Understanding our dance with difficulty and releasing our addiction to struggle brings forth ease and possibility in our lives
Sometimes the ideas for blog posts flow like a prolific surging river of inspiration, sometimes not. Mostly, my inspiration comes from what I am experiencing around me, witnessing in others and myself. Recently, when I laid awake in my bed in the middle of the night staring at the moonlight shadows upon the wall — having difficulty getting back to sleep, it’s no wonder I started to think about difficulty. And where aspects of my life were feeling like struggle — where, like a dog with a bone, I was holding on, not seeing what needed to shift, what I needed to let go of. As I flip-flopped back and forth under the duvet, thoughts tossed in my brain as much as the covers.
And when this routine rolls out, I start writing in my head. I start composing new interviews when all I truly want to do is lull myself back to sleep. I ask myself, is it stress that is waking me up? Is it the red wine? Was it because I watched unsettling political news instead of reading something uplifting before bed? Is it the moon? Or am I ignoring something deeper that is gnawing away at me, trying to get my attention?
Look, it could be a combination of it all. This notion of ‘difficulty’ and how we perceive its power in our lives — can keep us awake at night.
It’s exhausting to constantly be in denial about something, to ignore the signs and to keep up the façade of ease.
It takes work. Was there something I was missing? Where am I banging my head on a closed door, expecting a different response (repeat)? Quite literally, what is it trying to awaken me to?
It all circles back to the b-word: busyness. I talk about this often, probably because I, too, need to be reminded of it. But busyness doesn’t solve problems. Busy is just busy — and busy is a great mask for hiding internal conflict.
So, who’s creating the ruckus around here, stirring the pot and keeping us all awake? And who’s responsible for all of this perceived struggle? Well, that would be the one in the drivers seat (uh hum) — yes, that would be you (and me). Bad news/good news, right? Well, it’s a bummer to no longer be able to blame things on others or circumstances. However, this is a good thing because if we can look at things with even the tiniest smidgeon of difference, then we can begin to shift from an un-serving behavior into an empowering one. We can spend less time dancing around it and begin to move through it.
Half the time we don’t even realize we are doing it. Have you ever caught yourself getting all know-it-all-y about yourself? This actually just translates to a form of denial — and simply leads to bypassing what’s really going on within us, alas missing the cues and the cry for deeper healing. Try as they may, we ignore their battle cry and keep on doing what we are doing.
When I look around, I witness people who have difficulty finding love partners, or difficulty losing weight, or difficulty with their finances, or difficulty feeling passionate about their work and career or maybe some combination of it all. Bottom line: difficulty comes in many unique flavors and the more we practice it, the more we accept it. But you get to decide if you are going to attend that party or not. And if you attempt to ignore these perceived difficulties, they will appear in other ways, like in your head in the middle of the night!
A friend recently pointed out to me how I equate making money with having to work really hard, as in working all the time. Snap.
That rang true. Somewhere along the way I downloaded the belief that we are supposed to work, work, work — which has created a mental struggle for me. That is contrasted by my desire to create an unconventional life — one in which I don’t report to a cubicle dressed in a suit each day (I’ve actually been there done that).
I want to be geographically independent and do the work that I love — have laptop will travel. It took me a long time to find my way back to this path, but there’s no turning back now…until of course I start the mental gymnastics at 3 AM.
When we are in the midst of any emotional struggle, all we see is struggle. I work all day long and then I often drink a glass of red wine at night because I ‘earned’ it (or so I tell myself) — it’s my decompression button, my reward. Now despite how much I love a good glass of red — perhaps my focus should be on altering the way I perceive my work, my work ethic and the way things are ‘supposed to be’?
What if it was possible to be wildly successful, creative, impassioned and financially secure without all the perceived ‘difficulty’?
Imagine freeing up all of that time!
Jokes aside, I’m calling myself out here — flipping the light switch on and rerouting my thinking. Inserting a little ease and flow, no more head-banging around here.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that our magazine would be produced by sitting on the sofa eating bon bons all day, but there is a lot of space between that and frenzied days, going non-stop 7 days a week.
I’m bringing awareness to my approach regarding work. I’m going to try to see this all differently — to release the pressure gauge just a bit and see what emerges. I’m also going to pay attention to the feelings that pop up. Busyness has been wearing the pants for too long and there’s a new sheriff in town.
Where are you struggling in your life and coming up against the same situation over and over — your relationships, your self-care, your work, your money? Where are you feeling resistance, where are you ignoring your red flags?
We get addicted to our struggle. And as we witness a world around us in a constant state of struggle as well, we then begin to subconsciously perceive this as some kind of norm. Let’s disconnect from negative media and distractions, pull back from the difficulty of what’s going on around us and go inward to heal our own struggles. It’s the only place to start.
Instead of struggle, let’s get addicted to ease, balance, peace and staying aligned with our intuitive selves.
Simply start by inserting a small dose of it. Plant the seed and see what grows. Seriously, what do you have to lose — a little discomfort, stress and anxiety? Sign me up. This is how we can be the change we want to see in the world — the place where we can heal one struggle at a time and reconnect with that carefree, joyous, best self essence clamoring to be reclaimed.
Doesn’t that sound refreshing? It’s only as difficult as we make it. One small awareness, one great leap forward. Join me?
Where is ‘difficulty’ showing up for you? Let me know in the comments below. As always, I love hearing from you.