342: Finding Comfort in the Discomfort

map of sydneyWhere ever you go there you are. This is the title of Jon Kabbat Zin’s book on mindfulness. So today I find myself where I am, up to my ears in the discomfort of strange places, new roads, people I don’t know and a bed I’ve never slept in. Hello Sydney. Hello yin yoga with Sarah Powers.
Where you are isn’t necessarily a physical place either, it can refer to a yoga pose or a relationship, your work, a thought or any other situation that is presented to you. Since we can only control such a small percentage of our lives it seems realistic then, that we could often find ourselves in a place that feels like hot lava pouring over us.
I had hot lava pouring over me today as we held a pose for something like 15 minutes, and later interacting with strangers, then negotiating an unfamiliar rail system and feeling pretty much lost. We often try to negotiate our uncomfortable feelings by either keeping busy or stepping into lethargy. Unfortunately this is only a bandage so when we step our of our busyness or lethargy we step right back into what we were trying to avoid in the first place, which is ourselves.
Luckily we were given a tool today for dealing with this. The concept of mindfulness means meeting yourself wherever you are. It is bringing awareness to whatever you feel. It is being and feeling not doing and numbing.If we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation the practice of mindfulness asks that you acknowledge that even though your external environment has altered uncomfortably our task is to sit with this and then to find our way back home or to our centre.
Practice for today: If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation instead of reacting, see if you can navigate your way back to your centre. This could be as simple as taking a few deep breaths or just remembering that even though your externals have change your essence or true nature hasn’t.

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