Have you ever noticed what happens within you when you are confronted by something you dislike? Do you react, do you keep your discomfort to yourself, do you run way or do you observe it?
It really depends on the situation, but to me, most of the time when confronted by an uncomfortable experience, I try to get out of it as soon as I can, so pretty much I remove myself from situations or from being around people that don’t make me feel good
When I was younger, I used to practice cheerleading, I did this for a couple of years and always felt so attached to my physical body and every time we did stretching, our teacher would assist us to go deeper in the stretch, I didn’t like it at all and I remember contracting my body and resisting the discomfort, I struggled to breathe properly and just wanted to get out of the stretch, I felt challenged in so many ways, and I felt that I was not good enough for cheerleading and I gave up…
I continued to escape from people and situations that would take me out of my comfort zone for as long as I could, not realising that the same things I was escaping from, were holding me back, like a prisoner not allowing me to grow and transcend my limitations due to attachment to my likes and dislikes
Until the time came, where my life took me from an all year around warmish environment to the UK (which to me is really out of my comfy sunny beach life) I know England is not as cold as other places, but moving here for me was a sign of stop resisting what is and escaping what I don’t enjoy (like cold weather). I realise how my mind has so many supporting ideas of why I was made for warm weather, but I also notice how the mind always “thinks” that there is something outside of “here”, that will bring us more happiness, more fulfilment, more peace
I can follow my mind and go around the whole world looking for a place that fills out all of my expectations and never arrive “home”, because no matter where I am, what I have, who is with me ( or not), if I am not able to accept everything just as it is, I will never find true peace
I now know that the cold, the person that triggered/challenge me at some point in my life or anything that took me out of my comfort zone, was there for a reason and had a lesson for me <3
If we can give ourselves permission to observe the emotions that arise within us without attachment when we are confronted by a challenge and not react or judge, we will slowly be somehow blessed by the very same thing that was causing the lost of our inner peace =)
Have you noticed how in some challenging situations, or even yoga postures, there can be an arousal of emotions that want you to get out of where you are? The mind giving you an extensive list of why you should stop, quit, give up, leave, etc … We can blame the person who is causing the discomfort or putting you in an uncomfortable challenging situation, and feel that “if only” that person or situation changed, we could be peaceful, happy and life would be super sweet… It is so hard to be out of our comfort zone and look within ourselves, when this happens, we normally look outward for reasons to support the way we feel (only increasing the sense of unease as thoughts give power to whatever occupies our minds,) but only when we sit with the emotions, allow them to simply be and not try to change them that we can transcend them...
"Life is not as serious as our minds make it out to be"
After all, we will continue to be challenged until we are no longer provoked/triggered.
I have always been a bit scared of heights and my husband being a free runner and an adrenalin seeker has made me challenge myself many times, he has made me face my fears and find a little bit more liberation <3 I know that if I continue to avoid what scares me, I will continue to live in the little prison of my own thoughts. The photo on the right was my first step of getting out of my comfort zone jumping off a cliff in Australia, I was super scared but felt great (and shaky!) after I did it =)
In yoga, getting out of our comfort zone and find discipline is known as “Tapas”, and the practice of tapas allows us to understand ourselves better
Maybe you (and I) can make a list of all the things that you don’t love and practice doing them as a way of cultivating a sense of acceptance, of non aversion, and see what happens ? In a yoga practice it can be postures that you avoid most of the time, postures that scare you even, or it can be anything else in your life that you avoid doing because you dislike it or the idea of it . If you can’t think of anything that you don’t like doing, you can think of something you love doing, like for example “I love drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, or eating biscuits/chocolate, etc and maybe you can try not doing that for a bit, whether it is a day, a few days, a week or a month, just to take control once again of y/our live/s =)
The mind can be so powerful, and this power it has over us, can make us lose our inner peace and happiness, that's why by retraining the mind to be okay when we are uncomfortable, to not escape and resist what is, to have no preferences as such so that we we find/create more freedom, and slowly regain our birthright of happiness and peace within
May we all find peace, may we all find stillness and acceptance in al situations, at all times =)
Love & light,