Being Comfortable with the Uncomfortable
We all feel those feelings. Of worry. Self-doubt. Nagging. Our minds like to go go go go and make life as hard as humanly possible. But the trick. The trick is to find peace. To let go the anxious mind, let go anxiety or fear, and find comfort in the uncomfortable.
I’ve been in the realm of uncomfortable a lot lately.
My breathing issue brought a host of new experiences, new fears, and new passions for me.
It is petrifying when you don’t feel well and can’t breathe. My lack of oxygen challenged my running, my yoga, my personal life, my eating, my professional life, you name it. I realized things I thought to be set were actually fleeting, that I can’t control a lot of things in my life, even my impressions of people shifted–both for the good and the bad.
Long story short, I’ve been re-examining some things. And what I’ve discovered is wonderfully freeing.
When the box you are standing on is finally removed from under you, you float for a bit. You jump in the air, paniced that there’s nothing holding you up. But then you fly for a moment before landing. Both feet plant down. There’s new support under you. There’s a new understanding. A new beginning. A new what is. Now.
But to find the new present, you first need to fly in the face of the unknown. You need to jump of the box and embrace the uncomfortable.
That is what I have been doing.
My breathing problem has actually been a blessing in disguise. It has brought me closer to a lot of stuff that I love for myself. Most specifically, it has renewed my love and enthusiasm for running, yoga, meditation, and healthy living.
And, in doing a photo shoot for my YOGA FOR ATHLETES and YOGA FOR RUNNERS classes and workshops, I found my own transformation in a physical yoga asana.
The photo shoot provided me with an opportunity to visit one of my favorite yoga for runners poses, Dancer Pose (Natarajasana).
Like many runners, this pose has difficulties for me. Not only is it a QUAD STRETCH, but it also requires balancing on one leg, challenges my standing leg hamstrings, requires open shoulders, back-bending, hip-opening, and CONCENTRATION.
Toss in the added element of a photographer trying to catch you “looking good” and the pose became even more challenging. I could have withdrawn, avoided the pose, chosen another posture.
I dove in and took a giant leap of my safety box and into the unknown in dancer pose.
It started strong.
I focused, I worked to lift my standing leg knee-cap UP. I back-bended while working to bring my torso to parallel and shine my heart up towards the sky. (Of course all while simultaneously kicking my foot up and towards my face!)
Standing leg began to straighten!
But my torso began to wiggle….
One more breath.
I worked to extend. To lenthen. To kick more and better bring my torso towards parallel.
And soften the jaw.
And the space between the eyewbrows.
My thoughts went a mile a minute.
“And oh wait–isn’t she taking a photo?
How do I look attractive in this pose? Do I smile? It’s not a smiley pose when you run a lot. But I don’t want to grimace. What do I do? Hrm..
Only so many rambling thoughts you can have OUTSIDE THE PRESENT before you… TUMBLE!
I FELL! AHHHHHHHH!
The best reminder that I was not in the moment. See? Even yogis for decades stumble in “common” every day poses. Check out my knee–the knee wobble was the first sign I was about to go. EEEP!
And I was caught on camera mid-fall for all the world to see!
So I fell down. I fell out of the pose.
But I laughed.
Shrugged it off.
And started it all on the other side! (We have two legs, don’t you know!)
As that old song from the 90s said, I get knocked down, but I get up again!
And it was amazing how much more in the now I was for take-two. I laughed, I smiled, I balanced, I found comfort and freedom in the unknown.
What’s the worst thing that will happen?
You will fall down?
But when you fall down, you have an opportunity to get back and rise even higher.
So that’s what I’m planning to do.
I’ve had a huge hiccup in the sense that, well, I wasn’t breathing. But that’s lead me to a new level of me. A new level of Lora-ness.
Starting with more yoga for runners and a renewed dedication to my own running practice (it’s way easier when you can breathe, btw!) and healthy eating and WHOLE BODY and MIND healthy living. Oh, and I just agreed to do the St. Anthony’s triathlon next year. Looks like I have some serious biking to learn!
Wanna join me on this new adventure? Where do you want to find freedom? Where can you grow? What is holding you back? Can you find comfort in the uncomfortable?
It feels pretty good when you let go and let fly! Dancer’s leap. Yoga poses names aren’t “coincidences.” Live up to dancer’s pose the next time you stretch your quad. Smile. Laugh. Fall. Get back up again.
And take it off the mat and into the world.
Dance at work.
Leap at home.
Fly when running.
Open yourself up to your own greatness and possibility.
Starting in this awful uncomfortable awkward moment known as RIGHT NOW.
Who’s with me?