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April 6, 2016

Let it be easy

Self-care doesn’t have to be a struggle and it doesn’t have to be a sacrifice.

Self-care can be simple.

It can be easeful.

It can be sweet and intuitive.

You could let it be easy.

When did we collectively decide that the most complicated solution wins?

(It doesn’t win!)

You don’t have to pack your life with activities that feel like Herculean effort. You don’t have to make it harder than it needs to be. You don’t have to prove that you’re doing great things by making it all such a battle.

Especially when things just… aren’t.

You’re allowed to have an easier time.

You’re allowed to finish things quickly, and then take an hour off. You’re allowed to not struggle. You’re allowed for it to feel simple and uncomplicated.

If this is true for you, you could allow for that to be the case.

You could let it be easy.

Along with the “busy trap,” I think there’s also an “overcomplicated trap,” a “struggle trap,” where we make things far more difficult than they need to be. Sometimes, you just need to decide.

This is not to say that everything *is* easy.

But for some of us, we’re making it harder than it needs to be. In some areas of our lives, we might not actually be struggling. We may just feel the need to look like we’re working hard in order to fit in or be able to commiserate.

But if it isn’t hard…

Give yourself some credit.

Then allow it to be as simple as it already is.

This looks like:

  • Not staying at work later than you need to in order to look busy, since you’ve already finished your work.
  • Fixing a simple (but delicious) dinner that’s nourishing and tasty, instead of something elaborate.
  • Feeling calm about that upcoming presentation, because you’re totally prepared and a solid public speaker.

I understand that not everything in life in easy. In fact, some things that are easy for others may feel really difficult for you. But if something is easy, seize on that. Don’t overthink or overcomplicate…

Just allow it to flow.

One example from my life is, well, the editorial calendar for this blog.

It’s color-coded and beautiful and best of all, it’s doable. Like, it’s fully within my capacity to create what I’m setting out to create.

It’s also fun, most of the time, to write in this space and share what I have to say about self-care and self-compassion and making ourselves well so that we can change the world.

Yet, I had a lot of self-doubt. Shouldn’t this be harder? So I asked a colleague to take a look. She said all the right things, including that it looked great. So, what was the problem? I asked her that question above:

Shouldn’t this be harder?

I had worried that I was an imposter-fraud because this felt… good to me. It felt right and easeful enough.

Which is when I realized:

Making things harder than they need to be is self-sabotage.

It is, first and foremost, an unkind inner narrative. It is not kind to tell ourselves that we should suffer more because that’s what’s done.

But also:

When we make things more complicated or harder than they need to be (for the sake of them being hard), that’s when we fall out of our zone of radiant brilliance. When we make things difficult in this way, it is a form of self-punishment. It’s also a way to take us farther from what we do well.

In the process, we not only dishonor our talents and discredit our worthiness, but we also falter in what we create.

Then we point and say “Look! It’s so hard and it didn’t even turn out right!”

Oof. That’s not very nice to ourselves.

So, let it be easy.

Just allow yourself to be good enough at something that it doesn’t have to be an opportunity for suffering. There are enough of those opportunities in this lifetime. Today, cut yourself some slack and let it be not-that-hard.

If you are still struggling, could you let it be 10% easier?

I’m guessing that you could. I’m guessing that you could allow it to be 10% less stressful or difficult or aggravating. Even if you just take a break and come back, I imagine that it could feel 10% less shitty.

Allow that.

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