Why You're Making Life Hard + How To Make It Easy

We prepare, train, brace for, and imagine so many battles. Maybe sometimes we imagine victory? But in bracing for war, usually we're fearing pain and defeat. I see this so much in how we go about athletic training — in our sports, in our yoga, in everything we do. There's so much preparation for things to be hard. It can be paralyzing! It's definitely exhausting.

Nearly all the battles we fight never leave our minds. Nearly all the challenges and defeats we face are just ourselves against ourselves. Imagine if we could do something different.

The thing is, we can! I know we can practice this in our yoga. We can play at yoga, rather than think it. We can bring joy, rather than struggle, into our training. In everything we do, we can set about happily finding our own way to YES, rather than believing we can't, and letting it end there.

I know we can do this, because I see it every single day. People are amazing! Also, I've done it again and again, finding ways to pull off athletic feats that are supposed to be hard, without having to try hard at all. It's not because I have special powers. It's because every once in a while, I've managed to not be at war with myself.

Gradually, believing it's possible and putting it into practice, those occasional moments of equanimity string together. They happen more and more. They add up to a good life.

Want to put it into practice? OK let's go!

1. Pick something hard.

Just for fun, I'll give you a handstand video below, but it can be anything.

2. Now approach it like it's easy.

How? Don't struggle with it, or force yourself against it. Just play, over, above, and all around it. Get happy here! Nothing is going to hurt, and you no longer need to force your unwilling body to do something it doesn't want to do! (Besides, that never really worked anyway. In fact, that just made you less capable, less athletic, and more likely to get hurt!)

Believe that getting to know you is more important than rushing headlong at a goal. When you know YOU really well, you'll be able to do those hard things, and they won't be all that hard any more.

Try this standing on your hands. Try it running up hills, swimming across oceans, or whatever it is you'd like to do in your life. Most important: relax and make it fun! If you're not relaxed, if it's not fun, and it won't work. That's good news, because you're going to like it more this way. You're going to like YOU more this way, too.

We can each choose to be our own amazing. Believe it. You are. You can.

Michael Taylor

Mike Taylor is the co-founder of Strala along with his wife, Tara Stiles. He studied mind-body medicine at Harvard and complementary medicine at Oxford. Mike has practiced Eastern movement and healing, including tai chi and qigong, for more than 30 years. In his younger years, Mike challenged centuries of reasonable and well-tested martial traditions in hundreds of competitions by applying unruly imagination to a world where rules were unbreakable. His record established the strength of finding your own way in your own body rather than copying the techniques of other people’s traditions. As he got older, Mike continued on to medical applications of the mind-body connection in university. After running into walls with standard medical practice in the United States and England, he left his health care roots for a little while. As the first internet boom was getting started, he joined the startup team of one company, then founded a couple more. Now through Strala, Mike has found his way back to health care done right: helping people let go of stress in their bodies and minds, enable their lives, and become their own best caregivers.Mike has climbed some of the world’s largest mountains in Alaska, the Alps, and the Himalayas. He’s now a cyclist and runner and spends as much free time as possible exploring the backcountry on foot, skis, and snowboard. He lives in New York with his wife, Tara, and baby, Daisy.

The Complete Guide To Yoga

View the class
Michael Taylor

Related Posts

Create your daily practice.
Learn from world-class experts.

Find A Class Loading next article...

Your article and new folder have been saved!