Stay with the vulnerability and the discomfort. – Tara Brach

October 25, 2013 — 1 Comment

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I am going through HUGE changes in my professional and personal life.

Huge shake your world and spin it upside down on its head changes. Changes that are, at times, physically and emotionally uncomfortable. Change can be hard and growing can be painful.

I think change is good. It keeps us alive and on our toes, learning and growing. This is part of the purpose of this whole human experience — to learn, to love, to grow and to heal.

All of that requires change.

Paradoxically, I’ve also been reluctant to some forms of change and found old habits hard to break, or perhaps lessons hard to learn.

Change requires moving against resistance into the unknown.

The known is kind of like your bed in the morning — warm and comforting — even if you don’t sleep well on it. The warm familiar bed is, well, warm and familiar; even if hard and lumpy and uncomfortable. Getting out of that warm and familiar can be a shock because it deals with the unknown or, even if the end outcome is pretty known, because of the discomfort of moving from here to there.

It’s no wonder that many of us resist change like the plague! “Why would we choose to do something that makes us feel discomfort,” is a logical thought, isn’t it?

We fight against it, swimming upstream against the current of change until we’re tired out and frazzled.

See, sometimes change hurts.

But the more we resist, the more it persists. The more that we fight against something, the more we cause it to continue. Not only does it continue, but we make it harder and the process becomes more uncomfortable the more we resist.

To fly we have to have resistance. – Maya Lin

The thing is that sometimes we need the resistance. We need the resistance to help strengthen us and teach us. We need the resistance in order to grow and be the best versions of ourselves and live out our divine purpose.

Part of the changes in my life are inevitable and would have happened anyway. They are welcomed changes. Still, that doesn’t make them any less scary or difficult or uncomfortable for several reasons.

Things people typically resist are switching jobs, starting or ending relationships, coming to terms with something about themselves, etc.

We’ve all been through stuff that we carry with us. Even when change is good, it can bring up fears about self-worth and inadequacy. So even when we’re aware that the change can be good for us, we may still face some resistance to it because somewhere inside of us we may worry whether we are truly of deserving of good things. (Insider tip: we are oh so worthy!)

Have you ever been in a super cold pool or the ocean when it’s really cold?

Your body starts to clinch up and resist the cold. It seems like the more you fight against the cold the more painful it becomes. Your teeth start to chatter and your body physically starts to shake; your muscles become taut. You resist the cold with all your power and find yourself not only colder but in pain.

But when you stop resisting and just accept the freezing temperatures, your body relaxes with a flood of warmth your muscles relax and your level of discomfort, though still there, is greatly diminished.

Instead of resisting change, sometimes you just have to wade into the cold waters and relax into it. You have to breathe it all in, accept the discomfort and feel it until eventually it passes. The way to get through it is to wade deep into it.

Go deep into the cold water of whatever you are resisting and feel it with your body fully.

Whatever change you’re struggling with, close your eyes and think about where you can physically feel it in your body. You may be surprised to learn that we can actually carry it physically in our bodies. For me, it’s usually anxiety or a knot in my stomach. Focus on the feeling and just sit with it.

Yep, sit with the discomfort as if it were a small puppy on your lap.

Don’t try to rationalize it or wish it away. Just sit with it and observe your thoughts without trying to change them. Breath in the discomfort and the fear and breath out love.

Breath in the discomfort and fear, and breath out gratitude. We want to feel gratitude for the resistance we fear because it is making us stronger and better things lay on the other side if we can just get there.

It may even help to tell yourself something like, “I am worthy,” or “I am grateful” or “I release the blocks in my life to X” or “I welcome change and trust that the Universe has my greatest interest at heart.”

Sit with the discomfort for as little or as long as you like, take a deep breath and let it all out. The more you do this, this easier it will pass. Change whether or not comfortable is bound to happen. Make it easier on yourself by swimming with the current instead of against it!

What are you resisting right now?


Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. When Shiz Hits the Fan « Mommy's Fit Life - October 30, 2013

    […] not suggesting that we ignore the bad. We should acknowledge our feelings so we can move past them faster. If we feel sad, we should feel it. If we’re angry, it’s okay to be angry. We should […]

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