I "only have to let the soft animal of my body love what it loves" as Mary Oliver says in her poem Wild Geese. Maybe that's what ease is. It could be and I want to believe it. Bringing me back to the question of how do I choose it?
Interestingly as I was writing this post, I looked up quotes about ease. Wow, not a lot of uplifting words in these quotes. Ease is not something that we allow much less celebrate. No wonder I don’t naturally choose it! The first quote that Google showed me is Winston Churchill's "This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure." Assuming that one was from wartime. Then there is Theodore Roosevelt's "Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering." Ouch! Starting to question this word of the year. 🤣 And then I say the word again, ease, ease. Ah, it feels peaceful and present. I believe this is a different kind of ease than Churchill and Roosevelt were talking about. It’s not about leisure or laziness. (My resistance to and discomfort with laziness is a whole other story, in fact it’s probably another blog post, maybe next month! 😉)
My word ease, the one that relaxes me, is the kind of ease that comes from a deep connection with my authentic self and sense of belonging in the world. It comes from really and wholly knowing I am enough – knowing in my mind, my heart, and my body. And maybe that’s the thing about it, it’s as much about letting go, allowing, dare I say easing into ease as it is about choosing ease. The choice is in the acceptance, and the acceptance happens when I come back to presence (my October blog post), notice without judgment (i.e., awareness, my November blog post), and most importantly nurture and stand up for myself (i.e., self-compassion, my December blog post). It’s the inside layers of my leading from the inside out model that open up the possibility of ease. It’s letting go of the should’s and have to’s and “letting the soft animal of my body love what it loves.” Choosing ease is simple (and not easy), it’s connecting to me, stepping into the space that emerges when I accept and love what I love (including me). That's the space of authentic aliveness, it's the space of rest and rejuvenation too. That’s what I call ease -- more of that in 2024 please! Looking for some more ease for yourself, let’s connect.
Caroline Cochran, PhD is a Certified Presence-Based® Coach and a Leadership Development Consultant with over 25 years of experience.