Ever since Fen posted in the Good Vibe U forum about “Allowing vs. Doing” I’ve been thinking about how sometimes it is enjoyable to do something, rather than just twinkle our nose and have it done immediately.  (Although there are times that “instant” is my favorite way to go.)

Like putting Good Vibe U together – that’s been “work,” but fun work.  Mostly, anyway.  Helpful virtual assistants were happy to load content to the site, but I rather enjoyed the process myself.  (Even if it wasn’t the smartest way for me to spend time.)

I could tell when it crossed the feel good line, and started to feel a little heavy.  Which was my sign to back off till it got fun again, which it quickly did once it had a little space to.

Our opportunity as deliberate creators is to be sensitive enough to recognize once we’ve engaged the push or the try or the hard work energy.  That vibe won’t take us where we want to go.

So on this Valentine’s Day, for some of my love-challenged clients, I would remind this:

If the relationship isn’t flowing naturally, that’s our cue to get looser, get easier, to shake it off and get our focus on something that does feel good.  To take a deep breath, relax our grip on it, and remember what is right about the world.

Which, brings me back to why I’m still sitting in my office chair on Valentine’s Sunday morning.  This is without a doubt one of the things I love most in life – engaging with you on the fascinating and somewhat challenging subject of deliberate creation when it comes to love, money, and everything else we ever wanted.

Life is good, huh?!

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers.

* * * * * * * *
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43 Responses to “ If It’s Work, It Doesn’t Work ”

  1. Coach T.I.A says:

    Just wanted to say I love you and GVU and the #GVUcrew and my friends and family and blessings and life 🙂

  2. Thanks for popping in and sharing the love, Tia. Good Vibe U is loving you, too!

    You know what I was thinking? About the pervasive belief that “relationships require hard work.” That if you expect it to work, you better be prepared to do a lot of work on that relationship.

    I used to believe that, too. And practice it.

    Once upon a time a very discouraged fiance said to me, “It’s not supposed to be this hard.”

    And I adamantly replied, “Relationships are hard work!”

    I knew that if he wasn’t up for the work, we didn’t have a chance.

    And then years later I read a book by a guy (wish I could remember who to credit for this wisdom) that said if relationships are so hard, why in the world would we want them?!

    He suggested relationships could be easy, effortless, enjoyable – withOUT the hard work.

    I like that style much better. God bless my fiance for not being willing to sign up for a lot of hard work with me.
    (And Lord knows, it would have been with him.)

  3. Adrienne says:

    wow the timing of this post is uncanny! I was **JUST** speaking with a friend who is not into LOA (but she respects that I am) about relationships, and she said she has little faith in finding the right one, that it is “difficult” to really find a match once a woman has xyz education, abc level of career/profession, etc. I told her that I believe that it is because she has little faith that she keeps getting “that” back. She asked me what I meant and I said, “the results of little faith in finding a relationship that is a great match for you = the difficulty in finding such a match.” She was quiet for a second. Then she said, “I suspect you are right.” woo hoo!! That convo was about an hour ago …and then I read this post…love the synchronicity! Finding and maintaining a great relationship can be easy-peasy if we believe and allow it to be so!

    Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

  4. Funny how that works, huh, Adrienne?

    Glad to hear your friend was open to seeing what you were sharing!

    Happy V Day to you, too, my friend. 🙂

  5. Adrienne, I am LOVING this part of your comment: “Finding and maintaining a great relationship can be easy-peasy if we believe and allow it to be so!” I am officially adopting that as my relationship story from now on. Thanks for that!

    Am off on my date now with a guy I just met and who is taking me out for our first date on Valentine’s Day! Doesn’t get much easier than that:)

  6. Nice spotlight on that, Mary.

    It’s reminding me of the 7 year old I just finished Sunday night dinner with. He was playing a particularly tough game of Wii golf and he said, before he took his shot (after missing about a dozen of them), “I am really good at this.”

    Were I his parent that would have been my proudest moment EVER.

    We can pick hard, or we can pick easy. And even when we say easy and it’s still hard, we can still enjoy the game. (Noah: my new hero.)

