I am almost through with my grueling cardio workout known as spinning (indoor cycling). The class is at its peak point- everyone’s sweating, everyone’s hurting, everyone’s ready for the last song. Our instructor offers perky encouragement over the mic. I'm half-heartedly listening when she says something that sticks out to me: “If there’s one thing I’ve always been a fan of, it’s doing things the hard way.”
And my Health Coach radar just about explodes. What terrible advice!
That’s terrible advice!
I know, I know we're supposed to be urban effin Americans who are "bold" and "unafraid of challenge." But... no! I'm just not cool with this rejection of ease and glorification of difficulty.
The world is inevitably going to bring you challenge. So when you have the opportunity to grant yourself some ease, to choose simplicity, you should absolutely do so! Results that are a product of grace and ease are no less valuable than results begotten through grief and tears. Our bodies, our spirit- they have no problem with simplicity. I’m afraid it’s our ego that needs to do things the hard way. We think we need to earn, to prove, to struggle in order to be deserving. We’re conditioned to believe that hard work will ultimately bring us satisfaction. But what if hard work just brings… more hard work? It becomes a habit or even an addiction. We confuse our inherit value with our productivity. And Western culture makes it worse by putting a stigma on things that come easy. If you let it be easy, then you should feel guilty.
Of course, I write about this because I know about this. Discipline is easy for me, pleasure is complicated. This is life’s work kind of stuff- I don’t have quick tips to offer for this topic. I just try to catch myself when I’m in a “hard work” loop, and remind myself that there is no “there” there. Working with my clients helps too, because it’s easy for me to Coach on tendencies I’m familiar with. I’ll be reminding someone who skews perfectionistic to keep the energy light and playful around their homework assignments and think note to self… We can do quality work without taking it so damn seriously.
My intention this month is to let things be easy.
My relationships are easy.
When I have questions, I ask.
I can be good, even great, without pulling my hair out.
It’s ok to choose the familiar.
I will inevitably be asked to grow and expand, so I don’t need to force that.
It’s easy to be me.
It’s easy to be a daughter.
It’s easy to listen.
It’s easy to be a teacher.
It's easy to receive.
It’s easy to show up.
And it’s so, so easy to love.
Thanks for reading.
Until next time,