Easy Does It

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It’s been said that better questions lead us naturally to better answers, and that it’s in not knowing that we open the doorway to knowing. I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that truly matter in a complex world.

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In one of my early podcasts (Episode #49 “Easing Through The Week”), I suggested that we play a simple game to help us move through stressful times. Given the state of the world right now, this is the perfect time to play that game again, but at a deeper level.

Join me this week as we slow ourselves down and ease through the days and weeks ahead of us. Stay with me.

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Four years ago, I introduced a simple game that’s built on three deceptively simple rules, if you want to call them that. For lack of a better name, we’ll call the game “Easy Does It.” As I said then, there’s no way to get it wrong and no way to lose. In fact, we can set any pressure of winning and losing aside. Instead, we’ll focus on breathing slowly and deeply, on slowing down a bit, and on being intentionally gentle and loving with ourselves as we ease through our weeks, our days, and our hours and moments.

Too many people have accustomed themselves to pushing hard, even when there’s no need for it. Pushing is a great strategy if you’re in a sprint and you have to run as fast as you can from the starting gun to the finish line. But when was the last time you were called on to do that? When you stop to think about it, life is more of a marathon than a sprint, and as you know, the pace for a marathon is a steady one if we hope to finish well.

Establishing that kind of pace is a good idea right now but let me point out again that we’re not in a race. We can release ourselves from that stress-inducing and self-defeating idea.

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photo: TeamOne


With that in mind, the first condition we’ll set for ourselves is to intentionally slow our breathing down, mindfully returning to it over and over. The slow and relaxed breath is the ideal foundation for the other things we’ll be doing, each of which will become easier with regular practice.

In last week’s podcast episode, I talked listeners through a gentle guided relaxation. In it, I suggested that the slow and steady breath out is the relaxing breath—the releasing breath—and that the in-breath will naturally take care of itself. But rather than just hearing about it, it might be useful to allow yourself to feel the difference it makes, right now.

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For the next few moments, slowly push out all the air in your lungs—all of it—all the way down to the bottom of your belly. Take your time. And when you’ve emptied yourself at the end of the breath, with no urgency at all, pause long enough for your body and mind to return to being into sync with each other. Remember, you’re not holding your breath, you’re just quietly pausing.

Then, when you feel the need for it, breathe in again, just as slowly as you breathed out. And once again, gently pause at the top of the breath the same way you did at the bottom. Notice the subtle change that takes place as you do. As you repeat this several times, you’re mastering step one.

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Step two is equally simple. It’s about giving ourselves permission to slow down as much as we need to and as often as we like as we move through our days. It might feel strange to you at first, but I promise you’ll grow accustomed to it soon enough. You’ll see.

Truth be told, as someone who grew up with a high-speed nature and no concept of what it was like to be in anything resembling neutral, I had to learn how to intentionally drop myself into a lower gear. I promise that if I can slow down, you can slow down. When we allow a slightly slower pace, and allow that to become our new normal, we find ourselves being much more efficient in the things we’re doing. We also make fewer mistakes. That’s a welcome bonus.

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As a way of leaning into that, whether you’re at home, in an office, or in some other situation, ask yourself if you really need to be jumping quickly from one thing to the next in the course of your day. It might also be important to ask where and why you adopted such a frantic pace. I’m willing to bet it isn’t natural for you.

In fact, consider how much you would benefit from slowing down just a little—even if it’s only five or ten percent. How useful might it be to take short breaks here and there, if for no other reason just to catch your breath? And as a way of shifting into a more relaxed and balanced state—a healthier state—consider the internal pressures you’ll release as you take on a new and more sustainable way of living. Again, I encourage you to take your time as you consider.

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So, now that we’ve put the first two steps in place, step three puts the finishing touches on them. It’s nothing more than finding ways to be gentle and easy and loving with ourselves, and perhaps with the people around us. You might think of it as giving yourself permission to move and think and rest at your own pace and in balance and resonance with your own best timing—with what’s best for you.

Something essential in you already knows how.

For example, are you willing to awaken gently as a way of lovingly beginning your day? Might your first thoughts be gentle and accepting ones instead of judging or criticizing yourself or your situation? Might you nourish and hydrate your body in a gentle way with something healthy instead of skipping breakfast?

Might your first look into the mirror include encouraging words to yourself instead of critiquing how you look? Might you take a few minutes to quietly plan the parts of your day that you can control? Might you bring yourself to a gentle stop, over and over during the day, giving yourself all the time you need to notice how you feel and what you’re thinking, and what’s going on in you and around you?

I invite you to consider the things you’ll actually do to be gentle and loving with yourself. Mind you, this is no light-weight exercise. This is about intentionally changing your life for the better.

Aren’t you worth that?

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This week’s Beautiful Questions are about putting these three easy changes into practice as you take clear and gentle control of your life. Take your time as you consider them.

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Question One: How many times and at what points during your day will you mindfully slow your breathing down and notice the changes that brings about?

Question Two: In what ways are you willing to slow down some of the things you do during the course of your day?

Question Three: In what noticeable ways will you be more gentle and more loving with yourself from now on?

As always, I look forward to your responses to these questions. Write and tell me where your considerations take you.

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As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light!

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Thank you for joining me in these podcasts as we keep doing the things we can to respond to life in increasingly effective ways. As always, I’m open to your comments and feedback.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at thebeautifulquestion.com, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. You’ll also find an archive of all previous podcasts, including episodes three and four, guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, don’t hesitate to share them or tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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