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Thursday, September 20, 2012

And She Finally Makes Her Point! - Part III

I have been talking... ok ranting, for the two posts about being uncomfortable and the fact that I needed to learn to get comfortable with this state of affairs.

So, why all of this talk about discomfort?  Well, in my experience discomfort tends to take me out of my centre.  In other words, it disturbs my peace.  I figured that if I could learn to 'get comfortable with discomfort' that I could avoid this disturbance and stay centred during the 'storms' that life throws at me.  That is my over-riding intention as of late.  To stay centred, peaceful, calm, in the face of, well, anything and everything.

Over the course of this series on discomfort, I have given you some examples of situations where physical discomfort has risen within me in recent times: being tired, being hungry, having low blood sugar, having sore feet, having a sore back, being cold... and I am sure that there are more but I have blocked them from my consciousness!  When you reflect back on your own life, I am guessing that you won't have to travel very far back in time to come up with your own examples, you might even be uncomfortable right now!  The fact is, physical discomfort is a reality of the human condition.  I would even say that it is inevitable, although using that word makes me uncomfortable (ha!).

An interesting observation that I have made within myself is how readily I seem to attach myself to my feelings of physical discomfort.  My reaction to discomfort has become so ingrained that I actually lose myself in the sensation of it.  I become it.

I become tired.  I become cold.  I become sore.  I become hungry.

In each of these situations, I allow the sensations that I am experiencing to permeate my being, my consciousness.

Notice that I used the word allow.  In other words, I am saying that I am making a choice.  This is important, because it means that rather than allowing, I also have the choice to not allow.

In the last post, I talked about the voice in my head and the inner knowing that lies in my heart.  When a situation arises that causes me to feel uncomfortable, here is an example of how it would typically play out in my head before I understood that it could actually look different.

Let's use being tired as an example.  As I shared earlier, for some reason, this physical sensation is one that really pushes my buttons!

Imagine this.  Let's say that I have a young child (if you have one, you likely already know where I am going with this!)  Imagine that this particular child is not a great sleeper.  In fact, this child loves to stay up as late as possible, wakes up often during the night, gets up early and quite often doesn't nap.  After a few less-sleep-than-usual days in a row, his parents are starting to get really tired.  Then the child has a really bad night because he is getting sick.  For the mom who really hates being tired, this is the last straw...

Ok, enough imagining.  That was me.  This type of scenario has happened to me before.  Several times.  Maybe even more than several.  And each and every time, until quite recently, this type of occurrence was enough to pull me out of my centre.  Actually, quite often it was enough to push me so far out of my centre that I would entertain feelings of despair.  I know what you're thinking.  Despair?  Because she's tired?  That doesn't make any sense!

And I would have to agree with you... now.  But when I was in it, my thoughts, the voice in my head, had taken the reigns and run away with the situation.  Rather than simply telling myself, 'Okay, you're tired, it's uncomfortable, it's no big deal, this too shall pass', I found myself saying, 'I can't get through the day, I am a terrible mom, my child will never sleep, Oh no, now he's sick, it is only going to get worse'.

Do you see where I am going with this?  Our thoughts create our reality.  If my thoughts were telling me that I couldn't do it, the fact is, I couldn't, or I did it but suffered greatly.  By simply waking up to the fact that I could change my thoughts and tell myself that all was well, the truth is, it was.

As of late, we have had a few sleepless nights with Chephren, one out in the backcountry when it was below freezing and he was getting sick with a cold (talk about an opportunity for the voice in my head to FREAK OUT), and then when we got home he spent a few hours of one night coughing so hard that he was repeatedly throwing up.

A beautiful (and cold!) morning in the backcountry

Now, I will admit the backcountry scenario did take me out of my centre a little bit, after all, we were a 6-hour kayak ride from the car and there was literally nothing I could do but wait until the morning and try to keep him warm, dry and comfortable.  I didn't sleep a wink.  But I got through it.  And I learned from it.  And I am grateful for having had the experience.

The night of throwing up?  Easy-peasy.  No dramas.  Didn't sleep much that night either, and I was feeling it the next day as I taught two yoga classes, but I managed to stay in my centre.  As I write this now, I can't help but smile to think about how far the voice is my head has come...

'By choosing your thoughts, and by selecting which emotional currents you will release and which you will reinforce, you determine the quality of your Light.  You determine the effects that you will have upon others, and the nature of the experiences of your life.'  ~ Gary Zukav from 'Seat of the Soul'

Shanti, Om.


P.S.  I know that you probably don't want to hear this, but I think that I might have one more post about this topic in me.  Stay tuned for Part IV...

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