Comfort in discomfort
April 25, 2021
Today, I increased my weights by ten pounds. I moved the peg a notch, gripping my hands on the pulley and gave it my all. You see, I had rested myself on the previous weight stack for quite some time. In fact, I had not even realized how long I was there, until the thought dawned on me that it was time to take it up a level.
It was not easy. Perhaps because my body was so used to feeling comfortable with where I was at. I was there for such a long time, that I became so used to it. Plain and simply, I became familiar with the ease of the exercise. I knew what to expect. I knew I could handle it and did not see a reason to do anything more, than just that. I had a nudging however, that wanted me to level up.
Today was different, as I realized that if I want better results, stronger muscles, a more defined physique, it will require me to up it every now and then. The truth of the matter is that the body becomes accustomed to repetition of the familiar. This is where you will see the plateau. There is no challenge. No ripping apart the muscles in order to rebuild into something bigger and stronger. There is a comfortable flow with this training where it becomes easy. Easy to settle in, and stay right there. Until the day you realize that doing this the same, day in and day out weight training routine, only produces the same results. Today, I realized this. I took the bait of the nudging pulling at me and added the weight. I felt the pain. I felt the discomfort from switching things up and giving my muscles reason to feel weary and broken. For anyone familiar with routine exercise, knows this fragile state does not last. This is necessary for muscle growth, stamina and increasing endurance. You have to go through the pain of pushing yourself to that next level. The muscles need to rip a little, in order to rebuild themselves stronger. It is just the way it is and there is no other way to do this, other than to feel the pain.
Finding comfort in the discomfort is what I call it. Settling yourself
self in knowing that in knowing that the discomfort of this change and transformation into a stronger version of you is only temporary. Knowing that this is an integral piece, the bridge between the plateau you felt your comfort with, and the new expansive realm you are venturing to find. The bridge is the painful and uncomfortable journey in between where you were, to where you are going. Find your solace in this space and allow yourself to become disheveled, just a little bit and for just a little while.
Am I still talking exercise? It certainly is a fine line between mind and body as we embark upon a journey of either sort. The interconnection between the two is tightly woven together.
So here you have it. You are here for expansion. Expansion of pretty much everything. Take anything in your life, from birth until now and see the evidence of truth within this statement. You have always been striving for more. More physical abilities from crawling to walking to running. More intellect, from preschool to post-secondary. More relationships, from early learning parallel play with others, to the most personal and intimate unions you have shared with another. More physical possessions. More income and so on. Your innate desires have always been centered around growing into something bigger.
I used exercise as the opener. We can all relate. We all understand for the most part, the workings of our body and in the most simplistic terms, doing more consistent and challenging exercise, is what will make our bodies become stronger and physically fit.
So, how does this apply to your mind?
This is where my ideas may appear somewhat radical.
What if, just for a moment, you imagine the heartaches in your life, and see them as your opportunity? What if, you had the ability to take those heartbreaking moments and use them as your added weight to your exercise, as a way to strengthen your mind, expand yourself and step into a larger version of who you are?
You see, just like the physical exercise we do, our mind and perception of who we are requires strengthening and exercise too. Otherwise, you run the risk of plateauing within your current circumstance as you settle into the familiar of the things you see around you, from the perception you are seeing them at currently. It is easy to stay where you are. Even if this means sitting within any angst of experiences you are encountering. The familiar in this sense, becomes a safety zone for you. It is what you have done for so long, so to change things up, add the weight by opening your mind to seeing things in a different way, may appear more challenging than to just remain where you are.
And this is fine if this is where you want to stay. For some people, there is comfort and security that is held within the status quo. Even if this means continuing to feel frustrated and resentful or the need to complain and force and control. If this is the way your mind has been operating, the risk of change may seem too far-fetched of an idea. If this is the choice made however, understand that you will continually be nudged to open yourself a bit more. The extra weights will always be sitting there. Once in a while, you may even inadvertently place them on your bar, feeling the pressure of giving you one more opportunity to continue to push through the discomfort.
The choice is always yours. You can choose to take the weight off. Stay with what you know, what you know you are capable of doing and remain in the place that you have always been, keeping yourself still at the peak of your plateau. Or, you can go through the pain, the discomfort of the unfamiliar, stepping into a new realm of seeing and relinquish your old ways that kept you stagnant. You take hold of the bar and finish the set as you step forth into a stronger, more expansive version of you.