Easy does it

This slogan has popped up for me a few times recently, and I have paused to actually consider it.

Easy does it. Do less than you think you SHOULD. Take time. Move slowly. Just be. 

That should word always gets me. Who decides what I should do? If it isn’t me, why am I giving that power away? Do I really know what is best for me? Am I acting from a place of self awareness and compassion?

Recently I have considered changing my partial work schedule of 70% to full time. There is a potential for a promotion. I could get a better title, and perhaps some challenging work. In a moment of energy and excitement I mentioned I might be interested.

I feel very good. My days are interesting. I work at a job in my field and am a senior advisor. I spend time practicing yoga every day. I teach 3 or 4 classes a week. I still have time to walk my daughter to school a few days a week. 

Am I slacking off, or living in the moment? My mindful, inner peace side says life is good. My old, type A overachiever side insisted i can do more. 

Perhaps this is where easy does it applies. Do I take my current state of peace to mean I should (argh) do more just because I can? Am I not doing enough? And what if I can’t? Perhaps all that extra drive to do more, earn more or be seen as being more was what was destroying me before. Not perhaps. Definitely.

Finding balance isn’t easy. I’m inclined to fall back on my word for the year, faith. Faith that I am currently contributing my share to the world. Faith that I can be satisfied with what I am accomplishing without looking for external acknowledgement. Faith that my inner knowledge that I am content is enough.

No decisions need to be made today. But when I stop and ask myself, what would I tell another sober blogger to do, I know it would be easy does it. Enjoy every moment. Kind and gentle every time. 

Stillness and peace

Anne

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30 thoughts on “Easy does it

  1. Hi Anne!
    This speaks to me to be sure.
    I still think I should be doing so much in my retirement. And yet, when I am easy on myself and with life, that is when I can relax into the best days.
    I have a yoga question for you. I practice 3 times a week at my studio.
    There are no restore classes during the day, only later at night.
    Can you recommend a restore CD that is good to use at home?
    xo
    Wendy

    1. Check out yin yoga.com. It’s not quite restorative, but I find yin opens the door to stillness like nothing else.
      He has some videos available for free.

      We all seem to think we should do more. Silly.

  2. Ah. Decision making – a process which I for one have found really, really difficult in the past! You recognise the important stuff though; finding balance and being kind and gentle. Keeping those things – along with integrity – in mind and close to heart is key to decision making. I should (argh! That word again!) remember that. I’m going to use your word for the year and say, I have every faith you’ll do what’s best for you. Love to you from The Sober Garden x.

  3. This really resonates with me, I am always making lists in my head of what I haven’t done, instead of what I have! You are awesome just the way you are & I’m sure the right decision will present itself :)))

    1. My therapist said something similar. She was kind of surprised I was even considering this.

      It so interesting how we sometimes can’t be happy being satisfied.

      And then when we are overwhelmed that’s what we wish for.

  4. Ahhh SHOULD. That most interesting word, I am a frequent user of SHOULD and my therapist says every single time “who said you should?” This post is very timely as I am on the verge of applying for a promotion myself but it is for something I want and feel ready for. I am going to re-read this tomorrow morning to see if it sways me further either way.
    Is that a new profile picture? It’s lovely if it is, don’t think I have seen this, only the one in sunglasses.

    1. Yes. I posted it elsewhere to show the joys of getting a blow out every week.
      This is day 6. My life has simplified and my hair looks nice.
      I love dry shampoo!
      Good eye.

      It is a hard thing to determine why we want a change.
      Sometimes the challenge is needed and motivational.

      1. Yes! In my picture this is day 6. It’s amazing.
        It goes through yoga, sleep, etc. Occasionally I have to touch up with a flat iron if I do a lot of hot yoga, but otherwise I’m really amazed.

        I have super think curly hair. I used to wear a ponytail every day. This has been a good change. It makes me feel “done” and I get the added bonus of a weekly shampoo treat.

  5. Anne – I need to hear this. I have a lot of trouble ‘taking it easy.’ Good post. I was blogging about those slogans just the other day. I have to admit that this is one I have very little experience with.

  6. I love this post Anne. I totally get the case of the shoulds that descends upon one.

    I’m in a position where I think I may be confusing a should for a desire. The success of external validation rather than what might be best for me propelling me onward. And yet I can’t stop feeling curious about what would happen if I do this thing.

