“What you are looking for is already where you are looking from.” -St Francis of Assisi
“What you are seeking is not different from your very own Self.” - David R Hawkins, MD, PhD
In my last blog post, I presented the mission and manifesto of Kensho - to live with ease - which also happens to be my own personal statement of intention. I received a lot of feedback about it, and a lot of it was positive. However, there was one interaction that stood out for me, and I wanted to address it, to clarify what I think is one of THE inherent misunderstandings with the idea of ease.
“To live with ease; that is a burden,” this person stated to me.” I was surprised! When I asked them to say more, they explained, “It’s just another impossible standard, one more thing I ‘should’ be doing, one more yardstick to measure myself against and come up short.” And then I understood, VERY well.
We live in a world where failure haunts our past, inadequacy defines our present, and success lies somewhere in the future after sacrifice, struggle and luck have played their part. We live in a world where we are not enough. We should strive, strain, and sweat to be better in order to meet a standard that is constantly altering and forever on the horizon. Where 90% of women don’t just disapprove of their bodies, appearance, and abilities - they HATE them. They might even believe that this hatred is necessary to better themselves and achieve their goals. That if they accept themselves as they are now they are doomed to inadequacy and failure. I should know. This is an apt description of me and my past.
And so I’d like to clarify my position on ease, to eliminate the burden of expectation and, perhaps, even inspire a change of thought.
To Live with Ease is:
the willingness to be accepting of yourself as you are, and the present moment as it is, RIGHT NOW.
the desire to take positive, rather than punitive, action.
an intention that is accessible to you in this moment and every moment, not as a mountain to climb.
a quality, a description of positive intention and action, not a judgement of better/worse or more/less.
an act of authenticity. Brene Brown describes authenticity as “the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”
an act of rebellion! In a world that discourages self-acceptance and present appreciation, to live with ease is a defiant act of compassion and love. It could inspire others to do the same. It could change the world.
an acknowledgement that goals and aspirations are useful, but not if we use them as judgments against where we are right now. As Louise L Hay states, “Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
the declaration that I would rather be my ally than my enemy.
In practice, I have come to realize that ease is not inconstant - I am. Years of entrenched thought and conditioning takes time to overcome, and so I have to commit every day to my intention. I still lose my way in my darker moments. I still struggle when things are hard. Rather than judge, I accept that decades of patterning and belief are not undone overnight. But I’ve seen, in all those decades, the result of believing that struggle is necessary, suffering is beneficial, and nothing easy is worthwhile. I’ve experienced what self hatred can produce.
And now I devote the future to seeing what simplicity, authenticity, and ease can do.
“You have tried it the hard way. Now try it the heart’s way, the effortless way, for a while. I have not come to burden you but rather to free you of the notion that you need to do anything to be your Self. It can never be apart from you. It is the core of your very Being.”