There is a difference between living an easy life and living in ease.
Easy means without problems or difficulty. A life devoid of adversity.
Living in ease is striking a balance between effort and the effortless. It is following the rhythmic flow of life. Living in ease is a choice rather than an unrealistic ideal.
We all experience challenging times, periods when we have to stand firm, overcome, work hard, push through. But even during these seasons, we can choose ease.
As humans, we often unconsciously seek out the most arduous path. Our ego thrives off external approval from others. We want to win. We want to be right. We want to impress. And sometimes, we want to avoid. Avoid failure. Avoid being in stillness. Avoid emotions.
There is nothing wrong with diligence, working hard, competing or having others express their appreciation of us. But when we always live in this place, we move away from our authenticity and instead focus solely on living for and pleasing others. This ultimately leaves us feeling overworked, overwhelmed, stressed and unfulfilled.
Being under stress is like being stranded in a body of water. If you panic, it will cause you to flail around so that the water rushes into your lungs and creates further distress. Yet, by calmly collecting yourself and using controlled breathing you remain afloat with ease. – Alaric Hutchinson, Living Peace: Essential Teachings for Enriching Life
Choosing a path of ease means, even when we are faced with a problem, finding the path that aligns with our truth. It is about doing the right thing, not the thing that looks best to others. Ease requires looking deeper, knowing ourselves and recognizing when we are being steered by our ego.
Clearing clutter—be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual—brings about ease and inspires a sense of peace, calm, and tranquility. – Laurie Buchanan, PhD
It can be uncomfortable to take the reins away from our ego. For many of us, ego has directed us for a very long time. But this letting go allows us to stand firm in our truth rather than relying on the acceptance and valuation of who we are from others.
Just as living a life of gratitude takes work, living in ease takes practice. It requires honest reflection and personal understanding of our deepest selves. It asks us to embark on a path of self-leadership and knowing that our worth comes from within.
The next time you are faced with adversity, enter that space thoughtfully. Consider how you can move through it with ease. Adversity by its very definition is never easy but our choice on how we handle ourselves, what we hold on to and what we let go of, can allow us to be more resilient, finding that balance between effort and softness.