Sunday, December 07, 2008
Are you comfortable being uncomfortable?
If you feel too comfortable in life it probably means you are not growing as an individual. By nature growth is uncomfortable. As a child I experienced Charley Horses, otherwise known as growing pains, in my legs. I would wake-up in the middle night because I was uncomfortable. This is part of growing. Whether it is physical, spiritual, emotional, or mental growth, if you want to evolve and develop as an individual, be prepared to experience a certain level of discomfort.
Particular situations can invoke a considerable amount of uneasiness. Whether it involves moving, changing or losing a job, attending a social event alone, or trying a new sport, all of these situations are examples of ones that may force us to step outside our comfort zone. By embracing each new situation we encounter with open arms, we ultimately triumph over fear. If we never allow ourselves to move beyond fear, we will remain stagnate, flat, lifeless. This is because fear stunts our growth.
Interacting with people who trigger feelings of discomfort can also be a means of growing. Our greatest teachers in life are often individuals who make us uneasy. If we are conscious enough, these individuals will awaken, or remind us, of the areas within ourselves that are not yet fully developed. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, ask yourself, “What feelings come up when I am around this person?” Before you judge someone and think, “I just don’t get that person,” or “I can’t stand that person,” try to be patient instead of immediately reacting. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you decipher where you need to grow so your internal fire alarm is no longer set off.
The more loving and accepting you are of yourself, the more loving and accepting you will be of others. As self-awareness and self-love increases, you stop focusing on what’s wrong with so-called “difficult” people in your life. Instead you focus on what needs to shift within you to prevent future fires from festering. It’s easy to look outside ourselves but much more challenging to look within. A key element to self-growth however is introspection.
When I came home tonight I found a card from my mom waiting in the mailbox. A beautiful flower graced the outside and inside was a hand-written message from my mom that said, “Thinking of you during this time of growth.”
Right now I, like many others living in these turbulent times, am fully immersed in a tremendous growth period. Am I uncomfortable? You better believe I am. I am probably more uncomfortable than I have ever been in my whole life. At the same time I feel a sense of peace knowing everything will be ok. I also feel a sense of excitement because I know these changes in my life are serving as a catalyst for growth.
In a recent interview featured in Yoga Journal magazine, B.K.S Iyengar, one of the leading founders of modern yoga, commented on still teaching yoga after recently turning 90 years-old, “My life and energy are still growing. Because I’m practicing age has not struck me at all.”
So ask yourself, “Am I challenging myself to continue to grow?”