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June 3, 2019
Word of the Week: Ease
Lately, I’ve been finding it annoying when someone compliments me for being hard-working.
Yes, I am driven. Yes, I am determined. Yes, I am extremely passionate. But these are different qualities than hard-working.
I’ve lived my whole life thinking hard work was the only path to success. My identity was so wrapped up in being hard-working that any semblance of rest felt lazy and weak. As good as it felt to succeed in the ways that everyone wanted me to, it came with a price. It led to anxiety, sleepless nights, an eating disorder, physical illness, and a damaged spirit. What society seemed to admire the most about me was destroying me from the inside out.
It’s taken thousands of dollars and countless hours in therapy to learn how to not work so hard. That’s probably why I find it so triggering these days to get praised for hard work. It’s like reinforcing someone’s addictive behavior.
Over the years, I’ve started to trust that productivity isn’t the end all be all. In fact, I’ve noticed I actually get more done when I am well-rested, energetically nourished, and pursuing what feels fun and easy. Instead of approaching life with the type of brute-force mentality we are taught (and praised for), I am learning how to live life with more ease.
Even though I feel better living this way, I still get insecure that I am missing out on things and “falling behind.” The longer I am on the spiritual path, though, the more difficult it is for me to push myself in the ways I used to. If something doesn’t feel in alignment, it is becoming harder and harder for me to just suck it up and push through.
In the words of my best friend, “That’s probably not a bad thing.”
Hard work isn’t everything. You are more than your accomplishments, the hours you put in, and the sacrifices you make. Success is not as linear as you think.
Ask Yourself: Where in your life are you pushing yourself beyond your limits? How can you live life with less effort and more ease?
Weekly Mantra: I trust that I’m meant to live life with fun and ease.