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  • Writer's pictureBecs Mansfield

Change is uncomfortable

Updated: Dec 18, 2022

If we give up whenever we face a challenge because it becomes uncomfortable, we will never make any progress. Our bodies and minds will remain stuck in their old patterns.

I'm Becs and I'm a certified Modern Meditation teacher. Here to share meditation and wellbeing guidance with individuals and organisations.

This month I have been exploring transformation and change; both in my Modern Meditation classes and personally. I have started my first Beginner's Modern Meditation 6 week course in a beautiful new yoga studio in my local area in Stockport. I have led a group of 16 life coaches online in an introduction to Modern Mediation. I have been observing my fear and focusing on beating the fear - rather than the fear beating me and keeping me small and stuck. Ask yourself what would you do if you didn't have to do it perfectly?

Honoured to be part of Helen Roscoe's photography project 'Posture and Portraits' ~ another experience outside of my comfort zone!

Before we get stuck into this stuff, here's some more context... November is my birthday month and this year I have turned 30. (If you haven't yet listened to Bo Burnham's '30' song please do!) I have been following the lunar cycle for 1 year now. My best friend bought me Kirsty Gallagher's Lunar Living book for my birthday last year and since then I have journaled every new moon and full moon. I appreciate this stuff isn't for everyone (if it isn't for you skip to the next paragraph!) but working with the themes of each new and full moon offers us focus and themes to work with every month to support intention setting and also what we want to release and let go of. Scorpio's new moon this month is about change and transformation. It's for the brave and those who aren't afraid of doing the internal and external work to get there. As we reached Taurus's full moon, this moon leads us to feel grounded, focus on what is real and feeling secure and stable at home in you....If you're not into the magic of the moon, don't worry we're moving on! I digress!... But the theme of transformation and change and ultimately being comfortable in YOU is what we're exploring here.

Running ~ even on the wet days!

If you've come to this page to find the answer on how to create positive change in the face of challenge and resistance, let's do some exploring! It's something we have explored in my Beginner Modern Meditation course this month, and the truth is dedication isn't easy. I have been observing my own resistance and feelings towards dedication this month. I have had my busiest couple of months to date with balancing my "day job" and my meditation teaching. To challenge myself more I have decided to run every day in November (since my birthday on 7th)! By observing challenge, resistance and discomfort I've becoming accepting to it.

“Anything worth achieving requires commitment and effort. And along the way, we face challenges and resistance to change. Yoga (meditation) is no different. If we give up whenever we face a challenge because it becomes uncomfortable, we will never make any progress. Our bodies and minds will remain stuck in their old patterns. This dedication in the face of discomfort and challenge is called tapas in the Yogasutra. The word tapas means “to heat”. "

~ A.G. Mohan ('Yoga Reminder')

Stop staying stuck and step into yourself

In September I had a conversation with my partner's mum (who is a physiotherapist, very handy) about reoccurring dreams and my life situation. What she said gave me the nudge I needed to step out of my comfort zone and change. It was along the lines of "it sounds like you may feel lacking in confidence, but you need to step into yourself." My Modern Meditation coach, Mick Timpson, always says how we get in our own way. This is because the mind tells fearful stories that we accept to be true. This is where meditation comes in...

Practicing not letting our thoughts get in the way

A daily meditation practice gives us the space to regularly check in with the body and mind. We learn to observe thoughts happening in the mind and feelings happening in the body. This shift of perspective changes how we respond to our thoughts, our feelings or situation. We can begin to understand that we are the awareness under our thoughts, our feelings, our ego! Our awareness is there before the thought or feeling appears, and after the thought or feeling has gone. We notice we can't stop thoughts, thoughts are constantly flowing. Just like our body breathes for us, our mind thinks for us. And like the rising and falling of the breath, thoughts come and go. In mediation we practice allowing thoughts to appear, and then we let them go. No longer being pulled into the stories and practicing non-attachment to thoughts.

"The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear."

