Part of our monthly article series from Supersoul Yoga teachers on a variety of relevant topics. We hope you enjoy reading their words and through them, learning more about your teachers and their insights.
Being With Discomfort
Our world is hanging on tight for another turn of the wheel. New Year, 2017. In a time of unknowns, many are seeking anchors to ground the inevitable feelings of uncertainty. As humans, we often look to material comforts or distractions to mollify our discomfort. Short-term fixes can be fed by shopping, eating, using drugs and alcohol, social media and other screens, and even things like excessive exercise. We have become skilled at not feeling, knowing that there are ways and substances to avoid pain.
As we feed the addiction to have a "pain free" life, we are also burying the inherent contentment and moments of joy that carry us. The feeling-life is not always bliss, it is honesty. The honesty is sometimes a slow revelation, sometimes liberating, and sometimes excruciating. The welcoming of the dark stuff and the ability to sit in the sludge transforms discomfort into strength. It becomes a learning of the heart and realization of our capacities.
There is effort in living a bit vulnerable and unsure -- cultivating anchors in times of uncertainty call for us to seek solace outside of addictions and distractions. When things become dodgy, take a breath and try using one of the following tools.
CONNECT with Human: Reach out to a friend and schedule face to face time. Make the effort to be curious about them. Listen intently and ask lots of questions. Sharing in another's experience can create a comforting heart-tie.
CRY: Don't hold the tears back. Step out for a few minutes, or a day and release the sadness or fear.
LAUGH: Through pain, there is powerful medicine in humor. Spend time with people who can make you laugh and offer lightness to situations that feel oppressive. It's ok to let the laughter get hysterical; it creates the same release as crying.
CHANGE the view: Perspective shifting is different than escaping. There is value in stepping away from a situation, geographically and emotionally/mentally. This could be get-away or vacation, or just a walk in the woods. A time out without going to a default distraction, like as a substance or media.
SIT: What no one wants to do is to do nothing. However, feel the discomfort. Become knowledgeable in identifying the triggers in your experience. The uncertainty can slowly become less and less frightening as we take an intimate, hard look at pain.