I’ve been thinking about how many marketing emails I get from people asking me things like if I “struggle with trying to reconcile uplifting those around you with paying your bills”, and I realized that my general response is “No.”

I’m not actually struggling with anything. Learning how to navigate? Yes. Experimenting with different approaches? Yes. Continually assessing and tweaking and modifying and layering new aspects and ideas and releasing things which no longer align with my current strategies and absolutely loving my continual forward progress that has already brought me so much farther than I could have imagined even just a few short years ago? A thousand times YES!

But struggling? I no longer experience my challenges that way. Even if I find myself playing Spider Solitaire instead of Being Productive, I no longer beat myself up about it. Rather, I get curious: am I playing this game because I’m processing new perspectives in a way that is taking up a good percentage of my brain cells? Am I avoiding something?

Asking these questions in a non-judgmental way opens up new paths of possible choices. If my subconscious mind is busy processing, are there other, non-analytical-brain-cell-requiring things that I could be doing instead, like creating quote pictures for my Facebook Fullness page or downloading training materials?

Alternatively, if I’m hiding in playing mindless games because I’m avoiding something, what is that thing? A perfect example of this type of avoidance came up last week when I was writing an essay about developing the business aspects of Fullness of Your Power. I found it very challenging.

Recognizing my hesitation as an indication that there were Fearful Stories lurking beneath the surface, I chose to sit with it for a while, be gentle with myself, and explore those fears. As I wrote the essay itself, I was very aware of my reactions to the words I chose: did they feel right? Did they accurately convey my truth? And by approaching the process with this intent of gentle analysis, the act of writing itself became a form of self-therapy as I lovingly unpacked the awareness that I still had mixed feelings about whether it was really okay to accept financial compensation for my services.

By the time I was done writing, I could tell that I had worked through these concerns, because my heart felt lighter and I was grinning from ear to ear. Yes, as long as I remain present and am able to consistently come from a place of love and service, I will know when and how financial compensation is aligned with a vibrant exchange of energy, allowing me to accept support in that fashion. Whew! Because I really do need to get a new ink cartridge for my printer, and Office Depot has been pretty firm in their unwillingness to accept Good Karma as a form of payment.

But to return to my initial premise, my whole journey within to address these hidden beliefs wasn’t a struggle. It was simply something I needed to do. I think one of the problems I have with the Struggle paradigm is the implication that, once you get the knowledge or clear the Limiting Beliefs or get past the Block or whatever, Life will be completely frictionless and a magic unicorn will fly you off to Candyland where you will be waited on hand and foot and never have to make any effort ever again. (Yes, I know unicorns don’t have wings; it’s a fantasy.)

That’s not Life. Yes, it can get easier, but expecting to never again need to deal with your inner Stuff is merely setting yourself up for disappointment. I remember when I would repeatedly run into my same Stuff and think, “But I thought I’d already dealt with this!”

Eventually, I realized that I experience Life as a spiral such that, when I seem to come back around to the same things, I’m actually looking at them from a slightly different perspective, gaining a deeper understanding. Some people use the analogy of the layers of an onion, but I prefer the opening of the petals of a rose: a tightly closed bud that gradually reveals the complex lushness of its inner beauty and fragrance.

Once I accepted the hills and valleys and twists and turns as all just part of the journey, it became far easier for me to invest the effort to do those things — including the “inner work” — that would continue to move me forward.

But it doesn’t have to be a struggle.