  7. Stacy @ Wealth For Everyone says:

    Based on a blog post here from some time ago I was getting a bit pissed with the Universe and last night/this morning as I was trying to go to sleep I was being a little demanding to the Universe about delivering to me what I want.

    One comment I made to the Universe was how things used to be so easy for me (or at least appeared to be) and I was ready for that to be the case again.

    I definitely have gotten into the mindset that it takes “hard work” to make the money I want and that relationships are too much to deal with (relating to Mary’s post about being single – I think that’s another reason why I’m single – it isn’t a priority to me now and I also have the belief that relationships ARE hard and are filled with compromise – which I don’t want to make.)

    I STILL haven’t signed up for the GVU – mainly because I’ve been so busy trying to get my business stuff going that I don’t feel I have the time to devote to GVU that I’d like. Hmmm, maybe this blog is the sign I asked for from the Universe on what to do.

    The fact that I’m feeling like all I do is work and yet not feeling the reward for it – maybe that’s my sign along with this post to take a step back and put my focus on LOA rather than just the action side of things.

    Ok, ok, I’m listening Universe!

  8. True story, Stacy, that feeling like all you do is work and yet not feeling the reward for it is a sure sign to change something up.

    I think that’s how lots of people do their entire lives, but … we know too much to follow those steps.

    We know too much.

    AND, it ebbs and flows, right? We have cycles we go through, and maybe this is just one of those as we hit the extreme and it’s time to turn back in the other direction.
    🙂

  9. Laura says:

    Interesting, the first thing that occurred to me was that this is really no different than something that we really want and have a strong charge on therefore keep noticing the absense of it. Like someone who will pray rain journal, make vision boards, visualize, script, etc. and then say…I’ve done everything…where is it? To me it comes back to the same energy of not allowing and being loose and easy about it.

    When it comes to relationships, it has always been my philosophy that relationships should not be work. People always strangely at me when I said that like…of course relationships take work. I always believed that a relationship is about joy, fun, love and that it should be easy. If you have to work at it, it’s not working!

    I also believe that in order to “not work at it”…you need to not take the person for granted, respect their needs, show appreciation and communicate. But that’s just me.

    By the way, since I’ve never been married, it is possible I have no idea what I am talking about. 🙂

  10. I have to imagine this belief has served you well, Laura. (That “relationships should not be work.”)

    And I totally get that people would think it strange for you to believe so!

    I’m with you on expecting them to based on joy, fun, love and ease rather than hard work.

    Thanks for reading and especially for posting, Laura!

  11. leslie richter says:

    In Sonia Choquette’s book, “Your Heart’s Desire” ( such a good title for Valentine’s day) she focuses on being “current” with your heart’s desire. She points out you may have an idea such as manifesting a new relationship for yourself but in the current flow of your life you may be needing time alone and essentially she says you have to honor what you need right now. That is not to say you have to give up this particular hope and desire it’s just looking at what currently has the punch for you.

    I think when it feels like work it’s because we are caught up in our expectations of what should be. We put barriers to our current needs and desires because we once had a different thought. When it feels good we are present with our hearts and when it feels like work we are present with past desires.

    May you be current with your heart this Valentine’s Day!

    Love Leslie

  12. Well said, Leslie, and an important point, too!

    “I think when it feels like work it’s because we are caught up in our expectations of what should be. We put barriers to our current needs and desires because we once had a different thought.”

    I couldn’t agree more, and have to admit that has been my personal experience in past relationships on occasion.

    Once again the message is to relax and let go, isn’t it? Trusting that it’s all working out perfectly.

    Mm, that feels good!

    Thanks for popping in again, sweetheart. 🙂

  13. Adrianne says:

    Thanks for putting the focus on this, it’s definitely an aspect of LoA that I can relate to.

    For me, it’s like I have so many things that I really want to do. I’ve got a lot of interests and even when I focus on just one project I get so many inspiring, exciting creative ideas! But, sometimes it gets really overwhelming too – especially if I feel like I need to manifest every single one of my ideas or make a big project happen sooner than is probably necessary… or healthy 😉

    It can sometimes be a delicate line between taking inspired, joyful action and taking action because (even though I don’t feel like taking action in that moment) I just can’t stand the idea that my creative vision will be postponed from manifesting. And my mind tells me that I’m the channel through which the manifestation must flow so… I buckle down for some hard work!

    lol! Hope this little rant makes sense or someone else can relate to this 🙂 It feels good to recognize and make fun of this pattern a bit.

