>May I feel peaceful and at ease.

You might think that repeating this phrase as part of meditation would be easy for me.

If I’m in the right mood, just saying the words makes my body relax the tension it’s holding and settle.

If I’m in the wrong mood, however, a dry-voiced and smarmy monster begins to explain that ease is not possible for someone as disabled as I.

When I first began using a wheelchair, I comforted myself with the semi-affirmation that “Nothing is easy. Everything is a blessing.” It was designed to respond to the many frustrations I felt whenever I tried to take action.

As my disease progresses, things I used to do easily become difficult. That’s the truth.

So where does ease come in?

I resist the idea that it’s a matter of attitude. My left hand is pretty floppy today. Manipulating the mouse takes effort. I have to move my hand consciously and think about where I am aiming the cursor. During good times, I can think about where I want the cursor to go in my hand moves it there without trouble. My mentally assuring myself that moving the mouse is easy doesn’t make it so.

My daughter has been visiting a hypnotherapist to help her with math and test anxiety. I am in the sessions, listening to the therapist reassure Alexis that she can do math without upset, that it comes easily for her. She advised Alexis to say, “math is a challenge for me” instead of “math is hard.” She explained that the subconscious mind believes what the conscious mind says.

I’m willing to play along, so I will stop advising myself that everything is difficult. I can believe that “many things are a challenge; there is blessing in everything.”

I chose the word “feel” to be part of this phrase because I find it difficult to consider ease an absolute.

Much of my life is a challenge, but I don’t have to feel distressed about it. If, as I mentioned last week, I am living with joy, that means I am turning away from disturbance.

I can feel at ease amidst challenge.

Peace is easier for me. A child of the sixties, I have always seen peace as an unquestionable asset – not worth fighting for, but worth dying for… worth living for.

Interviewer: Do you know what peace is?
Four-year-old girl: A wagon – a purple wagon that someone pulls.
……………..Purple Wagon

That wise girl teaches me that peace and ease are not the opposite of effort.   If the wagon is purple there is joy in the pulling.