Rethinking ease

Right now, when I think about the word I chose as my word of the year, I feel a grudging sense of oh, yeah, now that’s ironic.  Life right now is not replete with ease.  I was surprised to see, when I went back to see what I’d written about ease so far in 2016, that in the spring I was already asking is this the opposite of ease?

Now, ease does not mean easy, of course.  It doesn’t look like I expect it to.

When I think more about it, I realize that it’s not an accident that this is the word I chose for this year.  It’s precisely in the midst of these turbulent months that I am learning how to live with ease.  I’m not learning fast, let me be honest: I feel exhausted, and overwhelmed, and sad, and grateful, and emotional right now.  I do not feel ease.  But I’m aware of it, floating around me, and maybe that is the lesson right now.  It is there, the ease I want, and the way to reach it is to grasp less frantically, to breathe more deeply.

It’s only a goal now, ease, a desire, a fierce hope.  I am snappy and easily frustrated and my poor children are bearing the brunt of my not-easeful way of being in the world.  I’m so tired that the other night Whit observed that I looked like I had bruises under my eyes.  But still.  And yet.  Every morning I can wake up and get out of bed and as Jane Kenyon said, I’m keenly aware that it could have been otherwise.  Each day is an opportunity to do better, to be more patient, to be more gentle, to live in the days of my life with more ease.

So maybe that’s why this word presented itself to me at the opening of this year.  To remind me of what I want, what I aim for.  I think every single day of this quote, one of my favorites (author is unknown):

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart.

And so I return to my life, forgiving myself for being far from the peaceful, easeful person I want to be today, allowing myself to imagine that tomorrow I may inch closer to her.

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  1. Michelle
    Posted October 10, 2016 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Yes. I try daily to remain calm in my heart no matter what possible maelstrom is swirling around in my life.
    Some days I’m good at it.
    Some days I’m not.
    I’ll keep trying.

    admin Reply:

    Me too. Thank you for this. xox

  2. Nadine
    Posted October 10, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I love your fierce perspective, being aware that “things could have been otherwise”. I also admire how you recognize that ease is a goal right now, something you aim for. Isn’t it funny how sometimes the things we want to learn elude us, seemingly? But I bet at the end of the year, or even later, you’ll find that there is more ease in your life than before.
    I chose “breathe”, and although I’m obviously breathing all the time the peace and ease that I hoped to attain are so far out of reach. But I’ll keep aiming 🙂

    admin Reply:

    I’ll keep aiming right alongside you. It’s all I can do!! Grateful for this comment, and to feel less alone. Thank you. xoxox

  3. Melissa
    Posted October 10, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    ” to live in the days of my life with more ease” .. your eloquence articulates what is in my heart. With time, I am appreciating the simple nuances in my day, but this quote I will carry with me because it is what I have been wanting for myself. Many blessings on your journey — and thank you for illuminating mine.

    admin Reply:

    Thank you so, so much. What a kind thing to say. I really appreciate it. I mean that. xox

  4. Posted October 10, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Yes, one inch at a time. There’s grace in that approach.

    “Ease” always reminds me of the sewing term–how leaving ease in a garment means leaving a bit of room to move. A little wiggle room, you know.

    I wonder if a life of ease might be exactly that: one that fits, with enough space for growth. One that allows us to move through circumstances with grace, instead of getting all tight and twisted up. I like that idea. 🙂

    admin Reply:

    Oh, wow. I love that image, and was not familiar with that term. How perfect.

  5. Posted October 10, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes walking the rockiest of roads leads to the best views and most memorable adventures. I think you need fewer rocks now as you are flagging. Hugs from long distance and even if it could be otherwise, it is tough going right now. EPG

    admin Reply:

    Thank you. Crying as I read this. xox

  6. Margo
    Posted October 10, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    It may not feel like Ease right now and it is certainly not Easy for you, but I notice that you live each day with immense Gratitude for what you have, even in the face of these current obstacles. That, to me, is an important step on the way to Ease. You are showing such power and resolve as you manage this fall season for your family. Do make sure to find enough help so you can take care of yourself as well. You need the energy to get out of bed every day. I wish there was more I could do to help from afar. XO

    admin Reply:

    this comment makes me cry. thank you. xox

  7. Trish
    Posted October 11, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Sending love to you, Lindsey….

    Thank you for continuing to be a bright beacon in this complex, chaotic, curious world that we live in. You have mentored me in mindfulness, given me the present of ‘presence’ and have been a kindred in the sensitive souls community on this planet. You truly are a person I admire. Thank you.


    admin Reply:

    Wow. This gives me goosebumps and I’m so grateful for these kind, kind words. I don’t deserve admiration but I am incredibly thankful that you are reading. Thank you. xox

  8. Posted October 11, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Wow you and I are are always circling the same thoughts from different points of view. I saw this in the Truckee coffee shop where my daughter works: “Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to b in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” Strange coincidence!

    The owner of the shop is an amazing woman. Her husband’s mother, father and his sister were all shot to death when someone broke into their home. Still they went on, opened a business and try to remain calm, most days. She had a lot of other inspiring quotes in the shop and I posted some on Instagram. I think you will like this one too: “We look to the future hopeful through tragic eyes. RIP Bill, Pauline and Bethe”

    My husband and I have been on the road for over a week now and it is the stories I hear even more than the amazing western scenery that inspire me. I’ve finally sat down to write about some of the them.

    admin Reply:

    I love this quote! And what a wonderful coincidence that it just entered your life too (or not a coincidence). I look forward to reading your reflections. xox