Pushing the EASY button


There’s an ad motif for Staples stores, advising that we can “push the EASY button” by shopping at Staples. I love the general idea of an EASY button, and apply it to my own life and when working with clients, asking: “What would pushing the EASY button look like?” Sometimes “EASY” looks like asking for help or support; sometimes it means arranging for professional services; sometimes it means adjusting expectations or attitude — including adjusting one’s attitude that the situation can or should be easy.

Life’s challenges — those times that make one wish for an EASY button — can trigger anxiety, that voice that says “We’re doomed!” What if we met these anxiety-provoking instances with a sense of doing an experiment, having variables to adjust, making adjustments as needed. Would life seem more easy, more like an adventure, and less affected by worry? We can practice this when we process thoughts and feelings and when we try things that are new experiences.

Teaching felt making, I love seeing how students approach the unknown. Some students dive right in: it’s clear that they are not inhibited by a fear of doing something new.  Other students, no matter how gently I invite them to play with the materials, no matter how reassuringly I tell them it’s OK to use more fiber to figure something out — no matter how generously supplied they are with fiber, they fret.

Anxiety can make you fearful of discovery, can raise the volume of that inner voice that clutters our thoughts: Have I made a bad choice?  Am I ready to try this new endeavor?  What will others think of me?  What if I fail? The word “clutter” relates to the word “clot.” We can see how it gets us stuck.

A sense of adventure is motivated — and liberated — by the desire to get to the other side. I don’t use the word “desire” lightly.  Adventure taps into longing, nurtures the value of exploration, and moves us along toward a deeper quest. We aren’t stuck with cluttered and limited thoughts.

I know that my work as a teacher is going well when I can see a student lose any sense of anxiety and replace worry with adventure.  Other teachers can relate to this:  we can hear and see and sense this shift in a student’s focus.   One cannot learn a new instrument or a new piece of music if one is afraid of playing a wrong note; however, in an environment that values the effort of learning — welcoming the wrong notes as the pathway to the right notes masterfully sounded SOME DAY — creativity is nurtured.  This is called “beginner’s mind,” and is a good framework for happiness and personal growth.

In holistic life coaching, too, we seek to motivate an individual’s quest, by asking illuminating questions.  How liberating, to have dark recesses of thoughts and beliefs become well-lit, and to experience this with steadfast, nonjudgmental support.

One way I am “pushing the EASY button” in my own life is to navigate around the reality that I have ongoing home repairs happening, with no fixed date of completion (because they are weather-dependent) that are affecting my studio and coaching spaces. I started focusing more on offering coaching on-the-phone, and find it so mutually convenient and… EASY. What started as a reaction to a challenge turned into a welcome change. When I stopped lamenting the inconvenience, and saw the potential for developing more of an on-the-phone practice, I felt energized by possibility. I invite you to email me (aspangborn@gmail.com) for more info; or please visit my website at http://www.annpagborn.com or my blog at http://www.WoolyBlissFeltmaking.WordPress.com.  

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Published in: on March 31, 2017 at 7:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

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