“Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you’re doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they’re hiding out in the comfortable zone.”
~ Seth Godin
Life. It’s uncomfortable. We’re born into a process that we’re rarely ever prepared for. We do our best to make the most out of whatever life has planned for us. This process is an ongoing pursuit of anticipating and improvising each and every turn. Every event. Every emotion. Every relationship. And as we do so, we grow. According to many great spiritual teachers out there, if we don’t take an honest look at ourselves (at our strengths and weaknesses, our pitfalls and successes), and be willing to shift what no longer serves us- on a constant basis- we’re not stepping out of our comfort zone. Stepping into our discomfort is the process of Yoga.
In order to grow, we must be willing to endure discomfort. And when I say endure. I mean FEEL it. Explore it. Evaluate it. Discomfort can be physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. As I mentioned above, in order to grow and evolve we must be willing to take an honest look at ourselves. And this can often be the most uncomfortable feeling of all.
When it comes to fear and discomfort, my greatest strength lies in physically challenging myself. Through rock climbing, ice climbing, scuba diving, sky diving etc. it’s relatively easy for me to engage in and challenge myself. Because I’ve been able to step into my discomfort on many occasions on a physical level, I’ve learned to trust myself and trust that this physical discomfort is guiding me into my greatest “physical” potential.
When it comes to delving deeply into my spiritual self, I’ve unconsciously (but willingly) stepped into my discomfort of facing my own daemons. It’s been a very challenging process, and still is. As a witness I continue to learn about the thoughts and actions that hold me back. The behaviors that block me in relationships. The patterns that hinder me from stepping into my greatest Self. I’ve witnessed a few behaviors that habitually keep me in the status quo. Although I understand my unhealthy habits, it’s still difficult for me to transcend what holds me back.
The greatest challenge of discomfort for me above all else is revealing my truth to others especially if I feel disconnected from them. Honesty is one of my greatest values and characteristics, but when push comes to shove, if I don’t feel safe to be open I often shy away from doing so. The thought of being judged numbs me to the point of stagnation. This is where my work lies. I’m someone who’s never caved to peer pressure, but being completely vulnerable and intimate with those I’m closest to (especially if they’ve upset me) is somehow my greatest area of growth potential. And I’m terrified. Yoga has guided me into this awareness…now, I wonder, where do I go from here?
And so it is. Acceptance that life will bring discomfort is the key to unlocking the truth about ourselves. Exploring discomfort is the doorway to transcendence. And forgiveness toward ourselves and others for doing the best we can on our crazy journey is our greatest breakthrough.
My journey is a testament to my own discomfort. Traveling the world on my own. Learning to own my mistakes. Taking responsibility for my actions and behaviors. Being a student of life. Every. Single. Day. All I know is that it’s not easy, but I’m doing the best I can. And I hope you are too.