Ease & Grace
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One of the best things I've learned to do and make a habit of is to constantly ask for ease and grace. With anything. For a whole day. For a moment with someone. As I grocery shop. As I make a business call. Adding these two words, which only takes a second, to something before you go to do it can transform it from an energy draining endeavor to something you breeze through. It can positively shift not only how you approach something, but how you choose to view it afterwards.
In order to really use these words to my advantage I had to get my head around the fact that I wanted ease and grace first though. There's a thought that pervades in our culture that if something isn't hard or daunting it isn't worth anything. We also have a tendency to believe that easy means lazy. And again, if we aren't struggling and striving, then we're lazy, and therefore we're not worth anything.
To ask for ease and grace doesn't mean you're asking to sit back and do nothing. You're not trying to be lazy, to give up or to ask for some sort of cheaters way out. You're simply asking for the way that is the smoothest to come through. Here is an example:
I was visiting a friend in Christchurch, New Zealand. I had borrowed his wife's bike and spent the day exploring the city. I'd stayed a bit too long though and was nervous about biking back as the sun went down. I didn't have any bike lights and I was afraid if I got lost I'd be biking for hours alone in the dark. As I started to head back I thought, "Get me home with the most ease and grace possible." I had an idea which way to go, but doubted it, and after asking for ease and grace I started to go another way. And then I heard someone yell my name. It was my friend! I was in fact going the wrong way, but due to that I had crossed paths with my friend I was visiting, who did indeed have bike lights. I was able to bike with him, not be lost, and feel safe. So although my initial reaction was the wrong way, it had brought me right to my friend, right into the way home that involved the most ease and grace. Shortly after meeting up the sun went down, and I was very grateful to have him with me as we navigated back.
As you can see, I still had to do what I had set out to do - to bike the half hour home. Ease and grace didn't give me a free pass out of it, and I wouldn't want one anyways. I want to participate in life. I want to drive my vehicle so to speak, but in a way that doesn't constantly attract conflict, drama and more work than necessary. If you want this also try playing with the words ease and grace. With anything. No matter how big or small. Have fun with it and notice how things change for you.
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