You might recall that I declared 2014 the Year of Ease. You might also recall that I err on the side of Over-Achievement and that I have an unfortunate tendency to make things way more complicated than they need to be.
Well. As it turns out, Ease plus Achievement is a remarkably counterproductive concoction. Recipe fail! It’s like mixing caffeine with melatonin and praying for sleep. It’s like pairing white cats with black velvet and hoping that one of those things won’t rub off on the other thing. Wishful thinking, my friend! It ain’t gonna happen!
Or try pairing spaghetti sauce for dinner with wearing a white shirt that day. Recipe for disaster, no?
January was a short-lived but powerful experiment in Ease Gone Wrong. On one hand, I was yearning for the warm waves of Ease to wash over my existence like a soothing, amniotic balm. Passively sinking into Ease. Letting Ease embrace me gently like an angel. On the other hand, I wanted to Excel at Ease and to be the bestest, ease-iest* woman on the face of the planet (and in the history of the Universe). Lifting up the Trophy of Ease! Competing for the Blue Ribbon in Ease! No pressure, though. Ease into Ease, right?
Accepting the coveted Ease Award with a starfish jump!
Ha. I started off with good intentions. At the beginning of each new week, I would think to myself, “What can I incorporate into my days that would feel dreamy and ease-filled?” Each Monday morning, I would sit and ponder this question with the most earnest of hearts and, after a few minutes of relaxed contemplation, would write down a handful of things that would feel like silky and luxurious pockets in my otherwise frazzled schedule.
- Drink my morning elixir before breakfast
- 10 minutes of divine decluttering!
- Get together with girlfriends over tea
- Attend a group EFT session
- Phone my mom and sisters
The first week of January felt Ease-filled, indeed. Granted, I was recovering from a terrible flu at the time, so I didn’t have the strength to be Empress of Ease just yet. “Luckily”, by Week 2, I had enough gusto in me again to ramp up the Ease and to start packing my schedule with a plethora of Ease-y Things To Do. In between inputting expense receipts and calculating sales tax remittances for our art business, I would barrel through items on my Ease List, feeling adrenaline and whatever hormone makes Over-Achievement feel so dang good chorus through my veins.
Yes! I just read a chapter in that Numerology book. CHECK!
Oh ho ho! I can put a big ‘X’ through that “walk outside for 10 minutes” item, NOT TO MENTION I WALKED OUTSIDE FOR 30 MINUTES. I AM AWESOME AND I WIN!!! [insert graceless and over-exuberant End Zone Dance here, made all the more awkward by the fact that I don't even watch football]
Like this. Only awkwarder.
Sadly, whenever I would “run out” of things to do from my Ease List, I would add more items.
By the end of January, I was so flush with Ease Accomplishments that… I was exhausted. (Slow. Learner. Strikes. Again.)
At least I was able to recognize my Defeating the Purpose-ness early this time (or at least earlier than usual). So, together with my coach and dear friend, Kathy, I set a new standard for February. This month, Ease will mean carving out tiny chunks of time each day (even if it’s 5 minutes to start) and literally doing nothing. Because as much as I enjoy reading, writing, knitting, tapping, tea-drinking, cooking, brainstorming, walking, hiking, cycling, hanging out with friends, staying connected with my family, and taking the odd photograph– SERIOUSLY, WOMAN: SIT. DAMN. STILL. DO EET. FOR REAL. LIKE, NOW. (Nothing says “Ease” quite like BOLD-FACED CAPS, right? I thought so.**)
It’s taking awhile, but I’m learning. At least there are still close to 11 months left in this Year of Ease, right? Maybe by November or December, I’ll have “achieved” Ease… in the non-achievement sense of the term, of course. In the meantime, I’d love to know:
Are you a slow learner, too?
What life lessons do you need to ‘learn’ over and over again?
How do you incorporate Ease into your lives?
*Ease-iest: Not to be confused with Easiest. If you know me at all– and I assume you do if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time– you should be certain by now that I’m as far from loose as one can get. This here lady is wound tighter than a top!
** Tangential anecdote: I took piano lessons for about 3 or 4 years when I was in grade school. My shoulders were always tensed right up to my ears during my lessons, and my piano teacher would ream on them during warm-up. “RELAX. YOUR. SHOULDERS!” she would bark, while heaving her entire body weight onto my shoulders and yanking them down, presumably to detach them from my neck altogether. Surprisingly, I never became a concert pianist, nor did my shoulders ever learn to loosen up. What gives?