I grew up in the Boston area, where the culture was super into toughing things out. The tougher you were, the more social points you got. So, even when you could make things a little nicer for yourself or a little easier, you just wouldn't, because that meant you were soft.
But here's the thing about me. I AM soft. I have a tender heart. I don't carry a hard shell around my emotions. I love it when things feel cozy. I always prefer the nice hotel rooms with those amazing bathrobes. I always want the sweet view.
But I grew up in a culture where my softness was considered weakness, and so I spent years trying to make myself tough things out when I could've made things much, much easier on myself.
Have you ever experienced this? When you knew you could make something easier, but you didn't, on purpose, because you thought that would be weak?
I don't know about for you, but for me, this pattern was exhausting. The more I toughed things out, the more burnt out I got. And the more inauthentic I felt, because the truth was my True Self craved relaxation.
It's so hard when your True Self wants something your Culture says is wrong. It's a really tight spot and a hard choice.
Do you continue doing the thing that's killing your soul but getting you social credits, or do you surrender to your True Self and do the thing that nourishes your soul even though everyone might think you're crazy?
I needed to make this decision in my life after experiencing an intense burn out from my much-too-stressful job. I needed to decide if I would purposefully make things easier in my life or if I would continue toughing things out. I ended up choosing my True Self, because it seemed like the only way to feel alive again.
I started doing all sorts of things to make my life more relaxing and pleasurable. Everyday I made little choices to make things better. I started saying no to things that made me miserable. I started saying yes to things that made me feel cozier and that made my life easier.
Yes, I wanted sharp knives to make cooking easier. No, I did not want to go to that party with all the people I didn't know. Yes, I wanted to take the time to do yoga every morning. No, I did not want to go for a run, thank you very much.
And, believe me, I definitely got cultural backlash. The bigger the things I did, the more questions I got. Why would I spend money on something like that? Why didn't I just do this? Oh, I guess YOU can do something like that, but I could never do that because....
But, you know what? It was so worth it. It turns out those people were wrong about how I should live my life, because in the few years since then I have been more creatively productive than in all the other years combined. I've written. I created a business. I created a podcast. I've played, experimented, travelled, made new friends, learned, and had so much damn fun.
It turns out one of the reasons I hadn't written in a decade was because I was exhausted from toughing things out so much. When I made things easier on myself, I ended up having both more energy and more time, and I started using that energy and time to write, which fueled my energy even more, because I felt creatively fulfilled.
If I kept listening to the cultural belief that I should tough things out for no real reason, I believe I would've ended up exhausted, bitter, and unfulfilled. Instead, because I made that change, I've ended up nourished, joyful, and fulfilled. So epically cool!
If you have a writing dream, making things easier for yourself just might be the thing to help you get started, too. What is one thing you can make easier for yourself this week?
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