the art of discomfort
Every time i’ve felt the “I don’t want to” come up with an impending activity and done it anyway, I have come away from the experience being so glad that I did.
From jumping into an ice cold river first thing in the morning, to bungy jumping, from doing a yoga challenge to doing my taxes…the activities that weren’t on the top 10 of my to do list that I did anyway left me feeling transformed afterwards. Transformed.
There is an art to being uncomfortable. Pushing through the “I don’t wanna” is part of the breakthrough to the sweet spot where the goods hang out. Knowing that we can do it regardless of circumstance feeds our center of empowerment. Doing this consistently leads to a more confident sense of self.
“Doing it anyway” turns a “some day” into a right now. Many times I’ve been right there and thought: “today is not the day for this, but someday it will be”. And then minutes later i realize that TODAY is someday. Here I am trying to talk myself out of taking action in the present moment when the time to take action IS the present moment. How FUNNY. Doing it anyway is a good practice for pushing through procrastination tendencies.
A major breakthrough might feel like “wow, I can’t believe i did that”. When I jumped the 216 meter Bungy at Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa last year it was all in a dreamlike state. Especially that moment when I jumped and sailed downwards headfirst. In the midst of all the adrenaline I was surprised at how quiet that moment was….like time stopped or the earth paused in space. Later it was a mere memory with a token photo. I did that! And I could have easily said no to that experience since I was dealing with a spider bite that was making me feel other than the best ever. With half the group not participating I could have easily jumped on the someday train. I chose otherwise.
Minor breakthroughs can look like daily practices that may be challenging in the moment, and through persistently doing them they become easy. Cold showers, barefoot walking, speaking in front of groups, meditating, delivering & receiving truth bombs are great examples of an everyday challenge that can catalyze metamorphosis. My experience of these minor discomfort breakthroughs is that over time they become not only easier, but more enjoyable too. (Hey baby, wanna get uncomfortable this weekend?).
Breathing through discomfort…and even finding that edge where pain turns to pleasure. Our mind plays THE role on how we perceive things. Is something actually painful? Is this truly uncomfortable or is my mind being silly again?
I’ve walked on hot coals and thinking about glacial melt water literally made the experience below my feet feel cooler. A few days ago I was walking on a super summer hot trail without my shoes, and again thinking cool thoughts did ease the edge of pain I thought I was experiencing.
The art of discomfort can be about consciously addressing the aspects of our life that we’d prefer to ignore and embrace them and find that point of pleasure. Perhaps discomfort is a tricky way that Universe has come up with in cloaking transformational experiences. Whenever we feel uncomfortable we know that in time we will become better, more refined, resilient versions of ourselves.
If it feels uncomfortable, do it. That’s where the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow resides.