“Just being in the now” has become very popular lately and there are many books on the subject. This can be very powerful and is a key aspect of living a wholesome, balanced life. More on this below. But it can also be a big cop-out, depending on your motive. It’s a great line to remember for the dedicated couch potato. For instance, if your partner asks you: "Could you wash the dishes, please? We have company coming over soon." You could reply: "Not right now, dear. I really need to just concentrate on being fully in the present moment on the couch here." The other extreme is living with the sense of stuggle. Striving to accomplish something, if done with the sense of struggle is self-defeating. If we feel stress or anxiety, it’s probably because our human pride or ambition is involved. If we remember that God in us and through us is the doer, and we just have to work diligently and wisely to allow His work to flow through us, then we maintain our balance.

Cherishing the process

Things do not always flow easily, and due to our own bad habits in body, mind or emotions, we may have to strive long and hard to accomplish our goals. We may also be swimming against the current of the world’s fashions and ways, but when we strive with joy in our hearts for a worthy end, it becomes a labour of love. We get caught up in cherishing the process (the journey) and entrusting the end result (the destination) in God’s hands. Then we get back into the “now”, and draw on the great strength and resources of our Real Self or Spirit which dwells only in the eternal now. For ultimately time and space are illusions.

You might well say: “I’ve heard that before and it sounds nice, but deep down inside I don’t buy it.” Well, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. The most important thing is that we do in this life what we need to be doing, and stay centred in our hearts and serve with love.

The meaning of life

When we come to understand that the meaning of life is not just to try to clamour to the top of the food chain, or that “He who has the most toys at the end wins”, we will appreciate that the process of life is one of learning, growing and self-transcendence. This makes it much easier to be joyously striving while being fully in the present moment.

Life is a process of becoming our inner Real Self , as spiritual beings. This process depends on the quality of our thoughts and feelings in each moment. These determine our energy vibration level or aura quality. This is how we balance our karma, by being loving moment by moment, working to fulfil our own life’s mission and serving others. Being loving means doing what is most needed now. This may require us to be assertive or strict with people or children (“tough love”), or may require great effort.

Healthy striving

Striving should not be confused or equated with struggling. Struggling is trying to make things work out through the human will in the limited arena of the human world. It is the state of denying our identity as spiritual beings and the spiritual intercession and grace that is available to us as we let go and let God manifest through us. Striving is part of nature. It is the natural movement of life in a cosmos that is continually transcending itself. It is being part of the cosmic dance upwards away from the lower energies of illusion, stagnation and death. Here is what the Ascended Master El Morya says about striving:
"The ascended masters do not force their chelas (students). They allow their chelas to force them – to magnetize them – and thereby magnetize themselves to the higher law of their own being. There is a certain friction that is required for all attainment on the path. There are inconveniences to be borne and perhaps incongruities as you find yourself at times out of alignment with the lever of the law. Chelas must be willing to exert themselves. Exertion is the block and tackle of mind and soul lifting the weight of darkness that it might become light. And there is a staying power that must needs be tested, a hanging-on for life, for breath, for love, for wholeness." – The Ascended Master El Morya (Pg 110 of The Chela and the Path by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Copyright © 1977 Summit University Press. www.tsl.org)

Let go and let God.

Finally, for those who believe in living according to the maxim: "Let go and let God", and think that there is no room for healthy striving in this, here is another quote from El Morya to help balance the two out: "Do you think for one instant that I am going to come into your midst without gently prodding you to take the hand of your own God Presence and to hold fast to it just a little firmer than you have in the days gone by? Oh, I know that you think you have held on very tightly. You feel that you have accomplished a great deal, and perhaps you have strained yourselves to the last limit. This is not necessary. Strain is often produced because individuals in their great anxiety to do our will feel the need that they themselves must push themselves without actually letting the Presence lead them forward.” (El Morya on page 6 of the book Morya by Mark and Elizabeth Prophet. Copyright © Summit University Press).

The lesson here is that the "letting go" is letting go of the sense that we as the human ego are the one who is making things happen and that there is no higher plan and power helping us. "Letting God" is not sitting back and waiting for Him to do everything for us. We are His hands and feet on earth, so we let Him work through us by doing our best to be our Real Self as wise and powerful love in physical action. This brings the sense of true Self worth, as opposed to having someone else do it for us.

Author's Bio: 

Craig Nicholson is a writer, inspirational speaker, professional pilot, and founder of the websites Balance for Wholesome Living and The One-Stop Survival Preparedness Guide.