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Today we slept in until 8:00am, very late for us. I am suffering a bit from poison ivy on my chin and throat and pain in my arthritic hip, perhaps from walking in the sand. It was throbbing by the time we reached our temporary home after a lovely walk on the beach last night. So, my energy level is lower than it was yesterday. I don’t feel as productive. What do I do with discomfort?

I pay attention first to my body, to signals that I might need a bit more rest or the regular exercise I am missing (weight-lifting, biking and swimming). Then I scan my feelings, my mind, do some meditation and seek that “emptiness” that invites solutions to my discomfort. I continue with the routines that ground me – writing my dreams and morning feelings and insights, doing some inspirational reading (Light as a Feather by Ruth Fishel, prayer, Qi Gong and meditation. What a delight to be able to do the Qi Gong in the sun, surf and sand!

Then I turn to the tasks I wrote down to do today – read more of Linchpin, write this blog, sign up for a course at the Writer’s Center. Keep moving ahead, discomfort or none. Looking at the discomfort as an opportunity to grow, to lean into it as Pema Chodron suggests in Comfortable with Uncertainty.

Find the pages in Linchpin that inspire me with the discomfort of taking risks in seeking an agent, publishing my book. Seth says (p. 116) “Inevitably we exaggerate just how uncomfortable we are…that embracing the discomfort that others fear is likely to deliver real rewards. Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you’re doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they’re busy hiding out in the comfortable zone.”

So, I did my morning writing, meditation and exercise routine, felt pain dissolve, signed up for the class, comforted a suffering friend, read my assignment, checked to see if the agent had responded and wrote this blog. I took risks doing some things I didn’t feel like doing, sharing discomfort, leaning into it.

What do you do with discomfort? Physical, emotional, spiritual?

One Comment

  1. I recently finished Linchpin; found it a valuable read for me both as a leader in my organization but also as a leader in my sangha. Though not specifically Buddhist, it resonated with me as a Buddhist. In fact, I’m arranging a copy for P. Hai to read.

    I’d love to hear more of your insights as you finish the book.

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