What If It Could Be Easy?

That’s the question I’m asking myself lately. About lots of things.

I’ve realized that I tend to expect difficulty and complication.

Regardless of the how or the why, when I expect something to happen with ease, it usually does. (And even when it doesn’t, the expectation of ease seems to help me respond to the non-ease better.)

The trick seems to be remembering to expect ease. Because when you’ve had 30-cough years of expecting difficulty, that makes for a pretty well-worn synaptic pathway.

Do you ever catch yourself gearing up for a situation by playing out all the ways it could go wrong? I totally do that. What will I do if things don’t turn out the way I want? What will I say if they get angry? What kind of crappy customer service will I get today? How will I respond if they accuse me of blah blah blah?

Not helpful at all. Things usually work out fine despite playing out the worst-case scenarios, but how much more pleasant would my life be if I could approach those situations neutrally, if not optimistically?

An example (and an acknowledgment)

A few days ago I had to go grocery shopping by myself. Usually if I need to go, I arrange it so my husband is there, too. Not very efficient, but there you have it.

As I was psyching myself up to leave the house, I was pondering what an easy shopping trip would look and feel like.

And then, just as I was about to head downstairs to leave, the cat decides to throw up. And of course it was on the carpet rather than on the tile, where it’d be ten times easier to clean up.

Now, I don’t make a habit of sharing my cat’s digestive mishaps on the blog, but here’s why I’m making an exception today:

Sometimes things aren’t easy. Or at least not as easy as we’d hope.

So please know I’m not sitting here telling you that if you’d just expect ease, life would be All Easy, All the Time. Follow that line of thinking to its logical conclusion and it implies that the hard things happen because we didn’t exercise proper thought control. And that’s just bullshit.

And yet…

By the time I was in the car and had shaken off my own shame about my tantrum, I was back to thinking about grocery shopping, and how it might be possible for it to be easy.

Although things didn’t go 100% smoothly (how dare they be out of Havarti Slices again?), I didn’t feel bombarded by other people’s energy. And it didn’t take as long as I thought it would, even though I spent extra time looking around for treats.

Despite the initial departure delay, overall it was a decent experience.

So I guess the other trick is, when the expecting ease thing falls short of providing ease, to trust that things will still work out in the end.

Endless possibilities…

I’m continuing to experiment with this idea – and trying to apply it to bigger things than household chores.

Like…

What if writing a blog post could be easy? I’ve been blogstipated for over a month now, and lo and behold, here’s a post. (Well, sort of. See below for ironic update.)

What if finding a buyer for our rental property could be easy? What if dealing with the bank on the sale could be easy (and quick)?

What if it could be easy to finish writing my ebook?

What if launching that ebook successfully could be easy?

My prediction:

I’m sure sometimes I’ll think about how something could be easy, and it will be easy. Other times, my cat will throw up on the carpet.

Regardless of the outcome, the question will certainly be a reminder for me to approach stuff that has a history of difficulty with more openness.

If nothing else, it will prompt lots of noticing. Noticing where I might be making a situation harder than it needs to be.

It will open a space to pause and choose an easier way. When I can.

Ironic update

I started writing this post last Wednesday.

And since the shopping trip, there have been lots of not-so-easy stuff popping up (including a touch of writer’s block), which makes me a bit nervous to publish this.

So in case it’s not clear: I’m not saying that expecting ease is a guarantee of ease. Obviously, it’s not. Which is why I’m calling it an experiment. I want to practice influencing what I can influence – even if it’s just my own perception and experience of events.

Really, this is about doing what I can to give myself what I need.

How about you?

Care to join me in this experiment? It can be as simple as asking yourself the question when you remember to ask it, and noticing what comes up. This isn’t about piling on more shoulds.

And guess what? If ease isn’t your thing right now, replace it with whatever quality you’d like to experience more of. (What if it could be fun? What if it could be calm? What if it could be…?)

What helps you find ease?
Or, what quality do you want more of these days? How are you going about getting it?

Join the Shmorian Society for discounts, advance notice of good stuff (like that ebook I mentioned), and my free 30-day eCourse, the Shmorian Project Prescription. Fall in love with your project again, so you can get it done!

7 thoughts on “What If It Could Be Easy?

  1. Square-Peg Karen

    SO worth waiting for! I love the way you help your readers open their eyes to the good stuff, without ignoring the cat puke in life! Totally LOVE it! Thank you, as always, for sharing your thoughts and heart!!

  2. Maryann Devine

    This post really resonates with me, Victoria. I always anticipate complications, too, and so I was floored recently when two Big Problems were resolved with easy, elegant solutions. So now I’m trying to ask myself: is there a way that X or Y could happen with ease? Something totally new for me.

    xo

  3. Patty K

    I could do with some ease. I tend to over think and make things too complicated. Sometimes when things seem extra hard, I wonder if there’s an underlying message I need to pay attention to. Maybe, like you say, it’s about taking a moment and noticing if I’m trying to climb out through a tiny, high window and ignoring the wide open door beside me. Wishing you more ease and less cat puke!

  4. Sue Mitchell

    Agree that sometimes it’s our expectations that makes things hard or easy. On the other hand, I don’t necessarily wish everything were easy. What I want is for things to be FUN, even if they’re hard. So now when I’m faced with something I’m dreading or resisting, I ask myself, “How could I make this fun?” It’s just a twist on what you’re doing with easiness. And often ease and fun go together. :)

  5. Elizabeth

    I expect difficulty and complications and not-easy too. I’ll practice with you. (Next year’s word is trust. Oh, man. I just realized that I keep saying how hard I expect next year to be because trust is so-not my favorite word. Clearly I do need to practice this.)

    (I try to shoo Atlas towards non-carpet when I can’t get him outside. It has never worked. Ever. He doesn’t get the point and thinks I’m mad at him and it makes things worse.)

  6. Victoria Post author

    @Karen – Thank you, m’dear!

    @Maryann – Gosh, yes – it can be almost disorienting when something happens easily!

    @Patty – Wishing you more ease, as well. The other question I’ll be asking myself is, Is there something I (think I) am getting by having this be difficult? Because sometimes it sure seems like some part of me thinks hard is better. (Add a “that’s what she said” joke here.)

    @Sue – Yeah, I think I’d go for both – looking for ways for the hard stuff to be easy AND fun!

    @Elizabeth – I’ve given up on the shoo-ing, because I’d rather it be on open carpet than on carpet under the bed or behind the dresser. *sigh* And I love that your word for 2011 is Trust. I wish you infinite trust starting right now, and that it all happen with bunches of ease!

  7. Lynne

    Very cool exploration! (I so relate to the cat experience, and have had similar with my dog!)
    I also relate to blogstipation ;)
    Thinking about expectations of not easy, I realize I go one further, to expect only minutely possible. You have given me impetus to do some exploration of my own! Thank you.
    (Been following you on Twitter, back after about a year long hiatus dealing with my dad’s death.)

Comments are closed.