We all want to be in the flow, riding that wave of serenity with one big, fat smile plastered across our face.
But sometimes its not that easy. Sometimes we don’t know how to enter the flow. Sometimes we just keep falling off our board. And sometimes, that wave is anything but serene and that smile, well it’s a damn chore to hold.
Sweet, sweet girl its okay. It’s okay to feel frazzled. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to feel so-damn-strung-out you don’t know if you can take another day. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay. Take comfort in the fact that…
Bringing ease into life is not easy.
It’s not a case of clicking your fingers or waving your magical wand. Nope. Ease takes effort. Ease is something we need to be deliberately and constantly cultivating in our existence.
ease & easy are not the same
Contrary to what you might think, there is a whole lot of effort in ease. A whole lot of work. But what there is not, is struggle. In yoga we talk about finding the perfect balance between ease and exertion. The point at which a pose feels light, free & expansive but also allows our body to be strong, steady & alive. At each moment the pose should feel ease-y, but this doesn’t mean each moment is easy. Ya feel?
It is this kind of balance which we should work to experience in every aspect of our life. We should work to exert ourselves, push beyond our boundaries, reach for our goals but in a way that makes us feel light, free and expansive.
So, what is ease, exactly?
Ease is presence. It occurs when we are not trying to change the past or predict the future. Ease is sinking down into the moment and allowing it to happen, not trying to control it.
Ease occurs when we are in harmony with our environment. The people. The places. The energy. When we are at ease, nothing is a chore. Life becomes ease-y, even when we are doing what is conventionally know an “hard” work. Everything feels light, joyous and peaceful.
Ease is when we realise we are the creators of our existence. Ease flows through us because we have placed our trust in the Universe & believe that what we are experiencing is exactly what we need.
None of this means that ease is restricted to easy situations. None of this means that ease can only be felt when our schedule is clear & we are stretched out in from of the TV. Ease is not synonymous with relaxation, inactivity or rest.
Ease can coincide with effort. Ease can go hand in hand with hard work. Ease can coexist with disappointment.
Ease simply refers to our acceptance of each moment & our ability to keep going with strength, steadiness & vitality whilst remaining light, free & expansive.
Ease is not dictated by our external environment. It is dictated by our internal environment.
Ease is a choice.
So, why is it so hard?
Well, in yoga we not only need to find this balance between ease and exertion in each and every pose, but in each and every breath. And life is similar. Each moment we need to consciously invite in ease. Its not a case of “once you’ve got it, you’ve got it.” It’s a breath by breath, moment by moment kinda practice. To enter the flow perfectly timed so as not to get nailed by the waves, that’s hard work. That takes patience, commitment & good technique. So don’t worry if you haven’t got it all worked out just yet, Beautiful. You got your whole life to practice!
Three ways to bring more ease into your life
Spaciousness & Strength. Freedom & Effort. Expansiveness & Hardwork. Sounds contradictory. But this is ease at work.
How can you simultaneously experience these contrasts? Well…
Ease begins when we deliberately carve out space in our lives for it to reside.
Leo Babauta refers to this as creating Islands of Ease. These are little places, where you know ease exists, that you can escape to when life gets all too much. When those scales are tipping towards frazzled-over-exertion mode, these are havens of spaciousness, freedom and expansiveness that you can venture to.
And if you practice these enough, the islands will become bigger and bigger. Soon enough, you’ll no longer have to escape here to experience ease. Soon enough, you’ll be able to call on this ease right-smack-bang-in-the-middle of everyday life.
So here are a few Islands of Ease for you to try out.
Step away from the chaos. Go for a walk. Sit in stillness. Take a bath. Just be in a space of silence.
Its amazing how when we dim the stimulation to just one of our senses how much lighter we feel, how much easier it is too breathe.
2. Switch off Sista
Turn that computer off. Step away from that screen. When we are constantly attached to our phones, reacting to every beep, buzz and vibration we have no hope of entering the flow. We are unable to sink down into the moment and accept all that is around us.
So start to set no screen times. No TV. No computer. No phone. When our screens are switched off we are better able to see the moment for what it truly is. We are better able to practice presence. And we are better able to in experience ease.
Mindfulness is simply bringing your complete attention to whatever you are experiencing. It is focusing on each and every sensation. Staying with the breath.
When we practice mindfulness, we let go of the need to label. We let go of any sort of resistance to that which we are experiencing.
When we practice mindfulness, we enter into each moment without expectations, we are completely in the present moment. And the present is the ultimate, most direct portal to the flow.
I threw the question out there this week to my Facebook tribe to see how they intentionally invite more ease into their days and here are a few of the beautiful responses.
“I totally stop everything I am doing. I separate myself from it, recalibrate with a lot of stillness, playtime, and me time, and then slowly begin to re-immerse myself back into the flow; evaluating if each part is still serving me in the process. It’s not until I get away from it and completely detach from it, that I can begin to see things clearly without all the emotion and attachment to things going the way I planned or had hoped for.” – Tara.
“Sometimes it’s as simple as throwing on a flowing kimono and a little makeup to show the world I’m ready and I’m showing up.” – Kristen.
“Sometimes it is about saying no to others and saying yes to myself! When I am feeling overwhelmed with obligations or have had a lot going on (which will happen in the flow of life) I take a step back and see what I need, what my mind and body is craving, usually it is some me time. Which may mean saying no to some so I can say yes to myself, so I can take the time I need to ground and rejuenvate myself….and when I allow myself that time I can come back to others with more to give.” – Lyndsey.
And now… It’s your turn,
How do you inject ease into your life? How do you enter the flow?
I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for being here, Gorgeous.