Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's okay to be uncomfortable

I told my daughter the other day that people would be a lot better off in the world if they had the mantra: "It's okay to be uncomfortable." Since she's just going out into the world for real, so much of what she's encountering is new. As I listen to her take on various situations, it dawned on me that much of what happens in our daily lives is a little bit uncomfortable (and sometimes a lot uncomfortable). Life really is kinda challenging:
We have to meet new people.
We have to interact with people we don't like.
We have to sit in meetings and hear about things that we don't like to hear about.
We have to wait in traffic and on lines.
Sometimes we have to walk through puddles.
Our underwear might ride up all day, or our tights crawl down.
We have to learn to use technology that we are clueless about.
We have to work through lunch to meet deadlines.
We have to drop everything and take somebody somewhere.
We have students or clients or somebody that we simply have to grin and bear.
We have to balance our checkbooks, so we don't run out of money.
We have to eat the lunch from hell because we didn't have time to make it in advance.
We have to change our plans for the gazillionth time because somebody found out about something that changes everything.
We have to make speeches or read aloud to strangers.
We have to put ourselves out there.

I could go on forever. The thing about this realization is that it made me a bit more okay about the IDEA of being uncomfortable. It's like we can go through lives with this myth about getting comfortable. But that makes us long for something other than the experience that we're having.  And maybe a lot of comfort is happening for a lot of people. But for me, I'm REALLY confortable for about an hour or two everyday. That's about it. For the rest of the time, I'm stretching myself to make life work, and making mental adjustments for what just is......

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fear in all its irrational glory!

    Fear cripples us, increases our heart rates, and does all kinds of harm to our human experience. All I have to say is that many people actually survive and even thrive in the midst of war, with debilitating illnesses, after losing loved ones, while living in horrendous sanitary conditions, having to walk miles just to get a ration of water (By the way, megabusinesses are actually rerouting villages' waterways so their plants can bottle water for our consumption! See http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/klessill/, and http://www.enviroalternatives.com/waterglobal.html, http://www.onlineeducation.net/bottled_water (Once you read about it, you'll probably stop buying bottled water.)

But I digress......

I really just want to put it on record that I'm serious about living beyond the fears that render me less effective than I need to be. According to filmmaker Michael Moore, the American media pretty much scares us to death with its ads and news reports, so it's no wonder our bellies flutter like flags throughout the day. We're reminded of aging with its creams and procedures, of how much fun we're not having by all the fun people are having on TV, of what marriage should be according to TV love images, and how clean our house should be-- even if our careers keep us away from it 12 or 13 hours a day, and on and on. There is so much stuff in our heads to distract us from what could be (on most days) rather pleasurable journeys.

 So, I simply want to confront the feeling of fear when it happens, and truly consider how much worse things could be. That's how I'll start reprogramming myself. As I've said before, most days things are soooo much better than they could be. This really might be as good as it gets, so we might as well start enjoying it.