Discomfort …

Career Coaching: Discomfort. The Stress responses of different people have been intriguing to me… However ‘normal’ things appear, with spring doing its thing and nature reclaiming our urban spaces, we ARE stressed nevertheless… And, these stress responses are all showing up; fight, flight, freeze, even giggle … (my personal favourite), in the people I love and neighbours to whom I am nearest.

Career Coaching: Discomfort.

My husband and I have fought, not particularly each other, but how we can play with the restrictions of lockdown. I see tiffs break out over social media. I see the blaming of authority figures who ‘should be doing it differently’. I see frenzied activity in the form of whole businesses migrating online in digital form. There are ’rounds of applause’ and ‘launches’ that make me want to immediately unsubscribe! It’s Too Much!

Flight: Well, we just can’t do it at all, can we? There is nowhere we can go, despite the reality that our bodies are flooded with adrenaline and cortisol. I am seeing the outward manifestations of this chemistry as my neighbours either side of us engage with ‘Emergency DIY’. They take to their Powertools as if they can cut a new reality out with their circular saw, or indeed construct some kind of dry-land Ark in which to escape…

Freeze: I watch people trying to rationalise their way out of lockdown. If they sit very still and think hard enough, nobody will notice the cunning plot they devised so they can disappear from sight and this reality…. Nope, not working, you are still here!

Giggle: That feels valid to me… but… like all the above strategies…  once I stop, it’s all still here. Temporary respite with all the above coping strategies is both normal and valid. However, none of the above changes our circumstances or our emotional landscape one jot in the long run …

We have consumed MORE to squash down our bile at ourselves and our behaviours towards the planet.

What’s still here? Well, that will be the discomfort. The discomfort of fear. The discomfort of uncertainty. The discomfort of knowing that we may not have been our best selves over the last couple of decades. The discomfort of the understanding that we have very little individual or collective control over what’s happening right now. The discomfort of the realisation that we humans, with all our ‘innovation’, ‘Status and even our ‘wealth’, are not so very powerful after all.

Whilst we may have suspected or feared this truth all along… we have been able to distract from it. We have kept busy. We have deflected. We have consumed MORE to squash down our bile at ourselves and our behaviours towards the planet. Now we are now SO full-up we do not know what to do with ourselves. Our Strategies, in lockdown, are no longer working. Now we are trapped. Now we have all the time in the world to reflect. Now we are really uncomfortable…

Nobody can forge a new way forward without first sitting with the very thing they need to desist!

I have been learning a trick with discomfort. Well, maybe my lessons began when I quit misusing substances a couple of decades ago, however, surrender is a life-long lesson. I am learning to sit with discomfort. I am learning to breathe into discomfort and give it space. I am even half turn to face my discomfort. Sometimes… Then and only then, can I decide what to do with it. Sometimes I need to do nothing with my discomfort at all. I need to feel into it and to allow it to transform me.

This is the feminine way. No fight or to flight, no to freeze or even giggle, but firstly to accept. Simply to accept that this is really flipping uncomfortable. And then, and only then, to feel a way forward. Nobody can forge a new way forward without first sitting with the very thing they need to desist! 

When you sink deep beneath all that frantic activity or anxiety you are engaging with how do you feel?  Tough isn’t it! Yep! And, perhaps it helps to know this discomfort to be utterly transformative. There IS purpose in our discomfort. However, that purpose will never, ever reveal itself to us if we are all too busy running or fighting or frozen to receive the gift within it …

Try it. Sit with it and see where it takes you… I Dare You! 

You can find Rebecca here at the Daemon Career Coach