I’m a big fan of synchronicities and love it when I notice them happening in my life. Yesterday, I had the radio on and I was leisurely leafing through an old card file looking for a topic to write about for you today. Four notes at the beginning of a song caught my ear and made me close my eyes, deeply relax, smile, and listen to what I knew was coming—a old, old favorite from Porgy & Bess, an early 20th century Broadway musical: Summertime.
“Summertime, and the living is easy,” the lyrics go. “Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.”
When the song finished, I opened my eyes and turned back to my card file. The very next card I ran across had only seven words written on it: “How easy can I let this be?” I got the message from that synchronicity right away.
I don’t remember where I picked up the phrase. But I do remember that the moment I first heard it I knew it it was an important one, one of those phrases that can work magic in your life. I was glad to find it again. My do-list for the weekend was challenging and it was exactly what I needed to hear.
“How easy can I let this be?”
Contrast that with “How am I going to get all this done?” It’s like the difference between looking at a huge mountain you have to scale and letting yourself float on a warm, sun-kissed pool.
Asking yourself how easy you can let a task be reminds you that you have the power to relax into it, that you can choose the attitude you’ll take. It gives you permission to allow yourself to be at ease. It puts you—and not the situation–in command. It nudges you to be present with the task at hand, to take it a step at a time. And when you do that, almost anything becomes easy. When you relax, your mind clears. Time expands. Tension disappears. And suddenly you have complete confidence that you can do that tiny, very next thing.
I’ve used it to clear the way for myself in all kinds of situations—preparing for an interview, before giving a speech, when I had to take a test, when I had to confront somebody about something unpleasant, and like this weekend, when I was tempted to let myself be overwhelmed by all I had to do. It’s a great tool to use when you have to do something new, something you don’t really know how to do yet. I even used it on my way to the hospital once when I broke an arm, and it really did make the pain much easier to bear. Not only that, but it stopped me from catastrophizing about how hard things were going to be without the use of my arm.
I took the index card from my box and propped it up on my bedside table to be a daily reminder for me for a while. I’m working on that end-of-year challenge I mentioned a couple weeks ago, and letting it be easy is going to make it a lot more fun.
“How easy can I let this be?” Try it out. Let its magic work for you.