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FEATURE - November 2018
Gratitude for Discomfort:
Enjoying the abundance of what you never knew you wanted
By Clementine Mitchell
Nothing creates a sense of happiness and ease quite like gratitude. This time of year we tend to visit what we’re grateful for more often than usual. Has it ever occurred to you to be grateful for the gift of discomfort? It might just change your life!
Discomfort is not usually the quality of experience we associate with gratitude. Most of the time, we exacerbate discomfort by our reactions to it rather than having any appreciation of what it can contribute to our lives. We tend to add entangling layers such as frustration, blame, worry, anger, judgment, and more. What if discomfort could actually be a gift? What if it was even pleasurable?
Has it ever occurred to you that your point of view creates your reality? When you choose to be grateful for everything, even the sticky, less preferable bits and pieces, it totally changes the quality of your experience. Instead of a sense of dread and heaviness, having gratitude for discomfort acts as a magic elixir. It not only changes your immediate state of mind, but opens up greater possibilities for what you can experience next.
To be grateful for discomfort as the gift it truly can be, here are a few suggestions:
Everything is just an interesting point of view.
Have you noticed how this world functions by assessing and judging everything as either good or bad, right or wrong? We’ve been taught to either align and agree, or resist and react to everything. It’s a way that we polarize to create separation and dissonance amongst us and within ourselves. What if there’s another option? What if everything is just an interesting point of view?
All the judgments we’re so deeply infused with are actually based on reference points and definitions that are literally made up. We’ve bought or determined what someone or something should or shouldn’t be like, how it should feel, look like, or end up, and then construct our lives around it. It’s a total set up and rarely yields anything that truly works for us.
During the holiday season where there’s already so much charge in the air, and tidal waves of expectations and emotions are running rampant, things can obviously get messy. It’s a quality of discomfort that many know well, and would generally prefer to avoid. And yet, how many times do you keep revisiting the same challenges, emotions, and dynamics despite trying not to, while piling on a hefty dose of self-judgment?
Looking at everything as just an interesting point of view is a practice to diffuse all of that. For every thought, feeling, and emotion that comes up, instead of reflexively judging or concluding or resisting, take a step back and acknowledge that you’re simply having a point of view. That’s it. When there’s no more significance than that, you don’t have to solidify your experience–or anyone else’s–into a problem. Problems are also just interesting points of view.
Something to be aware of here, is that once you start alleviating yourself from functioning from resistance and reaction or alignment and agreement, those around you who have relied on you to be that way may not respond well. All of their projections and judgments are obviously just points of view as well. This tool works dynamically when you keep practicing it.
Ask some questions.
So now what? Once you’ve recognized that your thoughts and feelings don’t have to rule your experience, what else can you choose? The key to creating a different possibility is asking questions.
A true question is one that opens space for something different to show up. For example, start asking, “What else is possible here?” The idea is not to find an answer, but to allow the question to expand the options.
Imagine you’re at a gathering with someone who’s full of judgment and is creating all kinds of drama. Instead of constricting, reacting, and judging in return, start asking yourself questions. What if this didn’t push your buttons? That one question alone can change everything. Really get the energy of that. What if it didn’t?
As you allow in a different possibility, ask more questions such as, “What else can I choose here?” It sounds so simple yet when you connect with the ask, not just utter the words, it’s as if the clouds part and your view of the sky is exponentially more expansive. Be willing to ask the questions that give you choices, rather than being at the effect of everything and everyone.
Choose and choose again.
Whatever questions you ask, whatever you allow to change, and whatever you choose, you can always choose again. The way we’re taught to be is to pick something and stick to it. Who does that belong to? Is that what works for you? What if no choice you ever made was significant? You can keep choosing and choosing again every ten seconds. There are no rules except the ones you’ve chosen. Get it?!
Choosing something different often brings on the discomfort. If you don’t make the discomfort significant, it can actually be quite delicious! Imagine if each little pocket of discomfort was like the dangling carrot that keeps leading you to a greater, ease-filled, joyful life. Would you be willing to play with that as a possibility?
We’re living in a big world with infinite choices for how to create our lives. For those who are willing to savor, enjoy, and be grateful for all the little–and sometimes not so little–places of discomfort, there is unlimited freedom and fun available. Gratitude for discomfort is a door to discovering awareness and possibilities beyond what you’ve ever considered. What if an abundance of discomfort is truly one of the greatest gifts you could receive?
Clementine Mitchell is facilitator and coach who works intimately with individuals and businesses to generate possibilities for exponentially more expansive futures. Integrating the tools of Access Consciousness™ with over twenty years experience, she invites you to engage your inherent awareness and to own your unique capacities for creating a life and living as the pleasurable exploration of your brilliance. For more details, visit clementinemitchell.com