I seem to have a knack for doing things the hard way. I kind of get off on it, working hard. I like pushing my limits, challenging myself physically, professionally, and pushing the edge of my personal evolution.
The thing about pushing and working hard — yang mode — is that it can be easy to lose track of the easeful side of things: the yin mode.
So pushing, striving, which is by its nature, not easeful, becomes a habit.
And yet ease is our natural state. Ease is where healing happens. Ease allows us to expand into our creativity, into connectivity, into new possibilities.
None of the spiritual masters or anyone I’ve ever met who does a lot of meditation, tai chi, qi gong, yoga, or other paths to the core of their being ever reports that stress is our natural state.
I just got through recording a bunch of teachings as to how we practice ease for the Easeful Living module of my coaching program, Level Up Your Life, including this one on Tapping, or Emotional Freedom Technique. It’s a great way to rewire the nervous system so that things that are stressing you out seem to lose their power.
It can even work on those stubborn, long-held beliefs about ourselves that keep re-creating stress and getting in the way of us feeling awesome.
Wanna try it with me?
Another question I’ve been posing to myself is, “How could this be easier?”
According to the Yoga Sutras, life is a balance between effort and ease: “shtirum sukham asanam,” or, to take a few more linguistic liberties: both firmness/effort as well as sweetness and ease are available no matter what crazy-ass, twisted, one-legged position we might find ourselves in.
But even if you’re standing in a crazy-ass, twisted, one-legged position where you quads are burning and you don’t think you can balance much longer, you can probably relax your jaw, eyes, and neck.
And the pose will get easier. You stop wasting energy, and you broaden your awareness to encompass not only the hard stuff, but the ease.
Ease is as immanent as our ability to tune into it.
And if you didn’t get your free copy of my Five BioHacks to Reduce Stress eBook from the last newsletter, click here to download your copy now.
Are you interested in making ease more of a habit? (Or pushing yourself towards ease — how’s that for paradox?) I’m gearing up to go to Italy with my family for a couple of weeks. When I get back, I’m making time to talk to people who are ready to change their M.O. from stress to ease. If that’s you, check out my Level Up page and fill out my quick questionnaire to see if we’d be a good fit to work together. The people in this current round are having breakthrough after breakthrough — it’s the most exciting thing in the world to me.
Are you traveling this summer? Load up your phone with these episodes of A Healthy Curiosity:
These are the final installments for season one. I’m going to be taking a month or so off from creating new episodes, but fear not: we’ll be releasing some encore episodes in the coming weeks to tide you over until season two arrives — I’ve already had some fascinating chats with guests for season two, including Liz Koch on the psoas muscle.
May you find the ease in every challenging posture.