This week I have found myself trying to embrace discomfort and the unknown. The last couple months I have focused on coming to terms with things in my life, work, and relationships that were not part of my plans or timeline. It has been a time of sadness and grief. But it has also been a time of renewal and regaining a new sense of who I am. One of the biggest things I’ve tried to push past is how uncomfortable endings make me, especially endings that were not in my plans. As a wise friend and adviser told me, you have to look at endings the way you look at a sunset. They are sad because they represent the end of a day, but they are beautiful too because the moon and stars come out right after and you see the world in a new perspective under this kind of light.
I also heard a similar message when I went to church this week. It had been a month since I had attended. While I consider myself to be more spiritual than religious, I do find comfort and a lot of wisdom in messages I hear at church when I combine them with the other things I practice to feed my spirit like hiking, meditation, yoga, and the like. The message I heard then was this: “God’s light may not always come dressed in comfort but it will always be cloaked in love.” A third place in my life this week that is making the case for me to embrace the my discomfort of the unknown. I have felt a push to search and follow this idea of discomfort even though I have no idea what the future holds for me. Is that scary? Yes absolutely. Am I going to do it anyway? Yup.
The thing that has kept me grounded in my discomfort during this time of shifts has been finding a way to connect with my intuition. People refer to intuition by many names/terms – really all it is is that gut feeling you get when you know you are doing something that aligns with that matters most to you. Your feelings, your values, your wants, you needs. Its the inner voice that tells you to keep going even when you don’t know what the rest of the path will look like.
Those of you who are like me, serial planners and control freaks, may struggle to listen to your intuition/gut. I know I certainly do. Its hard for us to go with the flow and trust ourselves when we put so many borders and barriers on growth. Things like time, age, knowledge, having gone to far down one path to pursue another, fear, all of it gets in the way of truly trusting ourselves and our inner voice. However, over time I have learned to develop a practice for having conversations with my intuition. Ways to let my inner voice, my gut know that I am listening and that I will trust it if it sends me a message that is too loud for me to ignore. That practice looks different for everyone. For me, I know my intuition is speaking to me when:
- I get the urge to write something that is so intense it interrupts my day (work, a conversation, a drive, etc). I have come to understand that when this happens it is my gut speaking to me.
- I have a vivid dream that I can’t stop thinking about the next morning. I do what I can to research every possible type of symbol, person, animal, or even words that are said in the dream. I know it has a message and I work to find out what it is.
- I get an intense feeling somewhere in my body – a chill, an ache in my shoulders, a soreness in my neck, anything. Our bodies are amazingly well connected to our intuition. Setting the simple intention/habit of saying “what is my body trying to tell me in this moment” has done wonders for me to open up the lines of communication to my intuition and to trust myself more.
As I have incorporated these practices into my life, I have gotten beautiful messages from my intuition. Things that I work to listen to in my daily life and capture as wisdom that can be shared with others. Below is one such message:
This message came to me after months of feeling frustrated about my life, my future plans, and the unknown of it all: “Search and follow without borders, heart because your world is free and bigger than the bag where you store your fears.” As someone who tends to air on the type A/planner/control freak/risk averse side of the spectrum this was a hard piece of wisdom to take in. So much of what I was doing up until the day this came to me months ago was rooted in parameters, deadlines, and fears. It was clear to me that I was putting borders on what was possible for me in my life and in my future. My intuition knew it and found a way to interrupt my day to tell my brain the same thing.
I put this quote over a photo from a trip I took last summer to Sedona, Arizona and posted it on my Instagram not to long after it came to me. On that trip I visited a vortex to witness a sunset. When this picture was taken, I had just hiked up mountains and a big rock. I was tired and not feeling well (I have asthma and hiking sometimes takes a lot out of me). The entire time we did the hike my asthma was acting up, I didn’t think I was going to make it, and I wanted to turn back. I figured I had seen enough why keep going if I am going to feel like crap when I get to the top? What is up there anyway? When I got to the top something magical happened. I found a rock that formed perfectly to the shape of my butt. It was the weirdest thing I had ever experienced. I got to the top out of breath and desperate to find a place to sit. I picked a spot to sit and catch my breath. Then my face lit up as I felt my butt melt into the grooves and crevices that were on the ground. Crevices that seemed like they were made specifically for me to sit on in that moment. I caught my breath quickly and began to meditate. I expressed gratitude for the beautiful scenery and sunset I was witnessing. This experience of finding the butt-shaped rock made the whole inconvenience of climbing the mountain worth it. Had I not stuck with it I would have never known what it feels like to sit on a rock that was made for my behind! I would have never know that there was a place meant for me to be at an exact moment in time. I could have easily surrendered to the fear and discomfort I was feeling. I could have put a border on what was possible for me in that experience. But I did not. Because I did not I learned something, saw something, and felt something that has stayed with me ever since. One day I plan to go back to Sedona to sit on that same rock and see if my butt has changed.
This week as I move through more personal and professional challenges, the words above came back to me. I felt compelled to share them here. So many times we let fear get the best of us. We put parameters and borders on the things we can/cannot do. We let those things get in the way of feeling truly free to live our purpose and move about the world. This week I invite you all to the same challenge I have invited myself to: embrace the discomfort of not knowing. Be curious about what is possible if you search and follow your intuition, your gut, and your heart without putting borders or parameters on it. The world truly is bigger and way more full of surprises if we allow ourselves the opportunity to embrace it without fearing our fears. Sometimes the things we are afraid of can be the best things that ever happened to us. Facing and pushing through fears and failures and discomfort can also be a gift. So push through this week and see what kind of magic you will encounter. You too may find a spot that you were meant to be in.
So this week I invite you all to embrace a bit of discomfort. I invite you to follow a path that feels right even if you’re not sure where it will lead. I encourage you to not put borders or limitations on the things you think you can and cannot do. I invite you to let the world surprise you with a gift meant especially for you at the moment you are meant to have it. Send me a note if you feel inclined to share how it goes. I’d love to know.
Thanks for reading.