Ease is earned.
Just find more ease they say. Pah! It's another thing that's easy to say and so much harder to actually live out.
The infamous Simon Sinek once said that you're not present (with someone) until they tell you, you are. Of course he was referring to the art of listening. The glorious and rare (alien) feeling of actually being heard by somebody, like you're the only person in the room. For me this is the same for ease, you don't ooze ease until someone tells you that you ooze ease. I remember having this feeling when I first met my yoga teacher, Tara Stiles. I had ran up to the studio, leaping like a frazzled ball of sweat into the lift to get to the training on time and there she was stood casually in the lift, bleeding grace and elegance. Her face relaxed and her voice slow and gentle. She literally inspired me that day to be "More Tara", I truly felt different in her energy. It's something I've strived for since. Hearing, "I love your energy SJ, it makes me calm" is a gift. I've succeeded, someone is telling me they feel peaceful in my presence. How's that Simon?
The way you and I eat says a lot about us. Ever heard the adage, "How you eat is how you live" ? So true. The way you move also, the rate you talk it's all connected. You can't have ease in one place and a pile of stress symptoms in another. That would be impossible. Ease spills through your whole being and when you're nailing it, you'll be the person everyone wants to be around because you, dear reader make them feel so damn good to be around. It isn't an accident, it is a practice. Why don't you commit to starting this moment? A lovely beginning into this work could look like this.
STOP what you're doing right now, get comfy in your sit, roll around a bit and close your eyes. Notice right this second where you are holding tension. With your eyes closed, consciously soften your brow, tongue, lips and jaw. Relax your shoulders, arms, hands and let go of the gripping of your legs. Now try this breathing exercise. Take 6-8 slow breaths in through your nose and out through your nose. Let 1 minutes pass, set a timer and commit.
Eyes open. What do you notice? What's here now? Do you notice the subtle shift in energy? Powerful stuff. Incorporate this exercise maybe 3-5 times per day. Set an "ease alarm" on your phone, stop everything and prioritise it. You'll soon be doing this automatically, in all manner of places...
Who might you become if ease worked it's way into your day to day? What would people start to notice about you? What would they say?
Ease needs to be experienced every single day. You and I have to flex our ease muscles.
Perhaps the mantra for this month of October is "When I practice ease every day of my life, so much more is possible and I get way more done." This is certainly true for me. The constant feeling of having to rush and do more doesn't serve me, it leads me to feeling burnt out, resentful and a feeling that I'm skimming the surface of my life, never going to greater depths.
Going deeper into our lives versus rushing around doing more. Resisting all those shiny objects (especially on social media) and committing to practicing ease instead of the mindless scroll. What can you start to say no to so that you can open up some space for your practice?
The commitment to writing a monthly blog is all about that for me, going deeper into the things that put fire in my belly. Committing to building my business and in flow with who I am.
Isn't Autumn a time for shedding and letting go of the old? Of course. Then I absolutely decide to live in harmony with nature. Rolling with the season, even if that means more of our inauthentic ways start to fall away which also includes the people in our lives. This is always true when we commit to speaking our truth and making a stand for our beliefs. Watch the dross fall away, it's necessary.
Come Spring, new shoots will appear for us but for now staying deeper and more inward is my commitment. Can I offer that to you too?
Bringing more ease into my life through practicing yoga and guiding yoga classes has to be my number one way to truly feel grounded and centred.
I've put my Top 5 below for you and I'd love to know in the comments which you tried or which resonate with you most.
1). Breathe better with James Nestor. I LOVED this podcast. Try the method of in through the nose and out through the nose that he advocates from A LOT of research into this arena. I listened to this https://drchatterjee.com/why-changing-the-way-you-breathe-will-transform-your-body-and-mind-with-james-nestor/ and I've got mine down to 6 per minute what about you? (yes even whilst running).
2). Turn off Instagram for ONE hour per day and commit to using that ONE hour to go deeper on a business task (or a family one) you've been putting off forever. Don't be remembered for how great you were at posting on Instagram. You're worth more and your business and those closest to you need you. Easy? No, ridding these habits is never easy. Worth it? I absolutely believe so, yes.
3). Move by connecting every part of your body to your breath. Join me in my online live-streamed yoga classes, all from my home studio (yes the front room) This way of moving changed everything for me back in 2014. Best of all it helped me to process stress on and off the yoga mat. Seven years on I'm still obsessed with it and I'd love to guide you too. It's not about the yoga positions or those yoga poses so often seen on Instagram, it's about loving the journey of moving your body with all you got in every direction you can. It will never fail to transform your inner world! Here's your link to join the waitlist.
4). Eat what nature has provided and support your local farm not the supermarket. The best in organic food going! Check out my favourite place here https://www.theorganicfarmshop.co.uk/shop/ where the mineral-rich, organic soil ensures your gut stays happy too. Here's what's in season right now. Why eat what's out of season? Green beans in plastic from Peru? No thanks. Again, beautiful simplicity. Squash curry anyone?
5). Walk without taking your phone for ONE hour every single day without fail and borrow a dog. I walk 2 beautiful dogs every day as part of my routine and they give me a huge sense of purpose for getting out there and into nature. Check out this link to connect now to your local area and dog walking places near you. These dogs need you more than ever. https://www.borrowmydoggy.com/
Finally, this time of year where the cold mornings mean you can see your breath and where blowing into hot cups of tea feels like a warm hug I'm reminded of one of my most favourite childhood series, Anne of Green Gables. I watched it obsessively for many years and have the fondest memories of that time. The line I LOVE is where Anne says: "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers"
I agree with her, such a magical, beautiful, golden time of year and despite what we are all living through and adapting to, no one can take away from what we have in our own precious mind. Today, more than ever I'm so grateful to the power of imagination and for stories like the one above that helped shape mine.
Until next time...