5 ways to bring 10% more ease into your life
Ease is a hugely underrated way of existing in this world. Everywhere you look online, you’ll find memes that glorify the concept of hustling. Hustle is a sexy way to say, “push your limits so hard that you get the gold and glory.” After all, we need to crush it, right?
Well, I think it’s time we start putting ease on that pedestal instead. I believe that when we do, we create space for abundance and flow. We open ourselves up to receiving the serendipitous gifts the Universe has to offer.
Ease doesn’t equal easy.
I mean, I understand we need to work to get what we want, but we don’t need to work in a way that’s always pushing us to the edge of our well-being.
And this is why I say ease doesn’t equal easy. A task doesn’t have to be easy to bring ease. It can be challenging yet also brings a sense of ease. Ease is about self-care. Self-care asks me to be gentle and loving, rather than hard myself. It’s the difference between working on something in a way that’s energizing and even pleasurable, or hustling, striving, and efforting to get shit done.
For example, creating this website was challenging, and even difficult at times. I had to figure out how to write about myself in a way that connected to you, and also explained who I am and what I do. If you’ve ever tried to write about yourself, you know what I mean about it being difficult. So to bring more ease to this process, I found teachers who gave me systems to work with. By using their guidelines as a foundation, I found greater ease in writing.
I also made sure I always kept my vision of building my dream website in mind, and worked on it at a steady pace. This means I launched later than I originally planned, but when I finally did, I had the energy to care for all that comes with a launch. The strategies I used definitely brought me 10% more ease… probably more, really.
So, curious about what you thought would bring more ease into your life, I posted this question on Facebook:
And while the responses may likely seem to fall in the “easier said than done” category, I have a few ideas on how to approach them. Here’s what you had to say (and by the way, THANK YOU! You all rock!):
1. Stop saying yes when I really want to say no.
When we say yes to something we actually don’t want to do, we’re giving away our power. We’re saying, “You’re time and energy is more valuable than mine.” If you notice you’re trapped in the YES cycle, you need to ask yourself where the yes is coming from. Is it coming from fear or joy?
If your answer is fear [ie: fear of missing out (good ol’ FOMO); fear of not trying hard enough; fear of… ] then you have to ask yourself another question: is this fear really serving me if I feel stressed out or resentful? What need is this fear trying to help me notice?
You might discover that FOMO may be connected to a need for contribution. You’re service-driven and when someone needs you, you feel important and valued. That’s the gold! Reflect on this: what other soul-fulfilling ways can make you feel this way? Make a list and make sure there’s no stress or resentment in sight.
2. Stop stressing about things that are out of my control.
This is a tough one for sure. We may have invested our time and energy in something or someone, so naturally we want to understand our relationship to this action or person. If someone harbors unpleasant feelings toward us, and we’re a sensitive soul, this may cause us pain. Of course, we want to take the pain away, and one of our strategies for doing so is to figure out how to make it go away. But then all this strategizing and worrying causes more stress and we end up feeling even worse.
My approach for alleviating this stress may sound counter-intuitive:
Lean into the discomfort; don’t try to fix it.
Journaling is the best way to start this process:
Instead of relying on the story you’ve created in your head, describe the event in detail on a piece of paper.
Then, holding nothing back, describe how this makes you feel. Don’t censor yourself. Be as silly as you think you are. Swear. Get ugly. Don’t make excuses for anyone.
Once you’ve let it all out, write yourself a love letter. Be your compassionate companion. You become the friend who would support you through this challenging time. Start by telling yourself it’s okay to feel this way, and then continue writing as your friend would. If you don’t have friends like this, no problem. Become the friend you wish you had. You can work on finding kinder friends later. ;-)
Now, take a break. Step away from the paper.
When you’re ready to come back, describe how your feelings have changed. You might feel lighter than you did at the start.
3. Stop worrying about the details. Start managing my expectations.
For the perfectionists in the house — or the Virgos — this is tall order. I know your attention to detail is how you prove your worth. I know this because I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’d spend hours getting presentation slides juuuuust right. I mean, sure, being professional is important. But is that really determined by adding the perfect border to all the images on each slide? No, it’s not.
So for you, my dear , I give you a simple assignment: take one task you know where your perfectionistic tendencies usually shine, and omit two steps (okay, okay, just one!) from the process. After executing the project, reflect on how it turned out. Did you feel lighter than you usually do after such a task? Was it successful despite the omission? You might need to try this a few times before you really understand the effect of letting go of these expectations on your well-being.
4. Stop looking outside myself for answers.
Asking your colleagues, friends, and family for advice; reading articles by experts in the field; watching TED talks to get more information; listening to podcasts; taking ANOTHER course. Sure, it’s good to be informed, and it’s important to know you have resources and a support network you can lean on. But if I constantly look outside myself for answers to problems and challenges, I’m actually causing myself more stress. When I do this I end up going around in circles because the perfect answer is just around the corner, right? As you know, it rarely is.
However, when I rely on my intuition to make a decision, I start building my personal reservoir of confidence and wisdom. When I take the next step because it feels right, then I’m creating space for those spontaneous gifts from the Universe I mentioned in the beginning. I start building evidence that everything I need is already here, and that is a huge relief.
5. Stop thinking I’m in control. Remember, the Universe actually is.
If you can do this, then you can forget all the other suggestions. Well, not number 4. Number 4 and 5 are related.
Do your best — which doesn’t mean hustle or fall into the perfectionist trap — and then leave it up to the Universe (Divine Source, God, universal energy…) to determine the next step. The Universe is always rooting for you. This isn’t always obvious, so you need to learn its language, but when you do, the potential is boundless. If you’re curious about this, I recommend joining my Facebook group, The IN Crowd, where we explore such topics.
Procrastination was another point mentioned on my Facebook post. I didn’t add it to the list because I have two minds about procrastination. I agree that if we’re putting something off and it needs to get done, it’s time to take action. Action creates momentum and momentum creates flow. Flow and ease are buddies.
However, for our dear over-achievers, procrastination may actually be you taking the rest you need. You may be putting too many expectations on yourself when really, a break scrolling through social media is exactly what you need. Those daydreams or that puttering around the house, may support you in getting the next task done with, what? That’s right: EASE.
So check your energy level: does the break feel energy draining, or replenishing? If it’s draining, this means you’re procrastinating, so GET ON WITH IT! — yelled in the most loving way. If it’s replenishing, then my dear, enjoy the hard work you’ve done. Knowing you, you’ll get back to it very soon anyway.
If you’re interested in bringing A LOT MORE ease into your life, let’s work on it together. Sign up for any of my online services: an hour-long Soul-Seeker Session or a complimentary consultation that leads into a 3-month coaching series.
Otherwise, when you try one of these tips, let me know if you felt 10% more ease afterward. And if you have a friend who could benefit from a bit more ease in their life, give them the gift of sending them this post.