Feeling comfortable with discomfort

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you are taking some moments to reflect on what you are thankful for and how to find peace in your life. I went to a Thanksgiving yoga class this morning, and the thought from the teacher (and the practice of Yin yoga) that I want to share is the idea of feeling comfortable with discomfort.

This concept has relevance in many aspects of our lives, from dealing with grief, conflict or unrest to dealing with pain (like in labor). We as a society are extremely uncomfortable with discomfort and we focus on eradicating all pain or discomfort in our lives, whether through medication or other numbing techniques (avoidance, alcohol, drugs, etc). I think it’s an important thing to reflect on–what does it mean for us to try and be comfortable with the discomfort in our lives? To sit with negative feelings, pain, let them overwhelm us, feel it deeply and let it go.

This is what we ask of women in labor–to use the pain of contractions, allow it to carry them forward, rather than numbing the pain or giving into it. I think we can all learn a lesson from what we ask women in labor to do, and try to apply it to our emotional and physical lives as well.


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