4 Ways to Embrace Discomfort for a Spirited Life
Discomfort. The sometimes dark and mysterious tunnel that sits on the road between where you were and where you’re going. The highway that transcends your upper limit. The dodgy chicken bus that you must board to get over the border if you truly want to find yourself in the land of the free.
However it resonates for you; just know that it’s real, and you’re not the only one. No true dreamer or seeker is ever spared the honour of it’s presence. No amount of distraction or ignorance will successfully diminish it’s light so you can hurry up and claim your prize on the other side.
Discomfort magnifies in proportion to the dream at large, and sometimes you're suddenly left feeling like an adult stuck in a wet kids wetsuit you can’t get off and there’s no-one around to help you. You want to throw a tantrum (if you’re like me, you probably do!), you want to shake yourself until all the icky-ness somehow releases through your pores, and now you're on the hunt for anything that might numb you out. Food. Sex. Netflix. Arguments. Distractions. Anything you can do to ease the unsettled ache that leaves you feeling far from free. I mean, that’s what you originally signed up for, right? The big lofty dream meant to help you feel unstoppable, alive and fiercely free? So what gives? This part sucks!
I know; Being a seeker with a hunger for limitless living ain’t easy. But don’t let it get you down babe; it’s actually a really good thing! This icky, temper-tantrum inducing state of discomfort is the equivalent of when famous people start getting hate mail or “first like” on their instagram pics; You’ve made it!! You’ve actually begun to stretch your tight, contracting and suffocating pair of “life” jeans so much so that the seams are about to give way and finally release you into the world naked and free as you should be. You’re thiiiiiis close babe, don’t give up now! Discomfort is a sign that you had the balls to stretch your sights further than your ego’s boundaries to begin with. Be proud of that! You’ve poured so much energy, time, love and spirit into breaking through that comfort zone - whether it’s in the pursuit of a dream or in the exploration of your inner self - this truly is the most rewarding and memorable part of it all.
But in saying that, discomfort doesn’t have to equate to suffering.
Here are my top five tips for embracing discomfort in a way that feeds your spirit and energises you:
1. Know the difference between pain and discomfort.
One sends a lightening bolt of truth from the heart; the other more of a nauseous frazzle of distressed energy that succumbs to a few deep breaths and a hug from your bestie. This resonance and familiarity with discomfort comes from knowing your spirit and it’s capacity to endure the side affects of your lofty dreams and desires. When you're engaged in the relationship you have with yourself; the most important one of your lifetime, you know how much discomfort your spirit can handle. You know the depths and distances she can go for the dream at hand, and you’ve got a leg to stand on when your ego starts piping up with nonsense about this being a life-threatening situation. Discomfort can be the perfect stage for self sabotage to make a debut. When you’ve put in the time to get to know your own spirit, suddenly your equipped with the REAL maximum capacity at which you can operate - no more looking like the fool. Discomfort is now your bitch!
"He or she who has the greatest capacity for discomfort rises the fastest."
- Brene Brown
2. Amp up your creature comforts so you can live luxuriously outside of your comfort zone.
Just because you’ve chosen to live life at the borders of your existence, doesn’t mean you have to do so standing in the cold, alone, unarmed and covered in battle wounds. A spirited life calls for serious support; don’t die with your dreams, trying to be the hero that thought she could do it all on her own. Know what your creature comforts are and AMP ‘EM UP!
If you know you’re an introvert, schedule A LOT of alone time whilst you trek this icky phase. Be sure not to discredit the small stuff that you know deep down works for you every time - meditations, visualisations, books, silence, stillness, breathing exercises, stocking your house with only healthy food, SLEEP(!), sunshine.. All of it. If you want to make it to the other side in a state of wellness that is actually able to savour and enjoy your success, THIS is the time to sustain your sanity! Crowd out the bad with the good, and tip the scales in your favour as often as possible. Let these creature comforts deliver the pleasure your in desperate need of!
“The luxury I advocate has nothing to do with money. It is the reward of those who have no fear of discomfort.”
- J. Cocteau
3. Look discomfort in the eyes.
Acknowledge it. Swallow it whole. Let it wriggle around inside of you until it realises it has nowhere to go. Sit with it. Feel it. Breathe into it. Be curious about it.
But do not give it your personal power. Do not fight it, avoid it, dwell on it or ignore it. All of these will give it the ammunition and motivation to come back stronger and stronger as each day unfolds.
Instead, know it’s there. Look at it in the eyes with a grateful and loving stare. Accept it. Surrender to it’s purpose and presence in your life. And know that it’s in service to your spirit.
"Whatever is good for your spirit, do that…"
Curiosity got you here, so let it get you out! Let yourself explore just what it has to say, and be the observer of it’s interaction with your spirit. What is it revealing about you? What has surprised you? What can you laugh about as you keep moving through life with discomfort in your back pocket, knowing full well it’s not sticking around forever?
We learn peanuts about ourselves when things are going well, in comparison to when shit hits the fan. How you dance with discomfort and react to it’s presence is the eye-opening exploration of yourself you invited into your life when you said yes to the universe. Let your love for your own growth see you through, as you celebrate it, laugh about it with other dreamers and seek to feel the experience in FULL.
4. Get clear on what sits waiting for you at the end of the tunnel.
When you refuse to give your personal power away to discomfort (i.e. your ego-driven fear), it’s available for you to use in more positive, life-enriching ways. Like channeling your spirit and reminding yourself why you’re in this to begin with. And then sending this rickety old bus ride of discomfort some heart-felt gratitude because it’s the only ride on offer to the life you want to lead.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
― Melody Beattie
Over to you; how does discomfort come up for you when you're in the throws of pushing the boundaries of your seeker existence? How do you move through your own bouts of discomfort with both kindness and respect for your spirit and your dream?
I always love hearing from you, so don't hold back! Discomfort thrives when we feel alone in our endeavours, so let's strip that away and amplify our connection.