Finding Peace in Discomfort

It is 18 degrees outside.  That’s what reads on my computer screen.  I don’t know.  To me it might as well be -5.  I am allergic to the cold weather.  Why do I live on a mountain, you ask?  Well, we came during spring and moved in summer.  I never experienced the cold.  Had I been here during a 25 degree morning it would’ve been the end of my expedition to Western North Carolina!  God had other plans.

I come from a tiny island in the Caribbean.  It is always warm.  I was raised in South Florida.  Sixty degrees for us Floridians is like 20 degrees for everyone else.  We get out the jackets, scarves and boots.  I know I am acclimating to this weather after three years because when it is 50 degrees here I am in tank tops and shorts.

I have been told that my problem with cold weather is the lack of clothing.  I don’t like to bundle up.  I hate wearing layers of material.  The other day as I was winterizing my closet and I was changing my sundresses to another space I became rather discontented.  I don’t enjoy the thick sweaters on my skin.  I don’t like the amount of extra crap rubbing on me.  It just isn’t a part of my DNA.  I like flowing and light fabric on me.  I love feeling the sun on my shoulders, arms and legs.  I like to get up and go and not worry about hypothermia.

This morning’s blog is not about complaining. It is about acceptance.  We will always complain about something or other when it doesn’t align with our comfort.  It can be about a job.  It can be about a relationship.  It can be about a new pet.  Whether or not you embrace the issue is not as important as making peace with it.  Is there a difference?  You betcha!  I can embrace a person who is annoying me and still feel nothing.  The moment I find peace in their presence…then I am embodying their entire spirit.  See the difference?  It is about making peace with everything around you.  You don’t have to like it.  But, if you accept the discomfort and learn from it then you have given yourself the permission to find serenity. Our egos have a hard time letting go of discomfort.  The ego will nag about it.  It will create drama, twist and turn, churning the simplest issue into the most complicated event.   Ego will always participate in the large spectacle of narcissistic behavior.  “Look at me.  I am so freaking tired of this and that!  Woe is me!  Can’t  you see how miserable I am!”

The cold is just like any other uncomfortable emotion.  It doesn’t feel good.  Depression, sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, and helplessness are unpleasant feelings.  We complain about them, sometimes allowing them to stay with us for a while.  But, just like the cold, there are options to eliminating them.  The ego will fight that rationale to no end.  “No, I’m not going to the doctor!  Nope, I am not going to talk to someone!  Absolutely, no way, am I going to address this crap!”  The emotions become waves of icy water passing through.  Just like hypothermia there can be casualties.

I have to go outside to drive my daughter to work in this wonderfully delicious Siberian weather.  As I venture to the unknown wilderness of discomfort I will make peace with the achy bones, runny nose, and the shattering of my teeth.  It is only for a short while.  What’s three to four months in a lifespan?  Really not bad!  Imagine all the discomforts we allow for ourselves in our lifetimes!  Think of all we “put up with” for years when we have choices we can make to change.

I love these mountains.  I love the seasons (minus the winter) but I can live with the cold.  However, I refuse to live with anything else that brings me discomfort.  I won’t tolerate long periods of putting myself through chaos.  Peace and tranquility are my roommates now.  Go bundle up and enjoy this day.  Keep warm and make peace with those things that you know are only momentary.  Mucho love!

The Guests

Lately, when talking with friends and family, I keep hearing the words “displaced, misplaced, misalignment, and disconnected.” It seems to be a universal theme among the tribe. But again, it could be just like when you buy a car and then realize everyone has it. You hadn’t noticed it before and now that you have it you are aware of its existence.

I noticed a giant shift towards the end of 2011. I have never bought into the 2012 cosmic changes with or without the Mayan calendar. I don’t believe the world will end on 12/21/12 at 11:11PM. I want to believe that these massive shifts in emotions are due to a necessary alignment of our spiritual connections. And, yes, lately there is a huge sense of displacement. At first it was just settling into the slowness of our business, the holidays, and prelude of winter. But now it seems to be something esoteric. I don’t know if there is a theory for it all. I have to admit that I don’t know what it is. I do know that others are feeling it as well. Some just don’t know what to name it. And, I hate to even put a label on the feelings. I can only speak for myself. These holidays just seem so different. I have to work extremely hard to feel grounded.

It’s always easy to talk about changes, whether or not they are profound shifts in our lives when we can see them. However, when those changes can’t be seen but felt with anxiety, I believe it is allowing fear to take over. We all want and crave for better things. Recently, I feel like I am waiting for a bus to arrive to take me elsewhere. I have no clue what the destination or route I am to take. It’s just a feeling of anticipation. No matter how many times I go hiking, walking, or remove myself from this unknown impatience it seems to come looking for me. Meditation, contemplation and prayer help for a little while. Keeping busy seems to stop the feeling but I need grounding and avoiding the feeling seems to put me in a worst twist. I am learning to be present with the carousel of emotions.

Fear is like that. I read somewhere that fear = false evidence appearing real. If that’s so then the anticipation is a form of an unknown psychosis of my creation. I don’t really know what I fear because I am not anxious about anything in particular. Whatever it is I need to just invite it in and honor it. I’ve come to the conclusion to just sit with the displacement when it arises. Like Rumi’s poem:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

I will sit with each incline, letting me momentarily feel its awareness. That’s all I can do when I can’t find anything else. Being grateful and allowing each visit from the emotions teaches me something. Perhaps in that space I can finally see that I have a lesson and not feel displaced. The beauty in our lives is that thoughts live in our perception. When we are conscious and mindful we can receive those feelings as guests: feed them, entertain them for a bit and then send them off on their merry way. Meantime, I have to remind myself that I am fine and that this, too, shall pass! Tomorrow is a new day.