Sources of comfort (Week 4)
This is the last week, and last post.
So how’d it go? Did you make any changes? Did any of them stick? Was there room for them? Did you change too much at once and get overwhelmed? Did you give them a chance?
In this last week we’re looking at our sources of comfort, which we tend to rely on during the colder months. Before we do that, I want to look at why we need those in the first place, such as reasons why we feel uncomfortable in our daily lives. We’re looking at this objectively, not in terms of good or bad. As humans we need comfort. We also need challenges for our character to keep getting refined, situations where we choose who we are with each decision. This last week might be best approached with writing, doodling, drawing weird graphs. Some questions to ask ourselves:
-How do I approach getting comfort when I need it so that I can keep growing and going past my comfort zone at times?
-What are my favorite sources of comfort outside of food, alcohol, stimulants etc.?
-Which comfort seeking habits can be substituted with ones that make me feel good in the long run?
-Who are the people in my life I can turn to without fear of being judged? Who do I feel free around?
-Who’s opinion do I worry about most and therefore who holds power over my actions and decisions?
-Does my home and/or creative space feel safe and comfortable?
-Do I have the ability to take periods of rest where my body can recover and my mind can process daily information?
-Am I enjoying my creative hobbies/jobs or do I put a lot of pressure on them?
-When do I feel most relaxed/free? Can I add more of that? What would I take out to make room for it?
-When I create things, what’s the ultimate goal? Is it ever for the sake of fun, for the sake of play, for the sake of growth, for the sake of excellence?
-Do I move around enough? If I sit all day, what do I do to reverse that one static bodily position?
If in our lives we strive for greatness and growth, we have to go outside of our comfort zones. Pay attention to how you recover from those sometimes stressful experiences and see if you have times of rest, of play, of community, of meaningful relationships, of restful sleep. And how do you approach going out of your comfort zone in the first place? With a sense of adventure, kid-like wonder, play, mischievous fun? Or dread, fear?
Our body holds tension from past experiences, and so when we stretch and do mobility, it’s best to breathe slowly to let our brain know we’re safe. When I first started doing this, I was not able to do stretches in quiet spaces around people (such as a yoga class), because they would overwhelm me emotionally. Instead of relaxing, I would panic. I had to start doing them on my own, maybe walking in nature until I got tired first. When I breathed through stretches, all of these uncomfortable emotions came to the surface, which sometimes feels like it’s the stretch itself that is so uncomfortable. I had to do this a bit at a time so as not to make it so overwhelming that I’d stop. When in an uncomfortable stretch, I try to breathe through it and tell myself I’m safe. One day at a time, clear that sh*t out. (If this resonates with you, try body tapping, dancing in your room freely, jumping, swaying, hugging yourself, or research some somatic therapy exercise examples. Don't overwhelm yourself, take one or two things and try them out for a while).
And lastly, some things that make us uncomfortable might need to get dealt with and thrown out before we get to our best selves, such as other peoples’ opinions. Oh, we encounter this one a lot when talking to other artists. It’s the main reason some of us are stuck repeating the same thing over and over for years and decades, why we don’t get creative, why we stick to the script or formula. A book can be written on this and many have been, but the main point is this: whoever you are trying to please or not disturb, whoever you are afraid will clown you, that person or people have control over you and your art. They are dictating what you do. So look at them, and see if they have the knowledge or authority to do so. I used to worry about what people thought, I’m still trying to shake some of it. But I know that once I closed my personal social media accounts, where I kept asking why no one was supporting me, why I wasn’t as good in their eyes as the sometimes crappy music they were listening to, after I closed those, no one (other than good friends) checked to see if I’m alive or ok. Meh. This is who I stressed about?
Take this week to review, ponder, wonder, play around, and make decisions for yourself. Prepare a fun and clean environment for the new season. Keep repeating things you want to keep around, and moving your body every day. Thanks for hanging out with me this month, I’m off to make sure these music projects are released ASAP.
Here's a link to great info about stretching from a reputable source: