I speak a lot in my yoga classes about the idea of getting comfortable with the feeling of being uncomfortable. As difficult as this can sometimes prove on the mat, it becomes even harder to practice out in our lives.
This idea of accepting discomfort is something that I’ve been sitting with this month. As humans, we have a tendency to avoid any type of discomfort. We either try and ignore the uncomfortable feelings all together or seek out distractions that help us to numb their sensation. I’ve literally watched myself try and run away from these feelings that I teach so much about sitting with, exploring, and working through.
There is something to be said about choosing positive thoughts over negative, but what happens when certain “negative” thoughts keep resurfacing? My thought on this is that they keep showing up in an uncomfortable way to encourage us to investigate.
Mindfulness invites us to explore these feelings. Mindfulness asks us to be present with the sensations that accompany the discomfort, anxiety, or suffering of the present moment. Although this can be highly unpleasant at the time, there is much to be gained from incorporating this practice into our daily lives.
When we learn to be present with this discomfort or suffering we can gain different perspectives and cultivate better solutions to these feelings. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you keep experiencing repetitive painful thoughts or feelings, break the cycle by giving them some attention rather than continuing to avoid them.
“For most people their spiritual teacher is their suffering. Because eventually the suffering brings about awakening.” –Eckhart Tolle
International Yoga Trainer,