The Greater The Struggle The Greater The Reward…..Really?
So, I’m in the middle of a hot power yoga class the other day when I thought ‘this is just insane-I’m sweating profusely and my muscles are screaming to stop and OMG I love this. I couldn’t love this more….because I know the more I’m struggling the better it is for me, the more I will get from this class – the greater the reward!’
Yes, hadn’t I read a quote only earlier that morning saying ‘I’m grateful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have found my strength’.
Yes, the more I struggle the more I gain.
Yes, the greater the struggle the greater that reward.
Yes, this is so true, I told myself. As I had religiously told myself for years!
And then, as I rested momentarily in downward dog, I had a life changing moment of clarity (as you do!).
The moment where my inner voice said ‘NO. NO. That is not truth. You do not have to struggle to earn your reward.’
And so began 20 minutes of internal conflict between my mind (my ego) and my soul (my inner wisdom) while I (my physical body) innocently tried to distract itself from the internal conflict with diligently performing sweaty yoga positions….as you do!
The more my mind or ego said, ‘No but if you work really hard and struggle then you will really earn that reward’, the more my soul patiently affirmed ‘It does not have to be that way. It is not meant to be a struggle.’
But it’s the way I had always done things – I struggle but I achieve and then I feel I have really earned that reward. Like my study for my HSC and Uni exams! I would study for hours / days / weeks at a time even though part of me knew I didn’t need to, but I knew if I had worked that hard and really sacrificed and struggled then I would really have earned those good marks!
And then the heavy emotion of grief set in, as the realisation came to me ‘what if I had listened to that inner voice that said you don’t need to study any more, you don’t need to work 14 hour days, you don’t need to be stressed and exhausted and your adrenals fatigued to achieve your dreams / your goals’.
Hmmm what if I had listened to the idea that I could have achieved and been rewarded by working from a place of ease and grace rather than a place of struggle!
Oh what a waste of energy and a waste of joyful life experiences!
And I quickly realised that I was still creating periods of struggle in my life just so I could earn that reward.
And then I decided no more!
I do not need to struggle to be rewarded.
In fact, the less the struggle the greater the reward, because the reward is not in the end result, the reward is in the ease, grace and joy of the experience in getting to the end point….THAT is the reward.
I do not want to get to the end of my life (or the end of another day for that matter) and say ‘Great. I did well. I ticked all the boxes. I achieved what I wanted or needed to achieve. It was a struggle and painful and joyless but at least I got there in the end.’
No. No. No.
I want to get to the end of each day and go ‘wow that was easy and joyful and graceful and it doesn’t really matter if I ticked all the boxes or not because my reward was in the experience of each of the moments that made my day not the end result’.
There was a lot of conditioning that had created this belief in me and I had probably affirmed it to myself for the last 40 years!
And so there is a lot of energy to be ‘undone’ and it will take time to change my behaviours around this, but my first step was aligning myself to a new belief that the less the struggle the far greater the reward. And every day I will choose ease and grace and joy in how I experience my life.
Because I do not need to struggle to grow.
I do not need to struggle to help others.
I do not need to struggle to inspire others.
Nope! I choose to inspire others through living my life from a place of ease, grace and joy!
And all that downloading happened in just one very hot, amazing and life changing yoga class!
How we experience life really is a choice.
Are you choosing to struggle through life or live it with ease, grace and joy?