We’re back to a new week, fellow women and womxn, and today’s chat is about something I’ve been working on since about 2017. Am I a pro yet? No. Why? Because some old habits can take a while to let go of.
Over the weekend, a loved one and I talked about some of my professional and personal low points. Why’d I put myself through that? There are a few reasons, but generally I tend to keep learning how and in what ways I can do better in life. While I still dig in and get stubborn in the patterns for a bit, I know that I’m here to do “a job” and I can’t do that without reflection.
I want to share some of this tender stuff because it may help you recognize your areas of improvement. And more importantly, I want you to see how you’ve made some good choices for yourself before today and what you can do for yourself from here forward. Now, I’ll own that going down Memory Lane can be unnerving and ungrounding if we’re not in the right place or talking to the right person. So, let’s be mindful of that and try to find or create a safe space to do this.
Look Back Like a Curious Observer, Not with Judgment
Without getting stuck in the headspace of, “Jeez, James, you really f-d that up,” I was able to hear what was my past lifestyle from a semi-clinical, detached way vs. Ego first. And I’ll be honest with you: at specific times in life, I’ve been ambitious without clarity and driven to a fault. To take this example further, high levels of stress created a fault line in my systems and I’m still patching things back up to this day.
Unfortunately, I’m quick to dive headfirst into things—be them crises or “normal situations.” It’s my knee-jerk reaction in this lifetime, and I can still slack on taking care of my body and stress management needs in the moment. Does this make me a bad guide, facilitator, or leader? No. It just makes me human… If you do the same things, go-go-go and later find yourself exhausted, does that make you a failure? No. It just makes you human.
My fellow humans, we have an opportunity every moment to choose how we show up in each situation.
Now, sometimes those situations feel absolutely dire; I won’t lie about that. No need for toxic positivity here, my friends. But one thing I’ve become determined to work on, with each circumstance in front of me, is the art of living with ease. Why? Because living in high levels of stress is killing us, literally. Or, stress veers our focus away from the work we’re here to do on our soul level.
Am I doing a brilliant job at living with ease 24/7? Not yet. Will it get easier with practice? Most likely, as that’s usually how these things go.
Notice When You Have an Opportunity to Increase Your Ease
At this point in life, I guess what it boils down to is, “Am I going to make this harder for myself, or easier?” I used to pride myself on my ability to deal with the hard shit; life’s been pretty rough at points. So, that’s probably where it comes from. But what if we could “pride ourselves” on how we release shit that doesn’t serve us any longer and live our life fully present? What if we could work on having less stress and actually be ok with it?
It might sound corny, but choose you, my friends. And choose what increases ease in your world and decreases the toxicity within yourself. There’s plenty to go around on this planet. So, until we get really good at this, we have to make conscious, concerted efforts to live present. We’re wise women and we can lead our lives with more ease and less B.S. ‘Cause a lot of this really is simply B.S. that we’ve been handfed since we were young and confined by in varying systems. That’s a whole other post, but for now, I’ll share a few tips.
Tips to Increase the Ease and Release the B.S.
Here are some quick ideas for letting go of habits so you feel more at ease. Yes, these work for me but think about what’ll work for you.
- If you’re in a partnership, just let it go when your person slices the zucchini wrong for dinner—at least they’re helping
- Don’t micromanage yourself or others (hence, the zucchini reference)
- Be open to creating balance, not barriers, a.k.a. less “Yeah, buts…” and more “Ok, ands…”
- We can’t control life’s Plot Twists, so let’s ride with them as best as we can and love ourselves at the same time
- Bring creativity into your life and whatever that craft or project is, be fully present while doing it
- Assess the folks in your life: do they make you feel at ease or all prickly like a cactus?
- If possible, lessen the time you spend with those that don’t fill your Happy Bucket and make you feel like a Saguaro
- Laugh more—yep, even for those of us who are stoic types *raising my hand*
These are just a handful of ideas, and my favorite ones are breathing, committing to mindfulness, and observing Mama Nature. Doing these reminds me that I’m a component of a larger weave and web of energy, beings, and Life. And like the trees sway in the wind, so, too, can we learn how to de-condition ourselves from being all sorts of uptight. We can re-learn how to go with the flow, but it takes practice and intention.
And when we do this, our work becomes more effective (or we choose to leave the space that’s stifling). Or, some of our personal roles and responsibilities can look and feel more buoyant and joyous. So, let’s try to crack open that proverbial door to a fresh start. Let’s begin to live, work, and exist, with more ease starting at this moment, my friends. From here we’ll just keep expanding as we continue to walk forward every day.
That’s it for this week! Feeling inspired? If you’re looking for more updates and want a more direct connection, join (for free) the FSW Circle. And if you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact me 1:1 this way. Chat with you soon!