In Discomfort as Human
Since moving to South Africa in September 2018 I have lived a fairly nomadic life without my own ‘home’. As a Taurean – who loves to have a stable base and values their surroundings – this is quite uncomfortable! And while I have been generally very well-received and welcomed, there are many levels of discomfort operating, such as facing the daily question of personal safety, witnessing the high levels of social inequality apparent in the townships and on the streets and becoming acutely aware of how industrial land use is distorting human and animal populations within the whole ecosystem.
Such daily challenges reinforce the relevance of my personal practice, which since 2015 has been centred in the Inka tradition. This ancient wisdom tells us that we live in a world of living energy and that we have the capacity to move energy; its profound teachings show us how to move energy for our own wellbeing and that of our families and communities. It’s a simple framework with huge capacity to extend and shape our experience.
But how does this help me to thrive in a place that measured 125th out of 163 countries assessed for peacefulness in 2018? It didn’t stop me from being robbed at gunpoint, but it has most definitely helped me integrate that experience into extraordinary possibilities of connection. Working with my energy system helps me recognise and move through fear to find positive, empowering responses to traumatising circumstances.
While this may be an extreme example, we are each daily faced with conditions that challenge us: the pressures of work, managing family needs, awareness of the times we live in and a sense of helplessness in the face of it all. It is this last – the apparent helplessness – which is the most damaging as it closes down our awareness and possibilities. Eventually we get so stuck and frustrated that it’s easy to feel depressed, or to indulge our addictive behaviours or feel that we need a major life change in order to move on.
My experience shows that some simple practices of grounding, centring and moving energy bring a shift in perspective and allow new possibilities to emerge. Wouldn’t you like to be the subject of your experience, not subject to it? And as your skills and presence grows you will become aware that this extends to those around you and your capacity to hold space for others.
I had to increase my levels of discomfort in order to discover the real gems in this practice; maybe you don’t need to do that but are painfully aware that change is called for. Often we don’t know what the nature of that change is as we are busy coping with the discomfort and losing sight of our full human-ness. My invitation to you is to give yourself full permission to feel, to encounter the world in its rawness and to uncover the deepest capacities of your nature.