How to choose ease when life seems so hard
Are you getting enough sleep?
How about nutritious food?
Many of us will answer “no" to all if not at least one of the above questions. And for those of us that can say “yes" to all 3, I celebrate you!
Many of the moms I work with are high achievers. They are learning to take excellent care of themselves by getting the sleep they need, eating food that is nourishing, and getting exercise several times a week, but they are still exhausted and feel like they are walking up an endless hill with no sign of a peak, where they can rest.
If this sounds like you, if you want to know how to choose EASE when life seems so hard, you are not alone!
Let’s look at some possible invisible habits that might be playing a part in the dis-ease that you are feeling.
- Ruminating without any action to remedy the situation
- Worrying about the future
- Being inauthentic to please others
- Stuffing feelings out of shame
The key to stopping the energy leaks is to become aware of our invisible habits (make them visible by becoming aware or them.) As we learn to become aware of our habits it’s important to remember that we learn the right thing at the right time, and mistakes are part of that learning process. Reflecting on the past and taking note of new approaches can be fruitful, but that is different from ruminating on the past or being regretful to the point of depression.
I know that I go through times in my life when I am prone to many of these things. I’ve learned that when I linger in ruminating by repeating a conversation over and over in my head, I am not present for the moment. And this is where ease exists, in the present moment. When my attention is divided between doing and thinking I become too exhausted to even see what is happening. When I take a step back- take a few breaths, talk to a friend who will just listen to me, or do some other type of self-care, I can see things much more clearly. The past is done and ruminating about it won’t change that.
Worry (imagining negative outcomes before they happen) and anxiety have been some of my other personal go to invisible habits. The antidote to these is often humor. Have you ever noticed that having a good giggle and worrying are totally incompatible?! Now of course hard things will still happen that are out of our control, but worrying about them does not prepare us to meet them when they come. If you have a habit of worrying, you’ll notice how quickly your thinking can dash off into negative patterns of thought. Wouldn’t it feel much better to stay in the present moment, trusting that you will know what to do when challenges arise? This DOES require some mental muscles not to engage in worry, but like any muscle growth, it can be done by lifting small weights first then lifting heavier ones as you get stronger!
Overcomplicating things and procrastination are other ways we diffuse our energy as moms. While not always easy, there is great value in keeping life simple, taking time to plan, and having clarity about what we are about to do and why. For example, I am currently in Spring cleaning mode with my kid’s toy collections. I find it much EASIER to clean up when there aren’t so many things in my space.
MORE WAYS TO PLUG THOSE ENERGY LEAKS
Energy leaks rob us of our ease, peace and joy by consuming all of our energy. A great way to plug up this leak is guided meditations. My favorite app these days is Headspace. I have also created a meditation for you HERE. ENJOY! (Sorry about the quality of this recording... I'm working on it :))
Journaling is another great way to plug up the energy leaks. IT allows you to get your brain on paper, where you can actually see it. I love the work of Byron Katie because of the way she empowers me to come up with ways to to look at my life from a different perspective. I offer you this worksheet to help make journaling even EASIER.
And my last a favorite way to find ease... Surrender! (Oh boy, this one is the most difficult for me, but also the most effective.)
Quick personal story: This weekend I am going away for 24 hours for the first time in my son's life. I am filled with both excitement because I am going to be with my two sisters and also fear that my kids will suffer while I'm gone. I know that when I feel fear it's a sure sign I'm relying on my own strength instead of the strength of God. God (and I could also say the Universe, Spirit, the fairies...) is always ready to support me, but She won’t step in until I step aside. So, I surrender this sister trip through prayer, knowing that all will be as EASY as I let it be.
The secret to surrendering is to forget what you think you need. Do not wish or hope for a specific outcome. Instead, ask for the highest good for all.
By plugging your energy leaks with conscious effort you will notice that time actually feels like it is expanding because you are living in the moment rather than the future or the past. This way of living nourishes not only you, but your children as well because they can’t understand when you body is present, but your mind and heart really aren’t because you are distracted by your own thoughts.
May you be filled with ease, peace and joy today and always- for the benefit of all!