Allow Discomfort

Photo by Julia Caesar on Unsplash

Except for the lead photo above, this began as an Instagram post. My swyping keyboard finger kept going as if it was a freewriting exercise.

When I scrolled up to add some words to a previous paragraph, something happened that I’ve never before experienced on Instagram:

I RAN OUT OF SPACE/CHARACTERS.

I know that Instagram should be for captions and not full posts. I’m aware that people rarely read the words beneath the picture.

So, here’s the full post, slightly modified for blog format (links instead of usernames, headings for readability, etc.) and clarity. This might be something for me to do more often: Start an Instagram post with “See more on my blog”.

(Note: This one was written on my website blog first, then imported to Medium and edited slightly to suit it, so it appears in three places, slightly different in all three.)

See the Instagram post here.


The Full Post

(The photos above are all the Instagram post.)

First I did the scheduled Yoga for Couch Potatoes to Adriene Mishler (Yoga with Adriene — I follow her monthly calendar), then I meditated along with one of Brett Larkin’s videos.

These two are both my favourite YouTube yoga teachers. A few months ago, After a few years with Brett, I decided to switch it up.

I intended to do Couch Potato yesterday because it seemed perfect for a day when a cold made me feel like shit. When I went to bed at night, I realized I hadn’t done yoga at all.

Yoga is my morning routine so that I don’t forget to do it. Instead, I mostly rested and engaged in “Netflix & chill” yesterday. I also got some work done, but I did as little as possible.


[This is where I had to cut the Instagram post. Upon reflection, I added the highlighted bit and some related thoughts.]

I’m sick (it’s just a cold), and that’s okay

(Stream of consciousness:) l still feel like crap, but that’s okay. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable & get sick on occasion. Our obsession with health is unhealthy when it keeps our bodies from doing what they naturally do.

I believe in living a life of ease as much as possible. I also believe that there are times when we should try to allow the discomfort before grabbing relief.

It’s a good exercise in, excuse the often-offensive phrase, not being a wuss.

It’s also helpful.

Acknowledging and leaning into the discomfort without rejecting it acknowledges that we have to navigate through the world every day. It takes some power away from the feelings, which is in itself is a relief.

Sometimes what we think is the prevention of discomfort is actually FEAR. Some discomfort does toughen us up.

Yes, seek help

NOT that we shouldn’t seek help when we need it or prevent discomfort when it can be avoided.

What I’m saying is that sometimes in our dislike for discomfort we don’t allow ourselves to deal with issues (whether a cold or an emotional issue) & heal.

There’s a difference between “discomfort” and “suffering”, and it’s an important distinction.

Avoiding discomfort can lead to suffering.

Instead of allowing ourselves to be sick or hurt or experience negative emotions, we go into denial or bypass.

Sometimes we have to acknowledge that life has shitty moments and then decide to do something about it, thoughtfully rather than impulsivity or by habit. I’m not sure I’m communicating this well, but if I’m not and you have questions, I’ll answer.

[Note: I suspect that it’s more clear in the blog version than it was going to be on Instagram. Also, the original blog version has two more paragraphs below.]

What do you think of this format?

And there you go. Is this format a good idea? My Instagram account gets way more eyes on it than my blog and Medium account, but maybe this is a way to get people to read what I say.

What are your thoughts about living with discomfort?


Originally published at findinghealthwellness.com on December 7, 2018.