A couple weeks ago I had a business mentoring session with my friend/teacher/mentor, Emma Turton, Medical Intuitive, which resulted in me undertaking a 7 days of embracing discomfort exercise.
This session was very different to our normal Medical Intuition appointments - Emma started by setting her timer for ten minutes then said "go - tell me what's been going on for you of late". I don't know about you but ten minutes of talking about myself without interruption is a bit of a daunting activity.
But I did it (after pausing at seven minutes to ask if we were done yet ... nup) and at the end Emma pointed out a theme ... separation.
I have been holding myself back in my work, separating the different modalities that I offer and hiding aspects of myself depending on who is on my table.
I've also been separating my work and my personal life, never posting about my work on my personal social media.
Here's the thing, my work is part of who I am, so I've been hiding in my personal life as well.
As it happened, when I woke that morning I had decided to embrace the discomfort I felt around wearing the colour red and I mentioned it to Emma and that sparked a challenge which morphed into 7 days of embracing discomfort.
Day 1 - embracing discomfort - RED
I find red too strong a colour on me. I've never been comfortable wearing it but I love seeing it on other people.
Red is the colour of the base chakra - our grounding. It is important to have this colour in our lives in different forms - clothing, foods, crystals, ornaments, candles ... you name it.
My way of dealing with red over the years has been to buy red underwear! I wear them to work. That puts the red right at the base chakra, bringing high energy to me every day, connecting me with the earth and grounding me.
I've also got a pair of fab red shoes. But it took my partner ages to persuade me to buy them and then to wear them. But now they are a regular part of my wardrobe. But shoes are all the way down there, I don't need to see them.
But hey, maybe I"ll keep the red.
Day 2 - embracing discomfort - separation at work
This was a big block for me. I've been trying to keep my modalities separate when the reality is that Medical Intuition forms the basis of everything I do. When you are on my table I am not just doing Manual Lymphatic Drainage or Craniosacral Therapy.
In most cases the conversation that is going on in the background is as important as the hands-on work, and that conversation covers all sorts of topics which may be different and new to my client - different ways of looking at health and healthy living.
If there is no conversation then I am looking at not just the physical body, but also tuning in energetically to see if there are any messages.
My room is filled with different types of energetic tools - crystals, energy sprays, crowns, sound healing tools, oracle cards, you name it. These are all working on an energetic level to help with the healing/balancing process.
For a long time I hid all of these tools. I don't any more because they are a part of what I do. I also believe that those who aren't interested in that aspect of my work will literally not see them - they are not on their radar. And that's perfectly ok.
Day 3 - embracing discomfort - separation between work and private life
I decided early on to keep my business and personal social media profiles separate - you couldn’t post business things on your personal page back then, it was a big no-no. I got conditioned into thinking that was not “allowed”. That word, geez, and there I’ve been stuck ever since.
I decided to break through that conditioning and start posting about my work on my personal, as well as my business pages.
But it goes much deeper than that of course.It’s much more about being seen by the people who know me from way back – family, school friends, friends I’ve met living in five different countries.
It’s the constant self-judgement and self-talk … if I post this then people will think that. Or I don’t want to bombard people with things they’re not interested in.
No more! You'll be seeing me everywhere from now on!
Day 4 - embracing discomfort - breaking out of routines
I am a woman of routines. They make me feel safe. But I can become very stuck in them and unwilling to make change.
I decided on the spur of the moment to change my plans on my way back to the clinic from an external appointment just to shake things up a bit.
I planned to stop somewhere I often go because I knew the parking and the menu and I felt comfortable, on top of which, it was raining.
Instead, as I passed through a different suburb on my way back I decided to divert and changed the plan to go somewhere completely different – a cafe I usually only go to on weekends.
A small change, but an interruption to the set pattern.
Day 5 - embracing discomfort - exercise
Exercise is one of my biggest discomforts. We’re meant to embrace it right? And as a health therapist I’m meant to set a good example, I mean, I’m always guiding my clients to move their bodies, especially to get into water.
But I’ll let you in on a secret – I don’t like exercising. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a long walk on a beautiful day and I get those in regularly on the weekends and my day off. But the idea of getting changed into exercise clothes and getting hot and sweaty does not appeal to me at all.
I've decided to get into the water more this year. I've even ordered new togs because my old ones are falling apart. The photo above is of my local beach pool, it is stunning and I love walking down there. But the water is COLD! And much as Sydney-siders like to tell me how amazing the water is, 19 degrees Celsius is just not beautiful to this Caribbean girl. So I've coerced my daughter and she will accompany me to the local, heated, pool in a few weeks' time.
And I've bought some new Pilates pants for when I start back in December.
There'll be no excuse!
Day 6 - embracing discomfort - earrings
Now this is a silly discomfort.
I am uncomfortable wearing earrings. How odd is that? I used to wear them all the time and I have three piercings on my left ear and two on my right. Go figure.
I can’t remember when I started to feel uncomfortable wearing them. I wore them after my children were born, so it wasn’t a practical thing like babies pulling at them. I don’t know what triggered it.
But now I feel uber dressed up when I put them on. I’m happy to wear them when I’m dolled up and going out but not for everyday stuff like going to work. It feels like I’m trying too hard.
I've managed to remember to put some on most days since I wrote about them on my social media. It felt odd.
Nobody noticed or said anything. My world didn't change.
I did however have loads of comments about my necklace in this photo - a gift from my partner.
I am very comfortable wearing necklaces!
Day 7 - embracing discomfort - commenting on social media
This may seem like another silly discomfort, but I find commenting on other people's social media posts difficult. I am uncomfortable holding court in a crowd – at parties I am never the one regaling a group with entertaining anecdotes, I’m the one in the corner having an intense discussion with one person.
The same goes for giving a talk, whether in person or online – I do lots of mental preparation and I go through all the fight and flight symptoms the entire time I’m talking. I focus on my breathwork. It never gets any easier but I’ll continue to accept speaking gigs.
I'm comfortable commenting on the posts of people I know, but not in Facebook groups where I don't know people personally.
I worry whether what I have to say is relevant or am I just posting for the sake of it.
What I learnt in my 7 days of embracing discomfort is that every comment that was made on my posts was welcome, valued and important. Each comment helped me feel seen and heard.
So I will embrace my discomfort and start interacting with other people because I know how it made me feel.
No more discomfort
Clearly I'm not uncomfortable taking a selfie. There are quite a few of them in this post.
But that wasn't always the case. I didn't take them for a very long time, until I did a 30-day selfie immersion in a group on Facebook.
Each day we had a different theme and we posted a selfie, the first one we took preferably, in the group.
It really got me out of my self-consciousness around taking them. Most days I was ok and had a bit of fun ... a few were really triggering and required some reflection and self-work.
The result however is that I'm happy to snap photos of myself and put them up on social media.
Making videos is a whole other ballgame - a work in progress.
Where do you find you hold back? What is your discomfort?
Are you willing to look at them and allow them to strengthen you?
Follow my 7 days of embracing discomfort story
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