    Overall, during the past several years (and since practicing deliberate creation) I’ve become more relaxed about things and more effective and efficient in my actions. I know it all happens much better when I achieve internal alignment with myself and what I’m trying to accomplish first and then take action.

    Better to just allow what I want to unfold the way that it wants to… the Universe/ LoA knows how to make it happen better than my mind does anyway… and that’s fine 🙂

  14. Wow, that does make sense, Adrianne.

    I get it. I’ve done it! I’ll probably do it again. lol

    But even still, it IS fun to be that excited about something, isn’t it?

    It’s funny, because I’ve been watching these Olympic cross country skiers cross the finish line and just collapse with exhaustion … and part of me really wants to go do something that hard.

    lol

    To invest myself in something that I love so much I’m willing to push myself to the limit.

    Or maybe I’m just romanticizing the experience from the comfort of my couch. ha

    It’s an interesting topic, to be sure. And if I know anything for certain, it’s that there are no rules and what feels good today maybe different tomorrow.

    Thanks for joining the conversation, my friend.

  15. Erik says:

    Yeah, definitely nice timing for valentine’s – this is so true – when thinking back, each and every one of my relationships (or any other women-related matter) happened when I was totally relaxed and / or totally thinking about other things – as long as I stayed in my mind & thoughts, nothing would happen. Only when I let go *completely* did things start to roll. Stupid thing about this is: even if I let go for 98% or 99%, it was not enough, only 100% of true relaxation did the trick. Anyone can relate to this?

  16. Mia says:

    One word: Yes! And thanks! (That’s two words).

    I had a huge vibe-shift yesterday around the topic of money, when I realized what my real money vibe is. Not a passionate, hugely wild woo-woo yay high-fibe vibe (man, I get tired just writing these words down). But a very cool, relaxed, some might even call it distanced or aloof, relationship.

    Just for fun – and because I was inspired to do so – I wrote down a series of statements about my relationship with money. And while doing that, I realized that this was very much also the vibe I wanted for a love partner in my life.

    One very crucial thing that I wrote down was: “Money leaves me alone.” I was a little hesitant first about the phrasing, but after checking in with myself it still felt right. And then I continued writing:

    Money shuts up
    Money gives me space
    Money lets me breathe
    Money is there for me when I need it
    Money goes for a walk when I want to be alone
    Money comes back when I’m ready again

    etc. Other statements included: Money is transparent, neutral, glass-like, fjord-like, cool, still,…

    It was such a powerful moment for me when I realized that this cool, still, transparent, “thanks for knowing when to shut up & leave me alone” vibe is so essential to my well-being. I realized that this might be very different from what many other people are looking for, and I gave myself permission to fully embrace my own, relaxed, ‘cool’ & silent vibe. Realizing that I had just described around money what I also would very much appreciate in a partner.

    So what I’m saying is: don’t get hooked up on anyone else’s vibe, be it around love or money or whatever. Yours may be very particular. You may fall for things that others don’t care for, or vice versa. It’s easy to get drawn into ideal images of what a lover has to feel like – sometimes I think we’re collectively projecting ideal images that we more or less agree on. True love is such & such. Whereas it such & such for me, but might be very different for you.

    Sounds a bit like an open door maybe, but on the other hand I can’t begin to describe what a shift my little writing exercise about money did for me yesterday. It has opened the door to me allowing a love relationship into my life again (just feeling the openness, there’s no actual lover yet but I feel like it can be any day now), just by being clear about what a comfortable, easy love vibe feels like FOR ME. Please don’t force the hot, scorching, passionate, melting-into-your-twin-flame-forever vibe on me. Silence and space is what I’m after, thanks. And within that silent space there can be a very deep connection and sharing, and profound intimacy. But I’ll have it my way, thanks.

    So for anyone getting frustrated about love (or money): doublecheck your real love (or money) vibe. It might look & feel very different than the prevalent archetypes in our collective consciousness.

  17. Mm, I might be in a bit of trouble if it required 100% relaxing on my part, Erik. I can’t say that’s a space I visit often, although I usually feel like I’ve got a good dose of that mixed in.

