My mantra for this summer has been “ease and connection.” Not only in my leisure time, but in my work as well.
Sounds pretty good, right?
It is – but there is also a lot of resistance that comes up around the word “ease.”
I don’t know if it’s the culture I grew up in, the Puritan roots of my New England ancestors, or my own family’s sharp division between “work” and “play.” But I’m having to be very conscious and to relearn how to approach my work in particular from a place of ease.
You see, I love what I do. I write, I study, I guide others to write their heart-centered books, and I am building both of my businesses based on my passion for spirituality and personal growth. So quite often, “work” feels like play. This is definitely a good thing.
At the same time, having “ease” in the structural parts of my business is a bit tricky. Marketing, outreach, social media, websites, finances – do those things get to feel easy, too? My ideals say yes, but sometimes my monkey mind doesn’t get it.
Ease can also be challenging in my personal life, especially when I see others struggling. Do I deserve to be rooted in ease and connection, even while my loved ones aren’t?
The concept of ease comes with a lot of baggage. We’re taught to work hard, that there’s no gain without pain, that working for yourself means long hours. Sometimes those things are true.
For example, I recently realized that I don’t really take vacations. Now don’t get me wrong – I have plenty of leisure time and self-care in my daily life. I’ve built it that way on purpose.
But as for taking time off and completely unplugging from “work” – well, it’s just not something I’ve done since I became an entrepreneur. Probably even longer, since I was actively parenting when I worked full time for someone else, and everyone knows that Moms are always on the clock, tending to the family.
When I travel, I still check in on social media, do my marketing, and answer messages from clients. When my daughter was visiting this summer, I worked for a couple of hours each morning while she was still sleeping.
As my commitment to ease in all aspects of life, I’ve scheduled not one but two vacations for the remainder of this calendar year. In October, we’ll travel to Colorado to visit my daughter in her new home. In December, I’m taking the last two weeks of the month off for the winter holidays.
My business coach has been talking about putting your time off in your calendar first since I’ve known her, and I’m finally getting the message. Ease is essential.
Will I write during those times? Will I study topics that relate to my career? I’d be lying if I said no. Those things are fun for me, and I won’t deny myself that joy. The difference is that for those vacation times, I’m ditching the to-do lists and expectations.
I will be fully at ease, and I know it will help me to be more productive, creative, and focused when I return.
What about you? Do you take true vacation time? What can you do to bring ease into all aspects of your life?
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