I’ve learned the value of leaning into my discomforts.
Why? Why the heck would I want to dip into places that scare the heebie jeebies out of me?
These are my reasons:
- To recognize that the ‘monster’ that I’ve created in my mind is only a figment of my imagination. The fear is often times much bigger in my mind than the task before me.
- To overcome my fears and phobias. Anything that inhibits, limits or makes me feel less free and open is a guide that beckons to be revisited and worked through so I can experience growth and continual expansion and evolution.
- To recognize and own my courage and resilience. Through the personal everyday work, the rewards of becoming better than the person whom I was yesterday is in itself the motivation and inspiration needed to continue to learn and grow. To know that I can do it. I am able and capable! True and unbreakable confidence comes from doing this personal work.
- And through the journey of coming through the other side of it, I can more clearly see the lessons. What was it like to feel unworthy, not good enough, unlovable, not deserving? What was the last straw? What was the motivating factor that led me to finally say f:@# it! I will not settle! I want to feel joy. I AM worthy! I want to live life to the fullest and feel like I belong holy and wholeheartedly, here and NOW!
So here is another seemingly easy (for some?) challenge. Submersing my body in water. Ice-cold water. There are many health benefits to cold plunges. For me, dipping my body in water puts me in fight-or-flight (sympathetic) state as my body remembers a distant memory of being picked up by a family friend while I was riding a tricycle around a pool, and being thrown in the deep end of their pool…while still on a tricycle.
Breathing, slowing down, allowing myself to find my own pace. Feeling safe, and supported.
Since my first, unconsensual dive in the deep end at the age of 6, I avoided dipping in any waters where my feet had not been able to feel the ground, while also unable to have my chest immersed.
Inspired by the longing to have my child (and since then my children) see a strong, resilient mother, I have been actively befriending the waters of this fear for the past 10 years. I also want to expand my life and bear witness to the beauty, colours and life that lies underwater. So I signed up to swimming, for beginners : ) And every opportunity I have to tread the waters, as I open to my potential of becoming free from fear, I say ‘Yes’.
And again today. I plunged one, two, three times. In the cold water that used to take my breath away. First time at a snail’s pace; breathing consciously, one small step at a time. Feeling everything! Second time, following my loving partner’s pace down and holding his supportive hands as I dipped my head down. Third time, it became more fun and playful and I even had some pics taken to share with you.
What makes you freeze or retract? What fears hold you back from living the fullest version of your life? Where do these fears stem from? Can you understand and come to honour your old coping mechanisms? Can you begin to lean into these dark corners from a place that is older and perhaps better equipped now than before?
And oh yeah, posting pictures of myself, also a fear. Sharing on social media for all to see, also a fear. So I do it. Over and over, until I overcome the fear, and taste the feelings of unworthiness, not good-enough-ness (that is common to ALL humans) begin to lessen or even dissipate altogether. I do this to not only overcome the limiting belief system that ultimately dampens my best life, but my hope is that by sharing my stories, you’ll catch a reflection of your own story in mine and recognize that we have much more in common than not. And as I rise to the occasion of a wiser and better player of Life, maybe you can feel inspired to do so also.
Keep living. Keep learning. Keep that beautiful heart of yours awake.