What happens when we stop struggling, stop pushing, and stop making things hard for ourselves? What happens when, instead, we just let things be easy?
This is my current experiment.
Paradoxically, easy is difficult, at least for me. But I’m practicing, and I’m making progress.
Take, for example, this blog post. I sat down to write about thresholds, something that’s been on my mind lately and which I really felt compelled to write about. However, even with all that, no matter what I tried, it just didn’t want to come out in writing yet.
So I asked myself what would be easy and realized that writing about making things easy would be easy. I know—meta, right? And as proof, this one’s flowing waaaay more easily than my original topic.
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I do want to clarify that deciding to take the easy road doesn’t mean just sitting back and expecting everything to magically work out. It’s more about not forcing the things that don’t want to happen and not resisting the things that do.
For me, it means I’m going to do my best to let go of wanting to get through my to-do list just to cross stuff off, surrendering to what feels most right, and figuring out the easiest way possible to do things (while making sure the quality is still top notch, of course). The easiest route may still take lots of time and energy—and there will still be challenges along the way, I’m sure—but if it’s something that’s right, it’ll flow better—and feel better, too. It won’t be so much of a struggle. It won’t be so hard. THAT is the goal.
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Part of the trick is deciphering what’s hard and what’s resistance, and that all comes down to where the message is coming from. Here are a couple of examples to help explain:
Say you’re feeling a strong internal pull to write a novel, but every time you go to sit at your computer, you end up checking Facebook, texting a friend, getting up to cook a spontaneous gourmet 12-course meal—anything but writing. That’s resistance, because there’s something deep inside you that has something to say, but there are likely thoughts—either consciously or subconsciously—floating around in your head like “I can’t do this,” or “No one will want to read what I write,” etc.
This is where you address what’s behind all your stalling tactics. Once you deal with that, chances are the writing will get easier, and, even if there are occasional bouts of writer’s block, you’ll still have this feeling you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and that’s where the real joy comes from.
On the other hand, say you’re in college and you declared a pre-med major because that’s what your family (all of whom are doctors) expects of you. The thing is, the way you want to help people is by becoming a detective who helps get the bad guys off the street. Meanwhile, you’re struggling to keep your head above water in your classes, there’s no motivational end goal to help you power through the challenge, and you’re absolutely miserable.
This is where “hard” comes in—you’re not listening to what’s right for you, and when there’s that disconnect between what you’re doing and what you want to be doing, there’s always, always, ALWAYS going to be struggle, unhappiness, and stress. Sometimes you may be fully aware of it; sometimes you may have suppressed it to the point that it’s completely subconscious. But, either way, I promise you it’s there, and it’s taking its toll.
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As I said, making things easy (or, when full-out easy isn’t possible, at least easier) is an experiment for me right now. A big part of it is getting out of my head, which I often catch going to the "but I need to..." or "but I should..." thoughts, even though I know better. So in addition to checking in with my body to see what feels good to me and delving into any resistance that shows up, now I'm adding asking myself, “What would make this easy?”(Shout out to my wise coach friend, Kat, for the suggestion!)
I’m not sure where this will go or how this will work, but I’m so curious to find out, and I’m sure I’ll be writing a follow-up post to this one at some point. Meanwhile, if you decide to do your own version of The Easy Experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes! Feel free to post in the comments here, on the Baron Life Coaching Facebook page, or email me at email@example.com.
Katie Baron: life coach, freelance writer, animal and nature lover, musician, relentless optimist