Sitting with discomfort.
I am back.
Thank you for being patient with me!
I was practicing my dragon protocol to gather internal resources.
Today, I want to add balance to my last post.
In Coping with Grief, I recommended entertaining appropriately as a point of self care. In talking about using distraction as a tool, I forgot to include its necessary counterpart: sitting with discomfort.
As we practice mindful distraction for our painful realities, we also need to bring balance back in with mindful attention to our present reality.
If we self-soothe too often and without balance, we do ourselves a disservice.
We need to sit with discomfort and bring our attention back to our body and our present.
This can sound daunting, but it is meant as a kindness to your self.
It is necessary to move through hard times.
An important point about sitting with discomfort is that when you do, you are only mindful and not engaging. The purpose is to identify where the body is, and not to dive into why the body is.
The reason you are grieving is irrelevant. This is just about noticing.
It doesn't involve thinking. It involves being.
The process looks something like this:
1. Find a comfortable place to exist.
Sit, lie down, stand, just be safe and cozy.
You can change position if you need to.
This isn't a limiting space. There is no wrong way to do it.
2. Become aware of your breathing.
The goal is not to change anything.
Just bring your awareness to however you are breathing.
As you attune to your breath, expand your awareness in any way you feel called in your body. Use any adjectives you feel called to mind.
Temperature, mood, colour, weather, feelings, light, smells, etc.
Think of this yourself as a scientist gathering data.
There isn't any wrong data, it just is.
4. Gratitude and go.
When you have gathered the data you feel like gathering, thank your body for working with you through this time.
There is no wrong way to do this.
There isn't a higher level to attain here.
It is simple data collection.
We check social media 80 million times a day (made up statistic).
This is the physical equivalent of checking into our body.
As we repeat this exercise, we begin to notice trends (where we store our stress, for example).
The trends are either serving us, or counter to what we want in our lives.
We have the power to change how we move through life, but can actually do something about it if we have the appropriate data.
It is important to note that if we discover an non-serving trend, that there isn't anything bad or shameful or wrong with us.
Our body did the best it could with the tools it was given.
We can re-program our system, but it works best if we have the appropriate data. Let's all be honest. It is much easier to self-soothe than sit.
So I have a challenge!
Every time you go on social media, set a timer and record the time spent.
Then spend an equal amount of time just checking in with yourself.
You are awesome and worth spending time with.
Thank you for spending time with me.