Fear & Other Tough Stuff: ease

My word for the year is ease…the absence of difficulty or effort.

Just thinking about ease makes me take a deep breath and relax. Even feel a little happier.

My life already has a lot of ease in it. I’ve made certain choices the last few years to move toward ease.

  • Leaving a career I didn’t love
  • Turning my back on perfectionism
  • Moving downtown and downsizing square footage
  • Letting go of people pleasing
  • Decluttering and going paperless
  • No longer equating my worth and productivity

Why ease?

Since there’s a fair amount of ease already, why did I choose this as the word to guide my year?

Because I’ve come to believe ease is a practice. More journey than destination. I have a feeling you never truly arrive at Ease.

Which means you always have to be on the lookout for friction.

Start noticing

You have to be careful though. Because you may be so used to the friction in your life you barely notice anymore.

Start noticing.

Look for routines, relationships, thought patterns, habits, commitments, and interactions where you experience friction. Where you get bogged down. Struggle. Feel frustrated.

Because friction is like a big flashing neon sign: Look here! Look here! Opportunity for greater ease up ahead.

Ease is for everyone

You may not have picked a word to guide your year. Or you might have chosen one that has nothing to do with ease.

Either way, I doubt you’d turn down a little more ease in your life, right? You’re not going to say, No thanks. I’d rather have a bit more difficulty and effort, please.

Here are 12 things I notice that get in the way of ease.

  1. When you seek approval and external validation and let others decide your worthiness
  2. When you choose pessimism over an attitude of gratitude
  3. When your default is busy and self-care takes a backseat to your To Do list
  4. When you talk to yourself in ways that are unkind
  5. When you live by committee or let others’ expectations dictate how you live your life
  6. When you let self-doubt limit the choices you make and the chances you take
  7. When you put up with the status quo of being disengaged at work or in your relationships
  8. When you refuse to ask for or accept help—and then wear your martyrdom like a badge of honor
  9. When you say “yes” when you want to say “no”
  10. When you choose complexity and drama, even when simplicity and serenity are available
  11. When you are living out of alignment with your values
  12. When you let clutter and consumption get in the way of what matters most

Are any of these in your life creating friction? What would it look like to choose ease instead?