top of page

Flowing with Discomfort

Over the past few weeks, I've been feeling stuck and antsy. My body is extra sensitive and on edge, my muscles can't seem to decide whether they need more tension or more release, my focus has been scattered. I crave presence and I am acutely aware of time slipping by, and yet presence feels impossible to access for more than a few seconds at a time. My mind is struggling to make sense of these sensations by fixating on possible reasons or solutions. Maybe it's the air quality? Climate change grief? Maybe I need a vacation? Do I need to move somewhere else? Maybe I need fewer clients? Or more clients? Maybe it's the change in birth control? Maybe I need more community? Maybe I should try playing a sport? Maybe I need to take more naps? Maybe it's just the season?

Previously, in this state, I would either collapse into hopelessness, or I'd run around urgently trying to find the salve. I'd make a million plans, and I'd flake on all of them. Instead, I am abiding. I am here, (often impatiently) aware of everything: the dissociative scrolling, the disembodied exercising, the rants in my head, the disorganized attachments, the disturbing dreams, the longings, the lostness, the urges, the fears. And it is uncomfortable as fuck. It is infuriating and exhausting. I am in a state of near-grumpiness almost constantly. My partner is sick of it. I'm sick of it. And still, I wait. And when I remember to, I move my body as it wants to be moved.

In somatics, we talk a lot about the necessity of "sitting in discomfort". Discomfort is an inescapable part of life, and if we try to avoid it forever, we won't be able to grow and learn. But "sitting in discomfort" seems to be an inaccurate phrase - it feels more accurate to me that we must flow with discomfort. We must let it move us. I mean this literally as well as metaphorically. And in my experience, shame is usually the barrier that halts this movement.

It is said that shame does not, in fact, interact with our bodies in the same way that emotions do. Rather, shame is a witness. (This is based on the work of David Bedrick, which I learned through Ashley Stinson.) Shame accompanies our emotions, and disrupts our relationship with them. This shame witness can stop us from living into the sheer physicality of life: the shaking and spasming, the flailing and pounding, the stomping and expressions, the wiggling and shivers. I find that this resonates with my current experience.

Whenever I tune into this discomfort, and make the choice to move in whatever ways are accessible in the moment, instead of steel myself against it, the shame witness shifts. Shame is beginning to change roles within my system. In my own recent somatic sessions, I've been noticing my immense capacity for healthy "fight" energy, and its relationship to my fear of conflict. Perhaps shame has something different to offer here. I don't know yet know what any of this means. This is a part of the discomfort: the not knowing, the uncertainty, the liminality, the unraveling. Something is transforming, and I sense that I am in the midst of a death, of sorts. Another becoming.

And so, I flow.

26 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page