    AND, there’s no doubt in my mind that the more relaxed I could get, the better the relationship would be.

    No doubt at all.

    Nice to hear your voice on this one, Erik. Thank you!

  18. That’s insightful, Mia! I really appreciate your showing another way to be with money (or people, even) than many might have considered.

    I can sure feel the ease and comfort of what you’re describing – and in fact, my relationship with Russ feels much like that. Natural, undemanding, lots of space, etc.

    Feels good, huh?

  19. Gorgeousophie says:

    Guys, are we essentially saying, yet again – and I appreciate immensely that the subject is being approached from yet another fascinating angle, please keep them coming! – S**** it?! Go play, go relax, go have a glass of wine (or two!), do anything BUT working on your obsession?! And instead, just sing along with the great Bob (I must put that one on GVU tonight!) ‘Don’t worry, about a thing, cos every lil’ thing gonna be all right! Baby don’t worry, about a thing, cos every lil’ thing, gonna be all right!’ ;o)

  20. Sophie, do you have that song posted in Good Vibe U?! It should be!!

    I’ll have to pop over and look for it …

  21. MissyB says:

    Oh I so love these timely posts. I too have been “working” at it recently and I’ve gone backwards ! A few weeks back when I was being ambivalant…it was all flowing right through me.
    So thanks for reminding me. I needed it.

  22. Yes, I’m appreciating the reminders, too, MissyB.

    One of these days we’ll have this so down pat we won’t even bother talking about it any more.

    !!
    🙂

  23. Erik says:

    @Gorgeousophie: Indeed a fascinating new angle! Thats why I say …

    @Mia: … thanks for the reminder to check the vibe against prevalent archetypes! It feels like there are some new things to be learnt for me there :).

  24. Kimberly Gauthier says:

    Fantastic post and so very true. For my friends (and my mom) who complain about work, relationships, etc, I always tell them that once they let go and stop trying to manage things, everything will work out to their liking, but people rarely believe me.

    What I find interesting is that everyone has heard of LOA, many have attempted to put it into practice, but all the people in my life are addicted to Action and Control. I have to admit that I was too and it took me years to let go and even today I have to remind myself to let go.

    Thanks for sharing this with us on V-Day!!!! I the TV that I’ve been wanting 🙂

  25. And another thing that really got me about your post is the statement that if it’s work it isn’t going to work. I had to read that several times before I got it and could read on. Your ex and best friend is brilliant!

    I had to take a break from my photography, because it was becoming work. The second I took a step back, I started to see the fun again and I’m back at it having a blast!

  26. They don’t trust it, do they, Kimberly? That by not micromanaging things, everything’s gonna work out.

    They think they have to oversee every little thing and be on top of all of it and worry it into existence …

    … and as I’m seeing others doing that so well, it makes me realize I’m still gifted at it myself. At times. ha

    The good news is we know when to take breaks and let the fun and the flow back in! Yay, us!

    Thanks for posting, Kimberly! 🙂

  27. bixbybailey says:

    very true, kimberly, action and control is such a pivotal downfall. something i struggle with a great deal, even knowing how crucial it is to relinquish. trying to find the balance between action and flow without getting caught up in whether i’m being too controlling or trying to force outcomes. can certainly see how it’d have taken you years to let go and it’s a such a significant accomplishment.

  28. Erik says:

    @Jeannette: mh, maybe “more relaxed than before” is already good enough 😉 – as mentioned at least as far as my women-vibe is concerned, up to now only 100% truly worked – everything less was … well … work (not in the good sense) – perhaps a worthy story for the “olde story potte” …
    ah, the need for action and control – those two are tough but once let go completely I imagine pure bliss beyond that point loa wise

