Stress is an everyday occurrence in all of our lives. Even the most minor stresses – like, ummm, making a restaurant choice for your office on a jam-packed busy work day, or choosing whether to take the highway or the side streets to your mother’s house when you’re already 20 minutes late to get there – can accumulate and add to your daily discomfort. We all live with stress, but does it have to be where we set our default?
Mental and emotional stress can lead to physical stress. Physical stress involves stress on our internal organs. There is no facet of our lives that does not have a physical impact on our bodies. All facets of life are always intertwined and intertwining. Regretfully, some of us live with stress like “if we can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” Our choice to live with mental and emotional stress in our everyday as if it cannot be altered is a default one but one that can always be transformed. So please read on. Maybe you can apply some of these ways of being easy to transform the stress in your life.
Easy is confident
I remember in a job interview once I was asked what 3 things did I think made a top person in that field a top person. The first thing I said was “being easy-going.”
Not the usual thing folks think of to impress an employer in a job interview. If you think about it though, it goes to follow. When a person is easy with themselves, they are confident. And it works the other way too. Confidence is easy to lead, and to be led by. Confidence is easy to be around. Confidence is easy to admire and promote. And the true test of easy? To be easy-going even when a person has no confidence or certainty of their skill in that arena. In the end, this comes off as confidence.
When someone has nothing to prove to others, when they take competition in stride, and when they don’t feel pressure to be someone they’re not, they are easy about life, and in turn, they are confident. You could even say when someone is easy with who they are, they appear to be comfortable in their own skin. That’s because they are. Easy is the new confidence.
Easy is healthy
Tension, being the opposite of easy, always goes hand in hand with stress. When we are tensing up our bodies – out of worry, fear, anxiety, frustration, concern, trying to make it, “making it happen,” grinding it out, or any other number of emotions or attitudes we feel or act upon that bring about tension – then ease is not present. Bringing ease back to our bodies is also known as relief, health, well-being and resilience. (It’s about to get real real here, brace yourself…) Ease in our bodies allows our stomachs to uncoil, allows our bowls to relax from constriction, allows our intestines to unblock, allows our hearts to ease up and pump freely.
Massage is a great tool to relax your muscles and tissues, but what about your internal organs? We need something deeper for those to loosen. Yoga practice and a meditation practice can help with the inner workings of both mind and body. There are modalities and healing practices that can assist you in fully easing tension in your body, your mind and your heart in ways that can actually alleviate how you accumulate stress in the first place – not just alleviating the experience of stress temporarily.
Easy is fun
Who of you has forgotten how to laugh? I don’t mean a titter (haven’t used that word in… ever). I mean a raucous belly laugh. Have you ever experienced a raw belly laugh that really catches you in your gut and maybe even cramps you up because you can’t stop laughing so hard? Everyone needs this kind of laughter at some times in their lives.
When you’re having fun, and fully giving yourself to the moment – that present moment that we speak about so often – then easy is having its way with you. Play is an incredible way to be easy and fun in a moment where laughter might be inappropriate but levity just right. Play can uplift and lighten the mood in a moment that might otherwise be heavy, laden with negative emotion, and possibly, overwhelming. Finding ways to inject play somewhere into your week, your day or an hour will revive you in ways that can be refreshingly new and completely take you by surprise in each moment. Take a chance.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
It’s not just a saying. It’s an actuality. Fun heightens your senses. Play gives you new life, new energy, allowing you to bring enjoyment and wonder to your everyday routine. Fun also brings insight and curiosity which allow for new perspective. And remember, the opposite of dull is sharp. Sharp-witted, astute, insightful, perceptive, ingenious, resourceful, creative, inventive, crafty, wily… and so on and so on.
Easy is smart
Working smarter, not harder is something we could all use a lot more of. As human beings, our history is one indicative of that any time that was well spent was time toiling hard. Time spent not toiling is wasted time. I know there are a lot of us that think we should disagree with this premise, and yet we still speak of “hard work” as if it is the only thing that leads to success. Toiling hard can use up your time, use up your life and use you up, leaving you with thoughts of “where did my time go?” or “where did my life go?”
