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embracing discomfort

today i went to yoga after not having been in a very long time.  it felt incredibly good in all ways both physically, emotionally, and even experientially.  the energy was good and the sensations all spoke to me… “you belong here. this is good for you. welcome back.”

while going through the practice i felt a deep sense of belonging, from the space, from the poses, from my body’s response, and from the teacher and the community as well.  even though it was challenging it was like coming back to center and reawakening a part of me i had been neglecting.

at some point, i made the deeper connection that life is so often about finding and playing with that edge.  it is about how we manage discomfort in any given situation physically, mentally or both.  this is how we grow and transform, by finding our edge and breathing through it just like going through the poses in yoga. really, in every single moment there is a measure of discomfort always tempting us to avoid, turn away from or smother.  so sitting with discomfort helps us to be more in the moment.

i saw immediately how this relates to the different aspects of my own life: creative living is about moving out of that comfort zone and being brave with your work and authentic self. motherhood is about the life long process of giving and giving and letting go.  taking care of my body is about managing hunger and desire.  relationships, especially with loved ones are about the intricasies of give and take.

this practice as a whole of leaning into the edge, might be what helps us feel the most empowered and alive!  unlike the coveted notion of “life balance” that is supposed to give us a sense of being fully settled in our lives, it seems to require the absence of discomfort.  this is probably why most of us feel like balance is illusive and always out of reach, because generally speaking it is virtually impossible.

balance is standing still. living is constantly moving and changing and so often uncomfortable…

i don’t want to.
i need more.
i feel tired.
i am hungry.
i feel afraid.
i am unsure.
i can’t wait.
this is really difficult.
i really want that.

so i’ve decided that in order to pour myself into all the aspects of my life that i would like to see thrive and shine (which is pretty much everything), i have to say yes to discomfort and let go of the notion of balance.  i am learning bit by bit that i can handle more discomfort than i think, that so much of it is a resistance to feeling any bad sensations at all.  the true catharsis does not come from backing down and taking the easy route (though i do believe there is a time and place for this), it is walking through the fire and coming out the other side stronger that really is what moves us forward and is the most rewarding.