This morning, mixing up a smoothie of fig, banana, yogurt, and vanilla, I found myself thinking of all the ways I support myself. Today I spent time with my journal. I did my centering meditation. I attended a yoga class, my first since completing a month-long yoga teacher training, and I felt so grateful for the strength, flexibility, knowledge, and perspective that I gained.
Because the month was hard.
And it was easy.
Here’s the surprise. Ease and challenge don’t cancel each other out. They synergize. Dynamic tension becomes an alchemy of limitless possibilities.
Wherever I support myself, I find ease – even in the midst of challenge.
This is the beauty of any practice, whether writing a novel or holding a yoga pose, or growing in a relationship.
In yoga, we energize a posture, activating core muscles needed, giving it all we’ve got. At the same time, we can let go of any tension that isn’t serving – relaxing a tense mouth into a soft smile or releasing locked knees.
My life is fraught with numerous challenges at the moment, but my life is also incredibly easy. The ease comes from knowing I can head into the winds of change while saturated in joy, peacefulness, and a sense of security and comfort rather than stress or fear.
I used to have it wrong. I thought that life was hard, and so I didn’t take care of myself. I didn’t want to push too much. If life is frightfully hard, why invite challenge?
Now my view has flip-flopped. Life is easy. That is, when you are kind to yourself by breathing, trusting, listening, caring. And in this ease, we can reach for change and challenge and growth and move through things that are very difficult. They are going to happen anyway.
I’m thinking of a young writing client. At nine years old, she is accomplishing the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing a novel in 30 days. She has the support of her mom and dad, who each do their part to help. She is playful, yet propelled by vision. She understands that with her schedule, reaching her word count may not happen on time, but she supports herself by being positive and lighthearted. Oh – and let me not forget – she uses the support of a writing coach! I think we could all learn from this kid. I know I can.
Are you trying to make life easy by not trying? Oh, this is a hard path.
Are you reaching for creative challenges?
Are you making things hard, by failing to practice self-care?
I invite you to go for your biggest dreams, your hardest challenges. At the same time, relax, breathe, and discover all the ways you can be at ease.