The practice of ease

In December of 2010, I chose the word I wanted to represent the coming year, this year. I chose ease.

Early in 2011 I realized that what I had hoped for was not ease, but easy. A year that would allow me to coast through, waving and blowing kisses like a Disney princess in her nightly parade. Here is what I wrote then:

Easy wouldn’t have kept me growing, wouldn’t have forced the healing, wouldn’t have pushed me harder and farther than I thought I wanted to go. Easy could have been handed to me on a silver platter and I would have enjoyed it immensely, but ease is up to me. Ease will take me from seed to flower, because it’s about my level of trust, my faith in myself and the world around me. Ease is about sleeping peacefully with earthquake and tsunami predictions and an ocean 100 yards from my bed. Ease is trusting that I will wake up in the morning when the anxiety I don’t even know that I’m feeling is pounding in my chest. Ease is knowing that if I don’t wake up, those who love me will be okay. Ease is focusing on the weight lost and the health gained, not the ache in my neck and the numbers still to go. Ease is living with gratitude for all that I have been given, when I’m being pounded by grief and swallowed whole by anger. Ease is letting go of the story that has held me together and held me back, without having a new one to tell.”

I began to step into the word. It became a touchstone, like the rubber band on a reformed smoker’s wrist that she snaps to get through the craving. I would find myself whispering it, wondering about it, praying for it. Ease became a practice, another way of entering into the present moment and letting go of my fear, my attachments, my beliefs. Like the word trust, it has become a mantra, a reminder to let go and enjoy the lessons, however painful they might be.

As I sit at the cusp of another year, attempting to wrap my head around the magnitude of the changes brought by the last two, I want to choose a new word, bring in a new energy, slip into something a little more comfortable than what’s surrounded me recently. But I can’t. Or rather I could, but I am ready to admit I have no idea what’s coming, despite my big dreams and intense visions. I have a feeling it’s going to be epic. I plan to put on a little lip gloss and enjoy the ride.

What word sums up 2011 for you? Is there one that encapsulates your dreams for 2012? I’d love to know.

 

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4 Responses to The practice of ease

  1. vera kate says:

    I very much enjoy the imagery of this post.
    Especially the Disney princess part. You are a gem.

    The first word that comes to mind for me to describe this year would be: push. It required many great heaves. Like getting a couch up ten flights of stairs. And then through a narrow door. Here we are, all sweaty and tired and mildly annoyed, but look! We have something to sit on now.

    For 2012, I would like my word to be: joy. Or maybe en-joy. We’ll see how it goes.

  2. Christa says:

    Ease is an ongoing thing for me, Alana – and I’ve found it to be a lot about letting go, too. And joy? My practice, as of late has been to find joy in everything I do – to know that I have the choice to find joy anywhere, all the time. It’s been a very interesting path – I may stick with that one, even if I am off calendar a little. Or on a school year calendar, or something like that.

    I love the new picture of you – talk about joy!

    Love to you, and thanks.

  3. pamela says:

    You have really stepped into the word ease. It’s been beautiful to watch you embody it so thoroughly. You have taught us all how to live with ease in the process. Thank you!

    My word of 2011 was trust. Only now am I starting to step into that word, but it’s been a wonderful word to try to live into. My word for 2012 is heart. It just came to me a few days ago, that in my parenting, I want more heart and less head. It has already had great results and I want to keep that open hearted, whole heartedness going. xoxo

  4. sugar, whatever your word for 2012, i hope it’s and epic year enjoyed in epic lip gloss.

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