I was on the phone with a client the other day and we were talking about some decisions she had to make. She was thinking about whether or not now was the right time to apply for grad school, or if she should focus her attention and energy on finding a new job.
So many of my clients come to me because they have big decisions to make, or simply don’t know what they want for their future. They want to truly know who they are and what it is they’re meant to be doing. And in the search for deep connection, they end up busying themselves with things they can check off a list, rather than searching for an answer deep within themselves.
I asked her why she thought grad school might be the right path. She told me because she didn’t know what else she wanted to do. She was hungry for a path, for certainty, and feeling frustrated at spinning her wheels trying to understand what it was she should be doing with her talents and her time.
I could relate on a visceral level to her struggle. How many times in my own life had I spun my wheels trying to figure out what I should be doing - always searching outside myself to find another credential, another activity, another skill I should learn. I kept myself so busy for the first 30+ years of my life that at some point I had forgotten what it was I actually wanted to do.
I was chasing ideas and thoughts and “shoulds”. I kept finding reasons why all of these activities were valuable, and I piled on more and more. The more I did, the more I achieved, the more lost I felt.
Believe me, I am proud of my MBA and the various certifications I’ve obtained. I don’t regret the choices I’ve made to get me to where I am today. But I do recognize that the path didn’t need to feel so arduous.
I’ve since learned that often what feels easiest is actually the right way forward. Not because it’s lazy or because I’m not willing to put in the work (I’ve proven to myself often enough by now that I am), but because life and work can also feel fun and in flow. When I’m doing what I truly want - what lights me up - I feel like I’m in flow. And when I’m in flow even the most seemingly difficult tasks are easy.
As my client continued to grapple with her decision, I asked her “What would it mean for you to let it be easy?”
She paused for a moment, in deep reflection. A light went off. Tears began to flow. She recognized that all of the things she’s kept herself busy with over the years hadn’t truly fulfilled her. She kept trying to search for something outside herself to fill her time and prove to others that she could do it. But deep down inside she knew that when something was the right thing for her, she would pour her heart in and show up 100%. That it would, in fact, feel easy.
When we’re out of alignment with ourselves and the universe, when we keep pushing ourselves to achieve or do things that we don’t really want to do, it feels like an uphill slog. When we’re in flow, when we love what we’re doing, and when we feel like we are in the right place at the right time it feels easy.
Where in your life do you feel like you’re pushing a boulder up a hill? What would it mean for you to let it be easy?