I Moved Across the Country and Learned the Importance of Sukha (Ease)
As of this time last week, I have added a new facet to my being-ness. I have gone from a person who lives in Maryland to a person who lives in Los Angeles, California. I am officially an Angeleno — as they say.
Since this is something I’ve been hoping for and planning for years, lets get a little reflective. It’s only been a week, so not much has happened but for posterity’s sake lets just do a check-in.
As I was still living in Maryland and looking forward to these moments, I was giddy about all of the things that would come with the pursuit of my dreams and the adventures of navigating a whole new city. One week is truly too early to gauge the development of any of that happening but I think this early stage of a move is something that is often breezed through and not really talked about.
It’s not that I haven’t done anything, it’s more that the big things are still to come. Sometimes things happen for people at a whirlwind pace, other times you ease into a life change and have the opportunity to really take your time and observe all of the new aspects of your life one by one.
In all honesty, it still feels very surreal that I live in Los Angeles. I was recently talking with my cousin who’s always supported my move and she squealed on the phone to me “You’re in Los Angeles!” in a way that made me laugh. My response was “Yeah! Haha I guess I am! It doesn’t feel real. Like it doesn’t feel like I’m just visiting and going home soon, but it doesn’t feel like I actually live here yet.” This may be attributed to many things. The fact that I still don’t have a car (which you really need in this city), don’t have a bed (my roommate’s air mattress is holding me down), don’t have a desk (which is kind of essential for the writer life), don’t have a dresser (still digging through my suitcase to find clothes to wear).
This whole getting settled thing is definitely a process — and isn’t that true for all of life?
I think that’s the biggest takeaway that I can share at this one-week mark. Often we have these big dreams and goals for our life, and we’re diligent and go about the process of setting a plan and putting it in action — expecting to know what it will look like at each step. I didn’t really approach it that way and I think that has left me much more open to staying at peace with the way things look each step of the way. It’s not that I threw planning out the window altogether, but more that I’ve let go of the notion that I can, or even want to, control the unfolding of things.
These past two years of my spiritual growth have been defined by the art of letting go. How can I let go of stress? Let go of unhappiness? Let go of dissatisfaction? Let go of tension and resistance? Let go of what I think I want? Let go and let a wiser force lead me in a happier direction filled with more ease. Ease is my favorite word these days. Sukha is the term in the Yoga tradition as I’ve learned from one of my favorite yogis. I love that term so much and love even more that it’s so close to Sika. (Watch out — I may become one of those people that has a Sanskrit tattoo very soon!)
It’s ironic that in our search for happiness, we do all of these things to kill ourselves and bend over backwards so that we can gain money or status that will then allow us to afford certain things or experiences that we think will bring us joy. Yet the whole way there, we feel miserable and grind, grind, grind — thinking ourselves unworthy and not good enough. When we eventually get “there,” we don’t even appreciate it. It’s on to the next thing that we think will make us happy. I’ve seen enough of that rat race to know that I prefer the feelings of ease and joy.
Having this past week of free time, where I answer to no one but myself, has been a lesson in noticing the simple sources of ease and joy. I have the liberty to create my west coast life however I want — and that can either feel like pressure and stress or like fun and playful creativity. There are no “shoulds” or “have-to’s.” There never really are, but this particular life-period has thrust the doors wide open.
What do I want to create? It’s such a sweet thought.
Happy creating to all! No matter where your life journey has taken you.
Originally posted on my personal blog Brightly Illuminated, where I document my perspective as a millennial post-grad trying to make sense of the “real world” through a lens of positivity and self-development.