I love it when things are easy. Want to travel halfway across the world? No problem, book a ticket. Hungry? There’s food in the fridge. Bored? Turn on HBO or listen to Spotify.
Everything within walking distance or at the tip of our fingers! Yay.
And yet, I don’t know how many times I have heard people say,”I wish things were easier” or “It’s not that simple”. I’ve even made those statements myself. What do we mean when we say we want things to be easier or look back nostalgically to “simpler” times in the past?
Could life be made more ease-filled and simplified than it already is? Yes, technology is always advancing. We have computers, cell phones, incredible transportation, convenience stores. Somehow, even as these helpful technologies meet more and more of our needs we still feel overwhelmed by life’s many demands and wish for things to be easier.
On the other hand there is the school of thought that says working hard, struggle and not having it easy makes us better people. That it is through hardship and/or hard work that we can appreciate what we have and be grateful for life’s blessings.
Here’s what I think: more of anything will make things better but after a certain point it stops adding value. Take money, for example, studies show that one year after winning the lottery, winners’ happiness levels return to where they were before they won. In the case of work, satisfying work can be energizing, connecting us to the strength of our bodies but prolonged hours of hard work can make us resentful and tired; depleting any joy and gratitude we may have. Fame may bring great recognition and appreciation of our being but after a point it can feel stifling to be under constant public scrutiny.
Take air. We have an abundance of it. We take it for granted. We don’t think too much about air quality until it is becomes too polluted to breathe. Why do things have to get bad before we appreciate what we have?
Is there a way we could appreciate ease and convenience without becoming nonchalant and neglectful? Will we only grow by going through the school of hard knocks? Are we that infantile and stubborn in our ways?
There is a way out. Always I have found being present, whether experiencing hardship or ease, to be a very productive and illuminating course to take. When we are awake and present in the experience, our interpretation and perception of what we conclude to be a hardship can change. We look to the lessons/purpose of our experiences and from there expand our wingspan to fly the heights and depths.
It isn’t always easy (ha!) but we can apply simple techniques to our daily lives to awaken our senses and experience life through a different set of lenses:
- Just ask yourself: am I awake in this experience? Whether you are working or watching TV ask yourself: am I present in this experience or am I just vegging out or complaining about the situation.
- What feelings are arising and do they serve me? During your work or leisure time, observe the quality of your thoughts: are you happy, sad, bitter, glad?
- What is my preferred state that I would like to be in? In any given situation we can choose what we would like the experience to be: we can switch from being grumpy to being OK with the way things are. We decide.
Life is both challenging and breezy. The universe does not promise a life of ease or hardship to guarantee a sense of fulfillment or wholeness. We are our own happiness makers, we decide how peaceful we feel about our lives that we are in. What can you choose today that will change your experience for the good?
Want guidance in learning how to be in your experience? Book a session with me! And don’t forget to share your thoughts with us. I love receiving your comments.