An Excerpt from Stretching Lessons: The Daring That Starts from Within by Sue Bender

Sue Bender, the best-selling author of Plain and Simple and Everyday Sacred, explores her yearning for peace of mind. She admits that she has to struggle for it.

"If I were composing an ad for a relationship magazine and deciding to really tell the truth about myself, I would say:

"Expert at struggle, longing for ease. Signed: EAGER.

"I'm sixty-six years old and I want to learn about ease. Even writing the word ease or saying it out loud has a magical effect on me. The expression on my face softens, my shoulders drop two inches, and I'm able to take a full and deep breath.

" 'I want to learn about ease,' I announced to my wise friend Mitzi, with a determined ring in my voice. 'I'm going to use my natural talent for struggle to learn how not to struggle.' Sometimes, too earnest in my search for answers, I forget to laugh at myself:

"My struggle toward ease."