20 July, 2011
I saw Oprah speak in her Master Class series a while back and she told the story of a mother who was holding her son as he was dying. He had a terminal disease and these were his last moments. As he began drift between worlds, he got this big grin on his face and said, "Oh Mommy, it was all so easy!"
But we don't like easy very much, do we? I'm mean, we say we like it - we even say we want - but when push comes to shove, we don't buy stock in it...we're skeptical, we say things like we "got lucky" and we often brace and wait for the "other shoe to drop." It's ironic really. We're so busy dissecting the anatomy of easy, we miss the point entirely. Our enduring love affair with "hard" prevents us from noticing the wind is at our backs.
Listen to the language of our western culture and you'll hear our values: "sweat equity", "roll up your sleeves" and "pull yourself up by your bootstraps", "no such thing as a free lunch", "put some elbow grease into it", "no pain, no gain", "this is too easy..." You get the point, right? So no wonder we've been groomed for "hard". It's in our blood.
But there is a ground swell of change happening that is having more people relocate into the "easy" camp. It's got a bunch of different names. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls it "flow", Martha Beck refers to it as "steering by starlight" by using your "north star", and you remember the smashing success of The Secret, that expounded on the work of Abraham-Hicks and the Law of Attraction? It's all essentially pointing to the same thing.
Believe in Easy and it will Become Easy.
Now, I can hear a bunch of you saying, "That's all well and good, but it's not that easy..." Gotcha! You're more than entitled to hold onto your hard (so to speak), but here's a little trail of bread crumbs in case you're interested in heading down the easy path.
Danielle LaPorte, a rock star woman and author of The Fire Starter Sessions (I highly recommend these!) for entrepreneurs, recently boiled down the whole "easy scene" for me in a way that totally sealed the deal. She calls it "The Metrics of Ease" and "The Strategy of Desire". She begins by asking the reader to answer one simple question:
How do you want to feel?
Her premise is that knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have. That question is the answer to your strategy, your to-do list, your business plans, your prioritizing, your choices. Her philosophy of living puts a twist on Descartes "I think, therefore I am", moving us into the realm of "I feel, therefore I am." Her strategy is simple:
Know how you want to feel and do whatever it takes to feel that way.
She suggests writing three-five words or phrases (her words are connected, affluent, divinely feminine and innovative) on a sticky note that describe how you want to feel and let those words be the rudder of your ship. She gives the example of a handful of things she could do to feel affluent, for example: making a donation to a cause dear to her heart, wear her favorite cocktail ring, transfer fifty bucks into her savings account, buy a burrito for the homeless guy on the corner, sit in one of those Herman Miller Aeron Chairs that she's saving up for. Her message - don't delay. Feel the feeling now and it will expand - it will take root, find a home and grow in you. Now you try...
Ask yourself, "What can I do today or even right now to feel ____?" (insert your desired feeling here)
Sure, you can make it hard. We've got hard dialed in and perfected (which makes it kind of "easy", interestingly enough...). But what if that little boy was right?
What if it were easy?
I don't know about you, but I'm banking on that little boy and his wisdom. I'm banking on easy (not lazy, not lucky, not passive, but easy). I'm going to effort-less. Join me?