As I meander through my days I talk to a lot of people and I often hear how hard things/life/etc. are, especially around this time of year as the holiday bustle approaches. It seems as if life can sometimes feel like on big chore and that the holidays, which are supposed to be restful and joyful, are just a whir of hassle and disappointed expectations.

Now, I love taking it easy and I love the holidays and I have spent many years working with the issue of why some people find it so challenging to take it easy. So, as my gift to you today, I’m not only going to ask the question: Why is taking it easy so hard?” I’m also going to give you the answer (just to prove how easy I love to make things).

First, let’s make it clear that the reason so many people find it hard to take it easy isn’t what you think it is. It has nothing to do with not having enough time, having too many responsibilities, other people’s demands or any of the other excuses that are so popular.

The real reason why you find it hard to take it easy is because (drum roll, please) you THINK it MUST be HARD. Seriously, that is the ONLY reason life feels hard. When you choose to believe that life has to be hard because that’s just the way it is, then you are deliberately (even if maybe unconsciously) creating the experience of difficulty in your life. In order to take it easy in your life, you simply need to come from a place where you believe it’s possible. Now, I know it isn’t always comfortable to change which is the main reason we get caught up in staying in situations that don’t feel good. However, I promise you that deliberately creating a love that you love is more than worth the initial discomfort.

There is always – ALWAYS – a way to do something that feels good and doesn’t feel like work. The key to remember is that even actual work doesn’t have to feel like work. That is what ease and effortlessness are all about. It’s a mindset that orients you toward looking for a better way to get things done. These can be anything from hiring someone else to do things for you, finding the simplest and most comfortable strategy for getting things done or deciding that it doesn’t even need to happen (this one is great for anything you think you “should” do.) You can delegate tasks to staff, family, etc. You can also delegate tasks to technology. This is one of the ways I get so much done myself – I take a little time to automate my systems and then they run themselves after that.

Ease can mean different things to different people. It doesn’t mean lazy though it can include lying around. Ease can include lots of activity so long as it feels great to you and feels effortless. All of the behaviors of ease follow naturally after you create the mindset. The ease mindset begins with your intention – your unequivocal decision - to live joyfully and meaningfully no matter what your current situation. Joy and meaning breed ease. The bottom line is that ease is about choosing to adopt a particular perspective on life and them following through with only the actions that support that mindset. To help you get started creating this mindset for yourself, I’ll share something that helped me tremendously when I began my own journey. It’s a quotation from the Dalai Lama:

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.”

Creating an internal landscape that highlights your desire to live happily, prosperously and with ease is the first step toward manifesting an outer life that includes all of the people, places and things that you desire. Doing the inside work first allows you to effortlessly manifest the business and life of your dreams.

This quotation from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is one of my personal inspirations for my inner life:

“How we feel about ourselves, the joy we get from living, ultimately depends directly on how the mind filters and interprets everyday experiences. Whether we are happy depends on inner harmony, not on the controls we are able to exert over the great forces of the universe.”

What this means is that your mindset/attitude is what creates the internal landscape that allows you to manifest ease in your life. You absolutely get to choose what mindset you will adopt on any topic and how you view the world. Is your glass half full or half empty? Since I’m on a quotation kick with this article, here’s one of my favorites on choice by the very wise Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft & Wizardry:

“It’s our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

So, where do you begin to create a mindset of ease and joy in your own life? Start with what makes you happy. What makes you smile? What brings on a deep belly laugh? Who, when you think of them, makes you happy? What is your favorite color and do you see it every day? What is your favorite food and when was the last time you ate it? What about your favorite client makes him/her your favorite client? What tasks do you absolutely love to do in your life/business and how much of your day do you get to spend doing that? Are you starting to see a pattern here? You begin to create a mindset of ease and joy by thinking consistently about the people, places and things that feel joyful and effortless to you. Once you get to that amazing feeling place of ease and joy in any area of your life, you can begin to deliberately apply it to any and all of the other areas of your life. Ask yourself what is effortless and joyful about your home, your relationships, your community, your stuff, etc. Spend more time around the joyful and effortless stuff and less (if any) time on everything else.

As you are asking yourself these questions, begin to imagine what your life will look and feel like once you are living with ease. For example, picture yourself in the perfect work situation with a family life full of love and cooperation and lots of free time to relax and play on your own and with loved ones. How will it be when you are experiencing more freedom, fun, financial bounty, energy and recognition in your life? Imagine all the outrageous possibilities for your life!


Author's Bio: 

© 2009 Ruth Hegarty

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Ruth Hegarty helps women entrepreneurs create confident and effortless success. As a certified Law of Attraction Coach, Ruth teaches women to unleash their powerful creator. She hosts the popular "The Art of Joyful Living Radio Show." Listen every Tuesday by visiting Art of Joyful Living .

To learn more about Ruth's group or one-on-one coaching programs and to get her free Confidence Building e-book for women, please visit her website at Leap of Confidence.