Permission for Ease

Give yourself permission to be at ease. Sometimes you need to ride the Agouti and celebrate love and possibility!

Not too long ago I was thinking of essay topics for my students to write at Miami Dade College. We had been practicing yoga throughout the semester, and I had promised a yoga based theme. As I got closer to assigning the essay, however, I started to have nightmares about reading 150 essays on downward dog. I quickly realized that I did not want to do that to myself. I knew I wanted something deeper, more interesting, and satisfying.

And so after a particularly meditative yoga practice some days before I would talk to my students, the question for the writing assignment came to me. It was one that has been quietly undoing a lot of fretting and discomfort in my life.

What do you need right now to feel at ease?

My students were startled by the question but liked it much better than an one about downdog. I explained how this question gets to the core of yoga practice because yoga is more than just the poses.  I share the question with you because you, too, might find it useful and healing. As you explore the question yourself, notice one very small but insightful word in the prompt.

The word is NOW.

Now brings us away from thinking about the future and the past. This is important because the future is a story that is often flavored by fear, and the past is another story too often tinged with regret or guilt. Both past and future only exist in our minds and are creations of our thoughts and ego. We can let these stories go by changing our focus. The NOW is a very brief moment. Research suggests that the now as being a moment of about 3 seconds. That’s it!

And so we come back to the question:

What do you need right now to feel at ease?

It’s not easy to embrace the answer to that question. Everything around us, and mainly the voices of not-enough in our own heads tell us it is not possible to be at ease or even more complicated than that. The voices insinuate that we don’t deserve to be at ease. These voices don’t whisper. They scream out that we should be striving, that ease is just another way of giving up and being mediocre. Maybe these are my own voices! But, as I look around, every piece of advertising I come in contact with is more often than not based on some sense of dis-ease and not enough, carefully crafted for us to stay consuming distraction rather than enjoying well-being.

Invite yourself today to explore your moment of NOW, to go deep within and find your ease, and live out of that state of blessedness that acknowledges that you are enough just as you are, even if it’s for just mere seconds. That little bit of allowing and time heals lifetimes of hurt.

If you are like me and feeling too familiar with being dis-eased, maybe this is a good time to unwind that conditioning.Here are some simple practices:

  • Get outside more and look at the sky.
  • Have delicious conversations with family and friends where you share what matters with you, what is important, what you love, what makes you laugh, cry, and dream.
  • Do an act of kindness today.
  • Move and feel your body and breath. (Yoga!!!)
  • Eat food that nourishes, satisfies, and is healthy for the body.
  • Practice smiling.
  • Create a gratitude list everyday.
  • Name your ease on a daily basis.

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