Healthy Living

What does Easeful Living mean to me? | by Elaine Proulx | Dec, 2023

For me, Easeful Living is an exhale. But not just one of those short exhales we do unconsciously all day every day. It’s a complete release of all the pressure and expectations I put on myself and that society puts on me. And it’s an embrace of who I truly am, what I want, and how I choose to live my life, regardless of what anyone else thinks or says. Try that kind of exhale. How does it feel?

I don’t know about you, but I have been known to get a little too stressy about things that don’t matter in the end. I take on the expectations of others and want to do things “perfectly” (whatever that means).

In health and wellness, there is soooo much advice out there about what to do, what to eat, how to exercise, where to…blah blah blah. There is no way to follow it all (in fact, it’s questionable if you should even follow all the advice at all).

We all have distinct needs. Every body is different. So what works for me may not work for you. What worked for people in that one research study on X diet may make you feel like crap. What works for one trainer may not get you the body of your dreams.

Easeful Living is a process of self-discovery. Figuring out what you want (not what others tell you that you should want). Then figuring out tools and strategies that work for you at this time in the world and in your life. Things you’ll enjoy doing (because it doesn’t have to be miserable and effortful — remember, it’s all about Easeful Living).

Just knowing that — I don’t have to do EVERYTHING “they” tell me to do — is a weight off my shoulders. A sigh of relief. I get to explore and discover the things I think will help me be well.

This week has been busy, and I was focused on just doing what I could each day to get to the end of the week. On Friday, I realized that I had a holiday party to go to with an optional white elephant gift exchange. I’d had every intention of participating, so I was disappointed in myself for not having planned ahead and found a gift. I also didn’t have a festive shirt or sweater to wear.

I felt bad for a couple of minutes and then gave myself some grace and let it go. So I wouldn’t participate in the gift exchange or be festively dressed. Oh well. Gift-giving is at the bottom of my love language list, and decorating and dressing “festive” is just not my thing.

But what is my thing is baking cookies for the party (which I did). And showing up and pushing myself to be social (which I did).

There are so many expectations around the holidays, and it can be easy to get swept away by them all. What’s hard is bringing intention to where you choose to send your energy (because you can’t do everything) and then maintaining those boundaries to protect your peace. And that’s what makes living a little more easeful.

So for me, Easeful Living is an exhale, a sigh of relief. That I don’t have to do everything. That I get to choose the things I’m good at and enjoy in the world. And that I get to allow others to do the rest.

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