When you’re working, find the most efficient use of your time to do the work that is necessary. If there’s an easier way to do something that is a smarter use of your time, consider doing it. And consider that each time you choose not to use your time more wisely and find the ease in your work, you are abusing your time, your effort and your sense of accomplishment. Be kind to yourself. Be easy.
(We are going there… yes, there.) And consider, I mean really consider, that workaholism is an addiction and not a look to be admired. Addiction can be eased in many ways. If you find you need a way to ease your addiction, a purely personal choice, then look for outlets where other addicts are reforming their lives and recovering.
Easy is gratifying
Satisfaction can fulfill our sense of accomplishment. When we feel satisfied or gratified, we feel complete. Our gratification signifies that we’ve come full circle. Being easy about our disappointment, dissatisfaction, or dismay with life can allow for greater gratification. Yes, it may sound contrary to what we know. But the two do not have to be opposing at all.
Our dissatisfaction with life often comes when we feel least in control of our lives. You’ve probably had this experience at least once or twice in your life. Something happens that makes us feel out of control of our lives. It can happen in a relationship, with a family member, as a parent with your child, or any number of other circumstances. In that moment of feeling out of control, we feel lost and bad, in some way. The bad feeling could be a feeling of powerlessness, or it could be sadness, or it could be anger. That moment of feeling out of control compacted by those bad feelings, or feeling, becomes the catalyst for what’s next. And what’s next can range from disappointment to devastation. All opposites of satisfaction and gratification.
Well, while we could do all sorts of things to feel in control, most of that would be smoke and mirror behavior as there are very few things we can actually control in life. So being easy about not being able to control our circumstances, or not being able to control other people, or even not being able to control life itself is as authentic as we can get in these moments. Vulnerability is what it’s called. Yes, being easy is being vulnerable. And that kind of easiness with yourself – a compassion for your experience, a compassion for your own inner turmoil, a compassion for whatever the moment has brought you – can bring gratification and greater depths of a willingness to understand that nothing needs to be done. You could just ride the waves of the ocean of feeling within you. You could just ride the tide of emotion. And in that moment discover you’re a really great surfer, and a truly compassionate human being.
Easy is loving
Ahhhh… Easy is loving because ease allows for everyone to be themselves. If you’re being easy, you’re allowing yourself to be the “you” you truly are. We just spoke at length about compassion and it wonderfully led us into this flow. Being compassionate for the “you” you truly are is life-giving.
Look, the “you” you know has changed often over the years – the you who was pulled from your mama is different from the you that passed the drivers test at 16 and is different from the you who told your boss off. But that you, in all those moments, is the you you truly are. Allowing yourself to be you and allowing others to be them is the greatest gift that one can give – and it’s all about ease.
Ease is loving. Ease allows for life to be just how it is in every moment, and not have to change it to suit you or anyone else. Ease allows you to be yourself. Ease allows you to see others for who they are without having to change them. Letting up on the need to control outcomes and pictures we have in our minds allows for ease, and that allows for love (also known as vulnerability and also known as compassion and also known as acceptance).
Easy is good for the soul
Last, but by no means least, we come to the soul. The spirit. The higher power. The place within you that is the very core of who you are. Ease is always good to create space to connect with the very essence of you.
Connection means vibrance. Vibrance means thriving. Thriving means life. Abundant life. Ease is all of these and more. Ease is allowing your breath – your most immediate connection to your soul – to deepen and ease. Ease allows for meditation, in whatever form you find most relevant to your life. Ease allows for middle ground, when you’ve lost sight of it. Ease allows for connection to the soul of others, where the deepest connections are made.
Look, I’m not saying a lot that you haven’t thought of before. This article may have even seemed pedantic at some points. The opportunity here is to uncover a new perspective – maybe something you haven’t thought about before. Are you easy in your everyday? Or are there signs that you have far more tension in your body than you realize?
How do you find your ease in the everyday? Do you stumble upon it? Or do you make a concerted effort to create ease in a stressful day, at the end of a chaotic week, or in a moment of devastation?
How will you bring ease to yourself today, and in the future? Share here in the comments below. Maybe you will share something that spark someone else to think newly about their own ease.
After all, that’s what we’re about… the (r)evolution of bliss.
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