I have the kind of brain that loves to play with contradictions. I don’t really like black and white. Sometimes I take the opposite point of view just to see what it is like. Not to the Chidi extreme of paralysis, but I do see lots of shades of greys. If your brain doesn’t work like that – if you like black and white – then this blog is for you. Think of it as flexibility training…
Here’s something I’ve been playing with a lot lately. “I can do hard stuff.” That thought makes me feel strong, and when I feel strong, I absolutely can tackle difficult things, and get the results I want. Good, yeah?
Then my inner tween starts whining “why does it have to be so hard?” Hmmm. If I’m stuck in the strong, I say “Shut up. Suck it up. I can do hard, so just do it.”
But what if… it doesn’t have to be so hard? What if there really is an easier way? That really got me thinking, and I actually felt a shift as a bunch of things aligned.
My life – like, everything in my life – got easier when I did the work I needed to do to begin to manage my brain, to shut down the noise and drama. I stopped struggling, and everything was so much easier. I began to operate from a totally different place, a place of peace.
Here are the Cliff notes of how I got there:
What if I’ve been wrong all this time? What if it’s not either/or? It’s either hard or it’s easy? If I’m not being strong, I must be weak – what if that’s just BS? What if it can be easy and hard at the same time?
I think I have it! Every day doesn’t have to be hard. We don’t have to start from a place of struggle and drama. That’s big, take it in. We don’t have to start there. But we might encounter obstacles along the way (might? OK, we will). That’s when we need strength – to overcome them so we can get back to the place of peace.
I’m thinking of my niece who is climbing Mt. Whitney right now. She set this challenge for herself months ago. She knew it was going to be a challenge, because she had never done it before. But she didn’t start off thinking it was going to be “so hard” that she made up a bunch of drama or she quit. No, she just figured out what kind of practice and gear and nutrition and conditioning she was going to need. Then she did it. She didn’t start off struggling and miserable. She figured out how it didn’t have to be so hard. Sometimes she needed to tell herself “I can do hard. I can do this.” But she didn’t start off struggling.
Okay, that makes perfect sense in this example, right?
But what if the challenge you choose is weight loss, or career change, or starting an academy? Writing a book? Reading the classics? Stop drinking? “Oh that’s different. That will be hard. I’ve never done it before. I have a million reasons why I won’t succeed, such as…” Queue the drama.
These are big things.
It may be hard AND it doesn’t have to be a struggle.
Does that blow your mind? It should. It changes everything. Queue the peace.
And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!
Love and light,
I signed off with “love and light” back when this was originally published and I’m not gonna practice historical revisionism by changing it now.0