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An alternative path : what if it doesn’t have to be hard?

















I have a radical suggestion for you. Go for the easy.

As in, find what brings you ease.  Ease-y.

Yes, that.  I invite you to try it on and tell me what you find.  You might be really surprised.

One of my clients has been in a tough place lately.  You know the one.  It’s like she’s in a narrow corridor at elementary school and there’s a bully blocking her from moving.  Whenever she takes a few steps forward, the bully grabs her by the arms and forces her back.  He’s much stronger than she is, and he’s determined to keep her from going where she wants to go.

She’s stuck.  And the bully’s name is Resistance.  Another word for Fear.

What can she do?  The struggle isn’t working, even though she knows from past experience that she can defeat the bully, eventually.  We have all done battle with Resistance, and despite our scars we know how to slay that dragon.  It takes will and perseverance, but it isn’t bigger than we are.  We summon the strength required, we choose our weapons, and we make the choice to dig in.  We fight it till we win.

This time, however, she makes a choice to do something different.  She relaxes.  She asks herself “What would be easy here?”  And her shift allows her to see a window she hadn’t noticed before, which opens onto a courtyard.  She climbs out and drops to the ground below.

Graceful.  As in, full of grace.

When Resistance turns up (as it will when we’re contemplating a big change, creating a project, evaluating a bad relationship), we square off with it.  We lock horns.  Typically we get to a stalemate, where all action ceases.  Stuck is not a nice place to be, so we struggle with it until we prevail.  It may take months, but when we commit ourselves to pushing through we manage to do just that.

What if instead, you allow yourself the supreme kindness of meeting yourself where you are.  Rather than contracting and defending, you invite ease to the situation as it is today.  You adjust your goggles and – whoa!  You notice opportunities where before you saw closed doors.

And what if rather than setting up deadlines and lists, action steps and challenges, you give yourself permission to stay cocooned for as long as it takes.  You acknowledge that now is not, in fact, the time for pushing and prodding.  You know this because of the results that pushing and prodding is NOT producing.

You lean into what’s easy.  And from there, you see what to do next.

Your way forward will show itself to you when you are ready to know it.  Not before.  So allowing yourself to stay coiled up, rather than coaxing yourself to unfurl before you’re ready, is not only an act of self-kindness, it also makes good sense.  It saves you precious energy and gains you a vantage point you might not otherwise have had.

Going for easy is the difference between bleeding a proposal out of your pores, and watching it flow through your fingers onto the paper.  It’s the poem that writes itself in the early morning quiet.  It’s the product/event/offering you’ve been struggling to create that shows up in your dream tomorrow night.

Sure, you can fight your way through Resistance until you emerge victorious, sweaty and proud.

Or you can appreciate the closeness of your cocoon for now, and ease gently upward when the wind whispers to you, “Come this way.  I’ll show you how”.


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  • Anne Pillsbury July 18, 2012, 3:23 pm

    A timely post for me 🙂

    This weekend I was putting the finishing touches on a bureau I refinished. I was missing the final nail. I remembered I had lost it in a crack near the garage door. I asked my daughter if she’d help me to look for it. We searched for five minutes and then I gave up and let go, trying to get my mind around the fact the bureau may be less than perfect. I looked at the ground one more time and the tiny nail caught my eye. My daughter says “See Mommy, if you just let go, the Universe provides exactly what you’re looking for.” Now with your post today, I am certain there is wisdom in choosing ease for me right now.

  • Amy Kessel July 18, 2012, 6:42 pm

    Beautiful, Anne. Thanks for sharing. ~Amy

  • Annemarie July 25, 2012, 6:56 pm

    I loved this phrase:
    ”It’s the poem that writes itself in the early morning quiet”. So profound 🙂