    You sound like you have the thing that is so elusive and valuable: balance. It can be sacrificed for other things, but I think there cannot be any harm in assessing how much value it brings you vs what it would mean to lose it.

    1. It’s really hard to tell the difference. We don’t want complacency either.

      I sometimes think of medication to compare. I take medication to avoid serious depression. With it I feel good. Occasionally I get the idea that I feel so good I should stop taking it.

      Hmmmm. Is that reasonable? If it’s working, is screwing around with it smart?

      Sometimes people do stop and they are ok. Sometimes bad things happen.

      Most decisions can be undone, but I stepped back a bit here because I do have some fear if I try too much and fail that it might be difficult to recover back to where I currently am.

      Perhaps self love is sometimes allowing myself to be ok being average. Or maybe even a little below average. But happy.

  7. Anne…I just read your post and my first thought is that there really is no “should” in this situation…what a blessing that you have a choice now between options. If the career move would give you job/creative satisfaction and be in line with your self-care then I say do it. And if you prefer to stay where you are, for whatever reason you don’t need to justify it especially not to that part of yourself that demands that we do more, more more (I know that well)…I think both options are good and that there is no “right” answer here, I really do.
    Will the job take away yoga and walking your daughter to school? If so, won’t there still be opportunities in a few years when your kids get to the age where they’ll be doing their own thing more so? — Maybe if you do decide to stay where you are…you could have “faith” that when the time is right for you & your family, another opportunity will come along and that this isn’t the last good promotion offer on the face of the earth.
    I hope that helps.
    Jenn

  8. I think we get better at listening to ourselves the longer we stay sober – and stay quiet! There’s a difference between the ‘should’ and the intriguing itch of ‘could’. It’s like the difference between a push and a pull.

    I also find it useful to remember that every ‘yes’ is also a ‘no’. For example when I say ‘yes’ to mindless internet browsing I am saying ‘no’ to an after lunch walk with my dog in the frosty winter air….maybe identifying what you would be saying ‘no’ to would be helpful in this decision? Xx

    1. Oh Prim, this is a keeper. I have never thought of it that way and I love it when that happens. I will try and apply this form now on. Maybe I have heard this before and it didn’t take but today it hit me with full impact. Love it.

  9. Hi Anne, lovely honest post. I’m sure the correct path will unfold before you. I hear easy does it in the rooms, it’s a nice saying, although I still don’t understand it fully yet.
    Noddy.

  10. You found your own answer both in the title and and at the end of your post. Easy does it, tell the crazy type A perfectionist inside to shut it the hell down (She lives in me too and is a total pain in the ass) and enjoy your yoga and time with your daughter. 🙂

  11. Yes. That “should” word is a major stumbling block for me, too. Every time I catch myself using it now, I stop. How can I reframe with a different verb? What *should* I do? Why? Behind all those should statements lay my old familiars – judgment, shame, trying to prove my worth.

    Faith. It’s a beautiful thing. I love that it’s your chosen word. And I love how you write about balance. I’m starting to see how balance is really just the constant accepting of and adjusting to all the little imbalances. Wishing you so much goodness. Wishing you all the goodness you send out, returned to you!

    1. As usual, the universe has presented a solution.
      The position I considered is going to be temporarily filled with a retiring manger until the fall.
      So I have time to actually consider what I do want.

      And it seems more and more like I actually want what I have.

      Thanks for that. I appreciate it!

      1. ahh good ol universe!

        This post really struck a chord with me and as I navigate my own slightly similar path has played on my mind the past few days, making me challenge what I think I want vs what’s best for me.

        So pleased you have the space x

  12. an oldie but a goodie. love this slogan. your thoughts on living with intention also remind me of this image i saw the other day on pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/425871708494146473/

    i too struggle with boredom and adjusting to a fairly normal life after all the drama/bullshit that came w/ drinking. i guess i grew accustomed to playing detective on all the hours/days i lost in blackouts, exciting escapades with strangers, wearing my victim card like a badge of honor. it feels good to have sanity back, but sometimes i wonder if the crazy old me – drunk me – was the more exciting, charming part of my personality. but i know that’s just the alcoholism talking. when we take it easy – we live with intention. we don’t dwell in the past or obsess about the future. we’re just here… now… in this hour, minute, second. and when i’m truly enjoying and living in the here and now, there’s no reason to drink.

    thanks for this reminder ❤

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