~ Deepak Chopra (Indian-American author and alternative medicine advocate)

Exploring fear and being comfortable with the uncomfortable

This month I have welcomed in feelings of fear, resistance, challenge and being uncomfortable. When you begin to accept change isn't easy and requires dedication, commitment and effort you may find it empowering - like I have this month. How long have you felt stuck in a situation because you're not ready to step out of your comfort zone? Thinking that you'll be ready at the 'perfect' moment in the future. In early September I used the energy 'only now can you make positive change' to build my website. There’s usually a moment when we’re ready to change but we get stuck by fear....

We often resist new patterns because of the fear of the unknown. We find comfort in our old patterns, even though they no longer serve us. We stay stuck and small, inside our comfort zone. In the same deep groove, repeating the same patterns, because it’s easier than breaking free and exploring the unknown. If we want to change, grow and evolve we need to break free from old habits and patterns. Change is uncomfortable. If we want to create change we need to face the challenge and the resistance, and practice being comfortable with the uncomfortable. We can practice being with the fear in meditation. We can learn to accept all the feelings, pleasant or unpleasant. The more we practice, the more we find intuition and comfort that all these feelings are impermanent and they will pass.

“As humans we’re all conditioned by our past. We tend to operate in the present using the behaviour patterns and reactions developed from earlier experiences. For most of us, these patterns are deeply ingrained and automatic, even though life around us changes constantly. Our old habits can create resistance to change and keep us stuck in the same place. Likewise, our ability to adapt to change can produce real transformation and growth. The goal of yoga is to bring about this kind of positive change, so we can move from bondage to freedom. The ability to confront change is yoga.”

~ A.G. Mohan (Yoga for body, breath and mind)

Morning run and finding moments of real joy

You have the power to change, from the inside out

This week notice when you are feeling worried, stressed, anxious, resisting or whatever it is you're experiencing. Your body is sending you a message. In meditation we create a safe space to observe whatever is happening, including out thoughts, our feelings our situation. Practice simply sitting with this experience. Welcome the experience in, like you would a friend. Listen to the messages your body is offering to you. What wisdom, insight and intuition do you find?

We are practicing opening ourselves up to all experience and being in the flow of things. Whatever we resist persists! (opentotheflow was born out of the idea of accepting what is and being in the flow of things.) It may feel uncomfortable in the beginning (I know because I had a panic attack the first time I practiced a meditation!) but observe and notice as the experience starts to settle and becomes less intense. Every moment rises, and every moment falls and we can find comfort in the impermanence. Meditation is a safe space to practice being comfortable with the uncomfortable. This month I have been observing my fear before leading my first Beginner's Modern Meditation 6 week course. What does fear look like to you this month, or this week?

Meditation is just practice, it’s about taking this practice into the outside world

When we learn to accept change is uncomfortable, we can allow our self to experience it, but it feels lighter. We can allow ourself to beat the fear. We will always experience fear, but we can notice it and then let it go. We can tap into the resilience we have built in our meditation practice in the outside world. In meditation we create new neural pathways, new connections in the mind, empowering our positive change. We can allow in the quiet, calm, confidence and let our brightness shine. Noticing the lightness from letting go and feeling free, no longer stuck in fear. You are empowered. The only one standing in your way is you. Stop staying stuck and step into yourself. Embrace the fear. I often recognise this fear is because I care about doing a good job. My meditation coaching at beanddo taught me to"focus on the action not the expectation" and I will explore this more in future blog posts.

What would you try if you didn’t have to do it perfectly? (Because the ego is worried about failing and rejection ~ so perfection is limiting too!)

Are you now feeling empowered to change? Accepting change is uncomfortable and dedications isn't easy? Write down all the things that come into your mind based on the question above, and set yourself an intention / intentions over the next month and beyond. I would really love to hear about your ideas, so please do comment below.

I am here to share my experience and offer meditation and wellbeing guidance with others. I want to empower people to know they can change, from the inside out. If you found this stuff interesting please subscribe, comment and share with your family and friends. Each month I'll explore a different theme on meditation and wellbeing topics. Get in touch if you have any questions or if you would like us to work together.

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