  29. Rose says:

    Hi Jeanette,
    Funny you should mention the Abraham quote about paddling upstream and that I should read this today. I certainly grasp this and there are definitely days when it’s easy to flow and everything’s going the way I want it to. But, for example, while yesterday I was feeling great and my young dog (who still can be quite a handful) was behaving exactly as I want him to and we were even working on new things and he was doing great. Today, however, from the moment we woke up he was bratty and restless and being naughty and I just could not get the feeling of being centered and right (the way I was yesterday) and he was difficult pretty much all day long.
    So, when I find myself feeling like I’m paddling upstream and I have a situation in which I can’t simply “let go” -if I don’t discipline him he’ll continue to misbehave but I know I have to change my energy in order to change his energy- how do I do it? When I’m having a stuck day, how do I let go when there are things that I absolutely cannot avoid dealing with?
    Happy belated Valentine’s!
    -Rose

  30. Leah Bach says:

    de-stuckification! I love this term… it feels like I am cleaning out the gunk… the starchy filler of life (like artery plaque) and once cleaned, everything flows… Maybe energy needs clear paths?

    Great post and didn’t think I needed to comment until Rose. Rose, for me, sometimes de-stuckification may mean some immediate intervention with “feel goods”… “Feel goods” effectiveness is based on you. SO, I sing LOUDLY in the car… a well stocked ipod can fit any mood. I dress well. I buy myself a small treat, lunch with a friend or a manicure. But probably MOST important, is I have a good laugh. Now, I may have to look for the laugh… Try Eddie Izzard (Death Star Canteen interpreted by Lego) or find something that fits for you. Recognizing the need for de-stuckification is step one.

    When you feel better, you make better choices than in a “low energy” mood. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to take inspired action (because you might) but it will feel more balanced. De-stuckify first.

    You can do it, sister.

  31. Mia says:

    3 cheers for Eddie Izzard and the Death Star Canteen! I can keep watching it and keep laughing every single time.

    I agree with Leah: do something that makes you feel better. And it doesn’t always have to be “responsible”, “grown-up”, “mature”, “I know this will serve my vibe well”-stuff. Just going to the movies or doing something silly or fun that totally takes your mind of everything you think is responsible & mature & the way Abraham or any other teacher or source would tell us to do. Do sth that works for you! However ‘unenlightened’ it may be – and have fun with it.

  32. Mia says:

    In the interest of the general public, here’s Eddie Izzard:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv5iEK-IEzw

    Enjoy!

  33. Laura says:

    Thanks Mia for posting the Eddie Izzard. I have never seen this and it is hysterical…thanks for the laugh! xo

  34. Gorgeousophie says:

    You love Eddie Izzard?! Guys, you are indeed unique then! ;o)

  35. Coach T.I.A says:

    Yeah, J my story was similar till one day my ex said “this isn’t supposed to be so hard”.

    What do I think? That it CAN get hard, challenges et all AND it can feel totally worth it if you’re with the right person.

    Mia – LOVE the point you made, never thought of that before, off to check my vibe!

  36. Annette says:

    Thank you Mia!
    I have been pondering the ‘responsible’ topic for a few days now. Finding out that the ONE THING my friends adore about me is my Playfulness, I got caught in a miasma of feeling ‘less than’ because I was not ‘responsible’ or ‘meaningful’ or ‘deep’ like all you other great minds.
    What a load of beetle dung!! I have been hiding or skimming over the best aspect of me because I am working at being like others. Sheesh!! I do admire others and find Joy in communing with them, but for cryin` out loud ~ where’s my inherent, uninhibited, infectious, inspiring FUN??? Why do I work so hard at NOT being me?? Of course it doesn’t work – I am straining at it!
    Off to watch that butterfly now – – – oooo! lookit the FLOWER!!!!
    Birdies . . . .!

  37. Rose says:

    Thanks everyone! (I love Eddie too!) All good advice, things I used to very consciously do for myself when times were worse. Definitely needed a reminder that it can be so simple.

  38. Adrianne says:

    hey Jeannette, Just wanted to say thanks for the response to my comment above. I’m glad you understood/ relate to what I’m talking about 🙂

  39. Peregrine John says:

    A bit late to this party, I absolutely must mention a song, “Row,” by the Canadian fiddle group Barrage. Can’t find the lyrics online, but you should pick up the music anyway. It’ll make you happy. Plus, the entire song, Row, is exactly what you’re talking about here.

  40. Carly Fortin says:

    I am so glad to have read this! I have been stressing about business matters and taking actions that truly felt like work, NOT like joyful steps toward my destiny. Now I am realigning and getting my barometer back in check.

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