I don't know about you, but there are some people, tasks and events that show up in my life that feel challenging to deal with.
If I asked you right now, “what makes life hard?" it would probably be easy for you to list out all the ways life can be difficult. You might have health or family issues, financial debt or strained relationships. Personally, I've been struggling with caring for an elder parent, the associated financial obligations of doing so, and with committing to a meditation practice that really serves me.
But if I asked “what makes life easy for you?" you might have a dramatically different experience. Recently, I asked myself that question, and looked closely at my life and the ease that is present, when I invite it. . .
Life is easy for me when I bring ease to it, when I give my gifts, when I come from my passion. Tasks are easier to accomplish and projects are easier to complete when I'm in partnership with someone who shares my commitment to get it done. I'm less stressed and more satisfied when I set my intention on the “who and how" I am going to be in that moment.
When we simply declare that ease can be created in any (even our own particular) situation, and then connect with the attitudes, thoughts and intentions which will support bringing ease to the situation, it's amazing what we can experience.
Now you may be thinking “That's all fine and well when I'm doing the things I LOVE to do, but what about when the task challenges every fiber of my being? When I'm trying to find out what's wrong with my child? When I'm filing for bankruptcy? When I bury a loved one?" The most difficult of these situations, I believe, are when we feel wronged, victimized, or simply caught in the spiral of depression. Please understand, this practice is offered not in lieu of professional help.
However, I find that sometimes, not always, we humans have a tendency to make a situation more difficult because we grasp onto a commonly held assumption about the human experience: “This shouldn't be happening to me. " This is one of the most challenging beliefs of all, the actual root of all suffering. But when we begin to practice our ability to be (and stay) with what IS occurring, we naturally have more access to being satisfied and fulfilled with our lives.
Sounds simple, but it's not always “easy. " Sometimes it's easier to NOT relinquish our need to suffer, to hold onto the drama, to tighten our muscles when facing a stressful situation. But with practice and a gentle mindfulness we find eventually the ease is what comes as a result. . . the sweet fruit of presence, of acceptance and surrender.
What would ease look like in your life? And how will you create ease today?
Lori Darley is a Certified Somatic Coach and Associate for the Strozzi Institute. Lori founded The Transitions Coach in 1998 and has coached organizations and individuals, supporting her clients in reaching peak performance through dynamic communication, conflict resolution and leadership skills.