I used to think that changing myself and changing others was the main answer to the challenges I faced in life. I’ve always been a bit of a crusader, not afraid to step up and make a change, or to encourage others to do the same. And on the surface, there’s nothing wrong with that.
But as I grow older, I’ve come to realise the greater power and beauty, and ultimately success, that lies in being comfortable with things and people, just as they (and we) are. The opposite of judgment, being comfortable is about acceptance. Being comfortable means we are relaxed. Being comfortable allows space for natural wisdom, focus and creativity. Being comfortable means we can access the potential, peace and tranquility that is already within us. It’s not to say that we shouldn’t make an effort to act, speak-up or change what we feel called to, in any moment. Sometimes taking a strong stand is what’s needed. But we can (and should) do our best to engage in life from a place of acceptance, first and foremost. If we’re honest, the need to change or control is often driven by emotive states like guilt, deserved-ness, anger, shame, worry, blame, envy or resentment.
And if that’s all we base our motivation on, we can expect to suffer. So much of our reactivity (and later regret) stems from what we say or do out of our own discomfort – when we don’t own or accept something about ourselves, about another person or about the circumstances we find ourselves in. Indeed, the paradox of acceptance and being ‘comfortable’ also means that we are comfortable with feeling uncomfortable too. We have to come to terms with accepting that we might not be so accepting! As this new way of being opens up in me, I notice that life feels innately easier, calmer and more joyful. I notice subtle synchronicities and a ‘flow’ that tells me I’m on track.
It takes practice and self-awareness to step-back from driving ahead with controlling and creating change as I’ve been conditioned to do for so many years. But each time I do I feel an enormous sense of ease and relief. Next time you are faced with a decision, challenge or opportunity to learn I encourage you to ask yourself: * What can I become more comfortable with, in myself? * What can I become more comfortable with, in others? * What can I become more comfortable with, about life? Please get in touch if you have any reflections you’d like to share. You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
With gratitude and kindness,
Natalie Snooke is a coach, facilitator, yoga/meditation teacher and the founder and director of Momentum Coaching & Yoga in Perth, established in 2007. She is a Registered Member of Yoga Australia and the International Coach Federation. A heart-centred leader, Natalie specialises in guiding men and women to develop authentic presence, confidence, creativity and compassion in their personal and professional lives, through Self-awareness.