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At Ease

at ease 2

As you may recall, last fall, I had the LIFE HONOR of seeing Oprah live. Talk about one for the bucket list. I scribbled pages of notes as she talked, and still come back to them time and again when certain phrases hit me in new ways.

Lately, the one I have been particularly moved by is the notion of being at ease.

As someone who has always been naturally inclined to follow the rules (you saw my childhood photo, right?) (: I was always happy to oblige, but I never paid a lot of attention to how situations made me feel. I smiled candidly at social gatherings; participated in activities that built my resume; and stuck it out in a few relationships a little longer than I probably should have. I considered any feeling of unease, anxiety or apathy, to be something to fight through – but I never considered that it was actually a gift.

Our feelings are incredible compasses to whether we are in the right place, with the right people, doing the right things. When we are not at ease, it’s our bodies trying to get our attention, saying something is off here; this isn’t your path. I think of it kind of like a sweatpants test; there are just certain people who, even if you showed up in sweatpants without a lick of makeup, would still make you feel like the most desired, enlivening person in the room. There are situations where, even on your worst days, you’d suddenly come alive with passion and joy.

There will always be things that we must do, that really are part of paying one’s dues and commitments. But grinning and bearing it for the non-essentials isn’t actually doing us any favors if it’s making us too weary, anxious and drained to do the things we are passionate about, with the people who will actually support us no matter what. I now pay significant attention to whether I am at ease around certain people, jobs and events. I use the quiet voice – this isn’t right for some reason – to adjust my path, to even guide it. And I wait for assured, confident one that rings with peace, happiness, energy and ease. It’s such better fuel. And it’s the cheapest, most accurate compass on the market.

{Photo via Free People}

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