The peskiest emotion we deal with can be summed up with the feeling of uncomfortable. Whatever that looks like for you. It may be sad, worried, scared, or any emotion you do not like.
Nine times out of ten the discomfort comes because we are dealing with something new or a change - it’s uncertainty or is unfamiliar. It is the contrast of what we are used to that causes discomfort. When the new experiences become our normal experience then the discomfort lessens.
Remember at the end of the movie Castaway, Tom Hanks is put up in a beautiful hotel but ends up sleeping on the hard floor. To most of us, we would have a sleepless night on the hard ground but because that was what he was used to, there was no discomfort.
Emotionally we function the same way. When a loved one dies the grief may overwhelm us but as time moves forward that discomfort shifts into something else. It is never pleasant, I don’t think the Tom Hanks character had a pleasant night’s sleep on the floor but he and us acclimate to the change or the discomfort.
My hope is to forge a path for you to move through discomfort in life with a new perspective. I don’t know about you but much of the suffering from discomfort comes because I cannot imagine living or being this different way for the rest of my life or for the time period required. It seems too much. What has helped me is to realize that timewise the feeling uncomfortable will only last until the newness wears off. The situation might not change but my discomfort will change. The timeframe isn’t as it seems.
Several years ago my arm or shoulder started to hurt. I couldn’t raise my arms above my head. Soon the other arm began to hurt. My friend has just had surgery on her rotator cuff. I was sure the doctor would head me down that path, so it took me a few months of misery to finally make an appointment. Instead of surgery, my doctor wanted me to try physical therapy first. The first assessment was comical. I could not do most of what he asked me to. My arms would shake and the pain was so bad.
He gave me a set of exercises that were very simple and asked me to do them twice a day. I was to do 3 sets of 10 for 5 simple exercises. I was vigilant about doing them.
When I went back the next week I was so proud that my mobility had improved.
He ordered me to double my reps. So once again I was back to shaking. I couldn’t believe that it felt like starting all over again. The next week I had to add weights.
Each time the discomfort was there but each week I was surprised at how my body was able to move through it. Before I had gone to the doctor I felt like I hadn’t held back from the pain. I had to accept it first as out of my control and then let each level of discomfort require its own perseverance.
Feeling uncomfortable is not always physical - the physical is easier sometimes. That’s why we might somatize our feelings. Somatization is when our emotions or thought patterns create dis-ease or discomfort in the body. Working with the chakras is like emotional physical therapy.
As a quick introduction, we have places in our bodies that process certain experiences.
For the eyes, light waves are brought into the eye and along with the brain, we see objects. In all actuality, we are really seeing reflected light. The ears process sound waves and the nose scent. Each of these waves of energy is hitting all the parts of us but they are only interpreted in the part of the body able to collect and process the incoming data. Chakra's act the same way.
The chakras have been around for millennia but have all but been forgotten in the western world even though we interact with them all the time. I’ll explain that more as we go.
Starting at the tailbone we have the root chakra (the feet are actually part of the root chakra too. I have a great video on that on The Wholeness Network YouTube channel.)
The Root Chakra processes the experiences of stability, belonging, feeling at ease on the earth, foundations of life.
The sacral chakra sits below the belly button and supports the creative processes - both physical, as this is where the sexual organs are housed, and creation, as in the things we create mentally, emotionally, and physically. This houses our “gut feeling”. A decision-maker that creates the outcomes in life. When this chakra is cleared and open, it is easy to rely on. When it is closed or even overproducing, chakras can be in an overage mode as well, we are out of balance and decisions are more difficult. It is also associated with relationships.
The solar plexus sits above the belly button and many refer to is as the power chakra. This balanced chakra will support our feelings of personal power. Think about this, we understand the concept of feeling like someone has punched us in the gut with their words. In what ways did they take away your personal power? When we are nervous about something many times we get a stomach ache or butterflies. This is the power chakra in action. The energy is moving!
The heart chakra is in the chest and its purpose is L-O-V-E. The lower chakras, the ones I just explained are human, earthly experiences - maybe more concrete where the upper chakras are more ethereal or nonphysical and personal experiences. Their impact isn’t seen physically necessarily.
The heart is the bridge between the upper and lower and I love that LOVE is the experience that connects them. Both are loved - the collective humanity and the personal aspect of the self.
When we are experiencing the feeling of love we are often compelled to put our hand on our heart. The energy pulls us there even without being aware of the chakras.
Moving up to the neck is the throat chakra. This is our individuality experience or "our truth". Our emotions are distinguishable through the voice. My friend Kristi has a company Vibonix that has a computer program that uses the voice to help you recognize and begin to process emotions. Our voice shares our truth.
The third eye chakra is located in the center of the forehead. This is our intuition. More than just thinking, this experience is seeing all the angles of a situation. We naturally are guided to this energy as well. When we want to know something or remember something we touch here.
Finally, the crown chakra sits at the top of our head and is our connection to God and our higher self. Have you ever had hands placed on your head for a blessing or prayer? This energized the crown chakra and allows for the connection to strengthen.
When you feel discomfort in the body you can ask yourself if the discomfort is housed in one of these areas and if the experiences they process make sense to your current situation. Or, if the experience you are having is foundational or about belonging or relationships or connection to God then you can do exercises or activities that support that particularly related chakra.
Discomfort isn’t always here to stay. It is an emotion that can be supported to transform.