balance, Creativity, Healing, peace, Self-compassion

Peace and Ease is Underrated

I’m pretty fed up with the masculine mass consciousness that tells us that in order to evolve we need challenge, pain, discomfort, and suffering. Sure, all those experiences can be perfect learning tools, helping us discover boundaries, survive life’s bumps, and climb out of pits of doom. Let me just say that i’m writing this cuz I’m terrible at practicing this. Ok not terrible, but I’m definitely a slow learner here, and still feel pulled toward anything that would make me feel like a conventional badass rather than self-assured outcast. 

No more work needed here. The mountain has been climbed.

Sure, in struggling the intention is to become aware of your disillusionment, and wiser as a result.  But, the design of the soul is not to be stuck in suffering. You aren’t destined for darkness or heaviness. We must not think that ease is empty of wisdom, that there is no growth in a period of peace. Your energies want to play and explore and expand, and they can do so when they feel free. Freedom is the result of peace and ease. In choice-making, path-carving, and soul-searching, the way that creates the most peace and ease is always for your highest good. It is a way of powerful transformation and expansion. 

I’m not talking about that fluffy high ya’ll get post spa-treatment during which you spend your entire time on pintrist fantasizing about your best life, or the care-free “YOLO” lifestyle, or the lazy “I’m just going to ignore all my responsibilities and not care” sort of ease….that shit doesn’t last, and it often is our way of feeding our preexisting imbalances. It doesn’t even penetrate us. It lives on the surface. I’m talking about the deep sense of ease you get when your soul can truly rest confidently in it’s ability to take care of yourself. The type of peace that allows your cells to breath your entire body in alignment with your higher self. Sometimes the path is still really fricking hard, but you know you are creating a life that is authentic to you. And that is what makes all other struggle bearable. This is not just a matter of softness, but of immense strength.

Trying to cultivate some ease of being in the Apple store, awaiting the Genius Bar, ending up being that weirdo in the corner that probably has the employees calling security.

Imagine how much free creative energy you would have if you were not in conflict. Most of us probably can’t even imagine that because we are so far removed from such way. Imagine how empowered you would feel if you weren’t stressing the fuck out all the time. You could use your creative energy for so many live-giving things that you can’t even imagine yet. Imagine you are in a bubble, and the hand of stress comes along and crushes that bubble right up against your body, so close that anything that moves could pop it. Now imagine your bubble extends beyond the walls of the room you’re in. Your awareness can extend beyond what is right in front of you and you forget about the 1/6,348,428 chance that a bear is going to attack you at any moment. (How could you ever grow when you are constantly worrying about the bear?!) WOW! Now, from this perspective, what do you want to do with you life? I imagine it isn’t quite the same as the crumpled up bubble prison. 

But, alas, we are taught that growth is only made when we do what is hard, or something we don’t actually want, because we need to learn “discipline,” “respect,” “duty,” “selfless service,” and that basically we don’t actually deserve all that we have ever wanted and more. This is bullshit. It all creates noise and disease that cuts you off from your life force and purpose, which is to be a soul and expand. You deserve it all, and you can take full ownership of the internal peace you maintain in your life. The overall concept can be that simple, but of course it is hard to practice this when we’re trained to do the opposite. We have so much information trying to confuse us and convince us we don’t know what’s best for us. 

We are in such a strange time….our lives are overflowing with imposed responsibilities and our intellects are bombarded with information that we can’t even process our days, or even say hello to our tender hearts, our true guides. I will propose that creating ease in our lives is more simple than we assume. We already know what would make us feel more human again. We already sense what we want, even if our intellect tries to stomp it out. Fundamentally ease is simple, even if it isn’t easy. Our lives aren’t simple, and maybe that is just a matter of our thought patterns. How have we strayed? How do we return? When we listen, the message is clear, and when we have clarity, we understand that our desires are simple. When we allow our hearts to guide us, the internal world no longer has to fight with the external world.

Hoping to sooth my soul amid trees, and end up start stressing cuz I’ve never assembled a propane stove.

My practices that quiet the conversation with stress include:

long walks

being in nature

doing less

gazing into the distance

slowing down

saying no

giving myself permission to feel what I feel 

Please share ways in which you already do or wish to create ease and peace in your life, be it a simple daily task, or a larger undertaking. Thanks for reading 🙂

balance, Healing, Self-compassion, Transitions, yoga

Balance is a Moving Target

Buzzword Alert: balance and core

In today’s westernized hot bod yoga workout craze, how many times have you heard the phrases: 

I want to find balance in my life…

If only I could create a work-life balance…

Move from your core!

Engage your core!

Ok don’t literally try to count. These concepts are all over the place. Capitalism has taken hold of yet another thing that cannot be generalized or materialized and has given it a name and face, and convinced us that we need it and that we don’t have the capacity to create it within ourselves.  Everything society feeds us throws us into extremes, and then we come crawling back, desperate for a remedy (temporary if that), remaining trapped without examples of what true, real-life balance looks like. We are told that the more we do, the more we get. Maybe if we made it to a couple classes and chanted a few “Oms” then we would feel better, or even be on the cover of Yoga Journal! The truth I believe I that when you do the optimal amount, you get the best. 

Being that EVERYTHING on my natal chart lives entirely on one side, I obviously have no innate sense of what balance is for me. Besides that, I’m an earth sign surrounded by two water signs, which means my need for stability is often thrown on some wild rides. SWEET. I mean, I may have some intellectual sense of what balance is, but when it comes to actually creating it for myself….well that’s just funny. I may seem all centered and stuff, but trust me, I am working HARD because all of my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual tendencies work to scatter me. That’s great, cuz it makes me highly curious and versatile, but ultimately it can be exhausting and debilitating, especially within modern culture. Thus, I now announce that I have dedicated my life to exploring what balance feels like for me. So, because I have no natural capacity for balance, I have become quite the expert in my experimental self-inquiry. 

Of course we want to be proactive in creating balance and harmony in our lives. Balance begets health and we all want health. Health is NORMAL. It is the middle between too much and too little.  We know deep within us the familiar place of peace, yet we accept a life that works in the opposite direction. Health and disease are two sides of the same coin. Disease is a deviation of the normal balance. It isn’t a different thing. Thus, healing from dis-ease requires more than just waging war on our imbalances, but to reinstate the natural balance. This natural state of being may not be in your conscious memory and it may seem so far away that you may not even know what feeling you are seeking. Keep listening. Patiently. Compassionately. Consider how long you have been doing things the “other” way….habit evolution takes tiiiiiime. 

Balance does not eliminate challenges or highlights. But it does work to keep you centered in yourself as you face exciting circumstances. Being centered does not imply being settled. You can be centered in who you are and what you are doing, and still desire more of what the world has to offer. Enjoy all the contrast that exists on this magnificent planet. 

The thing is, since you are always shifting, growing, moving, changing, your ideal balance does the same. Take it moment by moment to eventually see the shape of your own balance curve. Every moment you are shifting from pose to pose, your center of gravity shifts as well. 

This brings me to the second buzzword: core.

There is a lot of talk these days about moving from your core…engaging your core, for it is a place to engage, contract, and tighten to become strong. with this approach, our preciously reliable core becomes this condensed point. To remain integrated and balanced, we need our cores to radiate through our entire body, fluffy, radiant and full, not sucked in and flattened. Your center of gravity moves as you do. Allow your core to shape-shift with you as well. Don’t expect the center of your being to stay in one place. That is not what it was meant to do. Balance is a moving target, not a fixed place. Get used to being a work in progress.