When life throws us an uncomfortable wobble, it’s easy to run away, pull the comfort blanket over our heads, or step into the safety bubble.

But, instead of shying away from discomfort, what if you stood your ground, and faced the truth of the situation in a mindful way?

Ever heard of Pema Chödrön? She’s an American Tibetan Buddhist whose spiritual thoughts have been shared and embraced by countless people around the world.

Pema is one badass lady nun. I mean no offence, but if you’re not sure what I mean, check out my post about being badass.

I was recently passed a copy of her book When Things Fall Apart — Heart Advice for Difficult Times. It’s a lovely, insightful book about overcoming fear through meditation and mindfulness.

The truth about discomfort

Disappointment and anxiety are indicators that we’re about to face the unknown. Our automatic reaction is usually to shield ourselves from it in some way, because we feel discomfort and fear.

According to Pema, “fear is a natural reaction to moving towards the truth”.

She recommends leaning towards the discomfort in our life, so we can see it clearly, instead of protecting ourselves from it.

In other words, it’s about learning how to be present in the situation, despite the discomfort we’re feeling being there.

Lean in to “being” in your life

If we can centre ourselves in the moment of discomfort, rather than protecting ourselves, then we’re more likely to be able to “just be” in the moment. This is also referred to as mindfulness.

There’s a super quote in Pema’s book When Things Fall Apart about embracing the moment:

“This very moment is the perfect teacher, and it’s always with us.”
“Just seeing what’s going on is the teaching. We can be with what’s happening and not dissociate. Awakeness is found in our pleasure and our pain, our confusion and our wisdom, available in every moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary, everyday lives.”
Pema Chödrön

So, next time the wind of change is threatening to give you a bad hair day, try to enjoy the feeling of the wind tousling your hair for a few minutes. Instead of just running for cover the first chance you get. (Yes, even if your hair is whipping around your face like Medusa’s snakes in a gale!) :)

What if you can lean into your discomfort and face your truth?

The good news is we all can!

A version of this article was originally published on my website. I share thoughts on doing life and business better in the digital world, and overcoming the inner and outer obstacles that hold us back. It’s a transition story in the making. Plus there’s doodles.

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