My deepest motivation is looking at the world around me with curiosity, accepting that it is mysterious to me, yet I am a part of it. And when I look at myself I realize I am just as mysterious. No one knows the inner workings of the universe, the spiritual planes, or why we experience this life. But for me, I've wanted to experience it as deeply as I can, I've wanted to know what my body and mind are capable of and experience a health and vitality that rages. I've wanted to play along with our emotional evolution and be at the forefront of psychological excellence.
Because this is what is in front of me!
We spend so much of our lives either chasing after things at the expense of ourselves or our present moments. We lie in ditches of depression and anxiety controls our minds. We are wounded, yes, but not dead.
I want to train my body and mind for resiliency. I want to heal and let go, heal and let go, heal and let go. I don't want to spend another day plagued with anxiety or fear. I don't want to feel good...I want to feel incredible.
I have this theory, that the human body and mind need discomfort in order to thrive. Something I use really often in Wellness Coaching is this idea that we have 6 Basic Human Needs that we need to fulfill. All of us will try to fulfill them in different ways and some of them are more important to us than others. The problem is, some of us fulfill them in negative ways. The road to joy and health is learning to meet these needs in positive ways.
The 6 Human Needs are:
The two I wanted to focus on today are Growth and Variety.
The reason being, Growth and Variety both require an amount of discomfort to fulfill.
Those of us who have a high need for Certainty will have a harder time stepping out into that unknown.
Every day I am able to use the 6 Human Needs to find out how I am doing. When I'm feeling down or in a place I don't like I will pull out a journal and look at all the ways I am fulfilling my needs in that moment, positive and negative.
Variety - The need for stimulus and change
For example, I might be meeting a lot of my needs but then come across Variety and realize that I've felt really bored in my life lately, my routine has been monotonous and I have been sitting way too much. Variety can be emotional variety like calling an old friend to meet up for coffee, it can be physical Variety, like taking a walk or working out, it can be a large thing like planning a vacation. If we don't fill our need for Variety with these good things then ultimately we will seek out other destructive ways, like drugs, heavy drinking...adrenaline junkie activities, etc. We HAVE to meet the first 4 needs so it's good to evaluate how you're meeting them at any given time and replace the bad habits with good versions that meet the same need. The needs for Growth and Contribution aren't met by everyone, but these are the needs that create true joy in your life.
A few activities that I enjoy for Variety:
Cold Showers/Baths and Sauna: Pushing our limits with body temperature is really good for us. So not only does it meet our need for Variety, a very primal need for variety, it benefits our immune system, increases our ability to withstand harsh temperatures, detoxes, improves circulation, etc. Taking a cold shower or bath can also shock us out of a mindset or pattern. When you're feeling anxious, circling thoughts or anger, go jump into a cold shower and see what happens. You've seen it in the movies where someone is getting angry and they dump cold water on their head, right?
Exercise: There is nothing better than getting out and moving. Whenever I've been sitting too long or start feeling anxious I get out of my house and find some way to move my body. Sometimes it's as simple as a walk. Other times it's dancing...because dancing is the best. Getting up and working out is uncomfortable...but the benefits abound.
Meeting up with a Friend: If am alone with my thoughts for too long it's nice to get out and connect with a friend, this will also meet my need for Love/Connection and possibly a lot of my other needs depending on the friend and conversation. There is discomfort when opening up to someone, but ultimately Growth comes from it.
Going on a long Trip: We all know the feeling of getting out of our day to day routine by taking a trip. This is an excellent way to bring variety into your life and have something to look forward to. I recommend having at least one big trip planned every year. We went to South Africa a few years back and were out of our comfort zone much of the time, which gave us a lot of epiphanies.
Growth - The need to learn and expand your abilities
I often see people in a funk because they aren't growing in their life.
Ways that I cultivate growth in my life:
Reading/Podcasts: I actually really enjoy combining growth and variety together by reading at a coffee shop or taking a walk while listening to a podcast. Both reading and podcasts are ways to continue learning about the subjects that will enhance your life or help you reach your goals. Ask you friends for recommendations or join a book club so you can meet some of your other needs too, like Love/Connection and Contribution.
Stretching/Strength Building/Pole Dance: Some of you may know that Pole Dancing is one of the ways I work out. In order to become better at this I have a stretching routine and strength building routine. I am able to see growth in how flexible I get, how strong I become and the difficulty of moves I can master on the Pole.
Learning How to Relate with Others and Solve Conflicts: We are pre-programed by our caretakers growing up to react certain ways. One of the ways I enjoy growing is by learning new ways of relating to others and how to handle conflict effectively. Self-improvement in general is my favorite area to see growth.
Pushing and Stretching Myself: I am constantly pushing myself past the pre-defined limits. Whether that's in reading, learning, social settings, strength building, etc. It feels good to grow in all areas and push ourselves. We thrive when we overcome obstacles we previously thought were fixed forever.
Some other thoughts on GROWTH:
We will always experience some amount of Discontent. It exists as a source of motivation to keep you growing. Same goes for Discomfort, we won't change until the discomfort of staying the same is worse than the discomfort that would come from changing. Sometimes it's time to move into a new stage of life, push past our fears and dive into a little discomfort. When people tell me they are unable to succeed in some area or that they want to change but don't know how I usually start with asking them how comfortable they are with discomfort. We NEED discomfort. Our bodies thrive with discomfort.
Metaphorically and literally, if we stay in an air-conditioned room all summer and and heated room all winter, never allowing ourselves to be uncomfortable then we will be ill prepared for life, lacking in energy, excitement and growth, and unable to achieve our goals and feel truly alive.
HOW ARE YOU PRACTICING DISCOMFORT IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW?
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Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David