... and for tempting fate to see just how much I'm able to get away with.
This has led to some stunning experiences... and it's this drive mixed with curiosity that I attribute my success to. ... but it's also landed me in some precarious situations... and even behind bars more than a few times.
I've lived a lot in my short 30 years on this planet, and I've learned a lot about myself in the process.
An idea I'm currently deconstructing is the difference between something I once thought to be the same.
Comfort vs. Ease
It wasn't until recently that I realized they weren't one in the same... ... and instead were vastly different ways to approach the world.
It was in this realization that I became aware of the lens through which I was making decisions... ... and how a minor shift in perspective would grant me the ability to live with much more grace.
Comfort, in my opinion, is the feeling we get when we're in a familiar situation. It's the happiness that comes from experiencing things that we already know and love.
Ease, in my opinion, is about how smoothly we handle new situations. It's being able to sit in traffic with a smile or slow your breath when you enter an ice bath.
I relate this to something I learned years ago in my first Yoga Teacher Training. The yogic philosophy of 'Sthira Sukham Asanam' which I translate to 'strength & ease in every posture.'
When we view life as an ever-evolving series of experiences, or 'postures,' if you will... ... we begin to become okay with the impermanence of all that is.
For it's in the attachment to the way things used to be that prevents us from experiencing things the way they are.
I've just begun translating this in my life to a strong focus on values, and an ease in everything else... ... as it's in this space I'm able to find consistent alignment who I want to be and how I want to show up in the world.
Since I'm not able to control anything outside of myself... if I live by my values I will always find what is meant for me. ... even if it's not what I desire in that moment - which is where my ability to navigate with 'ease' comes into play.
A few ways I've been putting this into practice lately are:
Morning R.P.M. Planning
This is something we do on all of my retreats, yet for some reason I've not continued the daily routine back with me to the states. That all changed after this last retreat in Costa Rica where I was reminded of it.
R.P.M. stands for Result (Outcome), Purpose (Why), Massive Action Plan - which I write out every AM.
For years my meditation practice consisted of a single-pointed focus on my breath... which is great, but I feel is no longer serving me at this moment in time. Instead, I do the following...
I start with an awareness of my body and breath, and I begin to focus on expanding the energy that surrounds my heart. Some days it's very faint, others it expands to take in everyone I love.
I like this because it centers me, reminds me that everything I seek is within me and to lead with love.
Celebrate Your Mistakes
This sounds cliche, but I was recently interviewed on a podcast and was asked how I think about failure... to which I thought for a second and realized that my belief is that everything we do and have done is uniquely preparing us for what we're meant to do next... and instead of punishing yourself for it not turning out how it 'should' look - asking yourself "If there was a lesson in this, what would it be?"
I focus here instead on the lesson, currently, and more on what about that experience I'm grateful for.
Ex. I partied hard on the 4th of July and the following Wednesday I was not my best self... instead of punishing myself, I became grateful for "living life on my schedule, refreshing morning air, grace itself."
I say this all not to condone laziness or to give you an 'out,' but to instead strive harder towards what feels in alignment, and to grant yourself the grace to leave behind what is no longer right for you.
Just because something felt 'right' before, doesn't mean it's always meant to feel that way.
Living with grace isn't about having perfected the dance...
It's about enjoying the random 90's throwback Tuesday and remembering who the hell you are Wednesday.
Challenge yourself to step forward with courage, soften back into love, and always keep dancing.