Much of the coaching I do with people revolves around accepting discomfort. “Ack!”, you may be thinking. “Why would I want to do that?”
Actually, it’s a powerful way to move toward healing in all areas. If you want pain relief, weight loss, or stress relief, you’ll need to befriend discomfort. If you want solopreneur success, you’ll need to befriend discomfort. If you stop and think about it, anything that stretches you a bit and any dream you’re working toward involves some discomfort.
Discomfort is not a bad thing. It’s just something we tend to try to avoid. Naturally!
Yet, when we try to avoid it, discomfort becomes more uncomfortable. It grows larger. It looms large in our awareness. Whether it’s an emotion or a physical sensation, when we try to push it away, it gets bigger. Discomfort is here to tell us important things – to give us clues that guide us to what we want in our lives. So it makes sense that it would speak louder when we try to ignore it.
My mind-body clients are actually mind-body warriors. It takes strength and determination to be willing to accept and befriend discomfort, so I say we get to call ourselves warriors when we do this. We get to celebrate our bravery and give ourselves some serious credit.
Physical discomfort from pain or other symptoms needs to be acknowledged (not obsessed about – obsessing is actually another way to push it away), befriended, and then listened to. Why? Because pushing it away only creates more tension in the body, increasing pain. Surrendering and relaxing into it, allowing it to be there, and listening to its messages is what allows the body to drop into healing mode. Accepting pain does not mean you are resigning yourself to having it forever. It’s actually the first step to letting it release.
Emotional discomfort also needs to be acknowledged, felt, allowed, and listened to. Much of our daily stress comes from NOT doing this. The more we try not to feel certain emotions, the more we create tension in our bodies, stress in our lives, and a tendency to try to control people and events around us. Letting emotions happen, on the other hand, lets us soften into their wisdom and relax our bodies and minds.
I’ve been grateful for my mind-body warrior practice as I’ve encountered discomforts during pregnancy. There have been many, but I’ve allowed myself to have them. Sure, I often try to fight them at first. It’s a natural response. Then, I put on my warrior hat and surrender to the discomfort. Every time I do so, it gets easier, the discomforts ease, and I listen to my body. A 9 month pregnancy affords many opportunities to practice this art, so I’m feeling really in the zone these days.
So, I encourage you to join me in the front lines if you are having some discomfort today. My favorite mantra is: “I can do discomfort.” Then I breathe, remind myself to allow the discomfort to be here, and finally, ask it to tell me whatever I need to know. Give it a try and then share here on the blog or the facebook page!