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Don’t Be Seduced By The Struggle. {Follow The Ease.}

Don’t Be Seduced By The Struggle. {Follow The Ease.} Move beyond the belief that you have to struggle in order to thrive! (I included some options to get you out of the struggle mode faster.) Click through for easy tips on how to follow a life of ease.

One of the most seductive lies we’re told is: you have to struggle to get what you want.

We are taught at a young age that we must fight for what we want–as if life is a battle and we are waging our own personal war.  This defensive and fearful attitude sets us up for pain and suffering, no?  It teaches us we must always be prepared to engage in combat in order to be happy.  Coming from this perspective, we forget that things can happen easily and effortlessly in life.

If we are constantly reinforcing thoughts about struggle and hardship, how can anything else show up?

I know in my own life when I am trying too hard to make something happen or if I’m white-knuckling it, the object of my desire usually eludes me.  It’s doubly frustrating because I see what I’m doing, but I just can’t get out of my own way.

During these times, if I take a step back and relax a little, things often fall into place.  It’s only when I evaluate what the struggle really means to me does it become clear why I’m pushing through it so hard to begin with.  Am I coming from a place of lack or insecurity?  Struggles are often rooted in fear–taking a deeper look helps me stop making choices out of fear.  When I remember this, I can step back and see where I can choose ease instead.

No matter how you slice it, challenges are a part of life; they build character and confidence.  And when kept in check, these growth experiences can bring us to the next level.  The key is knowing the difference between challenges and true struggle; only you can determine that.   One is helpful while the other instills fear and can ultimately hold you back.

Here are some ways to flow effortlessly through struggles:

1) Live in the moment. Getting what you want out of life comes from living in the moment and enjoying the pleasures that it brings.  Accepting what’s happening NOW and not living in the past or future allows us to enjoy the ease of living for today.   

2) Find pleasure in simple things.  “The best things in life are free” was a popular song for a reason.  When you enjoy the simple pleasures of life, it fills you with ease.  Life becomes fun again.

3) Be helpful to others.  When you come from a mindset of giving, the universe delivers it back to you ten-fold; Karma is what makes the world go around.  Helpful people always see solutions rather than problems + often receive help as much as they give it.

4) Be open to different alternatives.  If you get stuck thinking that only one way will do, it sure limits your options!  People that live with ease are open to doing one thing many ways; they are open to the idea that their way may not be best + are open to try new things.

I know a lot of times when I’m out of my own flow and buying into the struggle, it’s because of pressure from external factors: society telling me where I’m supposed to be by a certain time of life, what kind of work I should be doing, what environment I should be in etc.  It’s in these murky waters that my own dreams and wishes can get lost.

Struggle depletes the inner joy we naturally possess because it is not our instinctive default; happiness is.  

Happiness is the antidote to struggle.  Happiness cultivates moments of ease, especially when we follow our gut because it helps us move forward. With a happiness mindset, things happen effortlessly.  We are meant to be happy.

When I’m happy, I pick the ease-ier way.  I follow my gut, I trust the flow of life.  I don’t get caught up in the keeping-up-with-anyone and I just focus on what my heart is saying.  The struggles seem to disappear.  Choosing happiness brings me back to focusing on who I am and who I am becoming.  And that’s the best place to be.

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Don’t Be Seduced By The Struggle. {Follow The Ease.}2018-03-29T20:23:19-04:00

Opening Up: 3 Paths to Liberation. {And How I Survived Heartbreak.}

How do you open up more in your life when all you want to do is shut down? Click through to read about what a bad break-up taught me and how one distraction was a catalyst to moving on.

I went through a really bad breakup a few years ago.  Everyone experiences heart break at some point in their life and this one was a doozy.  We were engaged, we lived together, we were planning for a future, and then all of a sudden…we weren’t.  It was not pretty–there were lots of tears and hard conversations and promises to myself of ‘never again!’  It was an experience that ushered me into a new space: closed off and numb.

I fell into an emotional rut;  the doors slammed shut on my heart and my mind raced with fear. I was desperate to escape the pain and the only way I knew how to deal with it was to close down.  This devastation continued on for weeks until a kind friend saw how I was struggling and suggested I try yoga.

I would have become a circus clown if it promised me some sort of relief, so off to yoga I went!  The first couple of classes were so uncomfortable.  I had no idea what I was doing and I was sure I was being tortured.  I felt awkward and clumsy but it got me thinking differently about things.  It took the focus off of my sadness–the discomfort of the new practice helped open me up.

Retreats encourage it, gurus teach it and the lonely need it, but what does it actually mean to open up?

Mentally:  Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  When I was trying to patch myself back together, going to those yoga classes forced me to try something new and be vulnerable.  I learned I had to do something different in order to feel different.  Expansion can happen in many ways–with a class or a daily mantra–the key is to try something new.  Get out of your routine.  Stretch your limits.  If you feel a little uncomfortable doing it, you’re probably on the right track.

Physically:  Opening up physically is about release; it’s about letting go.  I cried a lot and then I got tired of crying, so I started talking again.  I started chatting with strangers in the grocery line; I would make eye contact with everyone I encountered to try to connect.  Physically taking action in a new way helps open you up.   Even the clothes you wear can make a difference–avoid the tight and constricting options.  Loosen up and enjoy a lighter vibe (goodbye suit, hello sundress!)

Emotionally: Opening up emotionally can feel awkward, uncomfortable but it will challenge the way you’re used to feeling. When opening up emotionally, dive in or go slow, just make some kind of move.  Express your love. Ask for help. And be prepared for what comes next: we all resist change and opening up emotionally will bring change.

God knows I was digging my heels in– I had thoughts like: what if that was it? What if  I never feel that way again?   I learned that the relief of expressing myself far out-weighs the risk of going out on that limb. Yielding to new territory can be drastically uncomfortable but those new feelings in the body are good.  They wake you up.

Courage comes after you do the scary thing.

So what is the point of opening up?  Being open is the easiest way to experience life more fully, to welcome others to share experiences with and it provides the opportunities to change and grow.  This is just the beginning of what can transpire.  Being open is about making room in your life for what you really want.

What do you need to do, to open up more?

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Opening Up: 3 Paths to Liberation. {And How I Survived Heartbreak.}2018-03-29T20:23:22-04:00
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