Growth leads to ease within life’s challenges.
Not less challenges.
And not more effort.
But ease within the challenges we face.
Avoiding challenges feels intuitive to me, but I’ve learned after a while that no matter how fast I run away, my challenges always seem to catch up to me.
Working hard to “beat” challenges also feels intuitive, but it wears me out. It’s unsustainable. The older I get, the less brute strength I can muster, and the more complex and plentiful my challenges seem to become.
Running away and fighting are both ways to deal with life’s challenges, but neither seem to be effective, and they wear us out in the process.
But what if life’s challenges are not problems? And what if it’s not our job to “deal with” them?
What if life is giving us challenges to help us grow? What if life even knows the exact right challenges to give us in order to help us grow in the ways we need most?
Could the challenges we face today be for us?
What could be better than less challenges in life? I believe we can grow in ways which make us able to navigate life’s challenges with ease. Like floating on a current, which is sometimes a raging river and other times a peaceful stream, and we are at rest through all of it.
I believe we’re looking for this feeling of ease and rest when we run away or fight against. But this feeling of ease and rest can only come from within. Maybe this is why life gives us challenges — it is for our practice of finding a posture of rest within. Calm within the storm.
Jesus slept on a boat in the middle of a storm. His disciples’ reaction was to ridicule him for not being aware of his surroundings. I don’t think Jesus was unaware of the storm; he was just genuinely connected with a deeper calm within. This was something Jesus practiced. When you practice something enough, eventually it becomes habitual. You could find yourself asleep on a boat in the middle of a storm.
I want to develop a daily practice of finding peace within, regardless of what is happening externally. Not to be unaware of what is happening externally, but to be that much more connected with a peace within — so much that whatever is happening in the world around me truly feels secondary.
If I want this to be a daily practice, then I need daily challenges in life! What a weird thing to say, but without challenges, I have no way to practice.