Last week while filming No-Cook Camper Van Meals for Road Trips (The Joy of Not Cooking!), and I did two things that scared the bloopers out of me.
Worse, I made my life much, much harder than it needed to be.
What scared me:
First, I went to the Thunder Bay Farmer’s Market and asked some of the vendors if I could interview them for my video. I wanted to share additional healthy food options and offer a local flair. That was really, really hard for me! I have no problem talking to the camera or sharing my life. I do, however, I have a huge block when it comes to asking people if they want to be in my video.
Second, I used two cameras to shoot the video. That wasn’t nearly as scary as approaching strangers at the market, but it wasn’t easy. Especially since I fell the night before and probably cracked a rib (I have osteoporosis and embarrassingly weak bones). I was in pain when I shot that video, but also full of acetaminophen and ibuprofen so it worked out okay.
Since then I’ve realized three things that have already made my life easier. The third is one of the most important insights I’ve ever had.
3 Ways to Make Life Easier
1. Remember a time you did something new, difficult or scary. It felt overwhelming, didn’t it? Maybe you felt vulnerable, anxious, terrified or even stupid. You had no idea what you were doing or how it would turn out, but you did it anyway. Bravo, angel! You took a risk and you stepped out in faith.
2. Give yourself a bouquet and a whole lotta love—over and over. Even if the thing didn’t turn out the way you hoped or planned, you tried. Celebrate, even if it was 25 years ago! I remember learning how to read in kindergarten and how to tie my shoes when I was even younger. I often bask in the glory of those achievements. They make me feel good and I like feeling good. Even better: when I feel good I exude goodness, joy and light. That makes other people feel good. It’s contagious.
3. Live like a dog or a toddler. Have you ever noticed how fully, completely present little kids and animals are? They aren’t burdened by thoughts and fears. They don’t care what people think, who is watching them, or what the response might be. They are so committed to experiencing this moment—all the smells, tastes, sights, touches, intuition, energy—that they have no time or headspace to create future problems or relive past terrors.
If I approached people at the farmer’s market like a dog or a toddler, I’d be a whole different person. I’d be curious, open-minded, sensitive, clear, joyful and loving. I’d let them respond any way they wish, and I wouldn’t be oppressed by my own thoughts and beliefs.
Living with that kind of freedom, peace and joy wouldn’t just make my life easier and better, it’d make other people’s lives easier and better, too. Wouldn’t that be something?
With a happy wag o’ the tail,
P.S. I’m in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario—and it is one of the easiest places I have ever visited. Some cities are tough nuts to crack! The “Soo” is spacious, good-natured, happy and free. This morning I drove over the International Bridge to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (the U.S./Canada border runs through the St. Marys River), and I couldn’t wait to get back to Soo. She knows how to live the easy life.