What's your capacity to be in discomfort?
I ask because there seem to be a bajillion different things that can throw us off our game these days.
Whether it is the ruling by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, your perception and experience of freedom, an upheaval or transition in your personal life or you just realized you have NO CLEAN UNDERWEAR, the stuff of life is messy and can be uncomfortable.
It can feel unclear and overwhelming to navigate this stuff on our own, let alone in relationship to other humans.
The other day I overheard someone yelling, "I don't care - it doesn't matter."
The person was using an intense, big and loud voice. It was evident that, contrary to his words, he DID care about something, and something DID matter.
AND...it is okay to care and it is okay for something to matter.
It is also okay if in the moment you don't have the capacity to be in the discomfort.
I used to yell, "I can't do it!" and storm out of the room. I hit zero capacity pretty quickly.
It is sort of the way our human experience goes. Discomfort is, well, uncomfortable so we avoid it. When we avoid the stuff that is uncomfortable, it tends to come out sideways...through actions, reactions or words that cause more discomfort to ourselves or someone else.
🔑 The key is to learn how to increase our capacity to be with the discomfort, because then we will increase our capacity to move through the discomfort with compassion and kindness.
The key is to learn how to increase our capacity to be with the discomfort, because then we will increase our capacity to move through the discomfort with compassion and kindness.
And then? Well, THEN we will be better poised to be with other people when they are in a less-then-comfortable mood.
PLUS, we'll be more aware of when our capacity changes from being able to be with someone's big emotion, to needing to step outside and get some fresh air.
Our capacity changes from season to season, from hour to hour. We are influx. Always. Which means we have the ability change what our experience is: we can grow our capacity to more effectively hold the stuff of life.
5 Ways to increase your capacity:
1. Notice what your capacity is in a given moment. Can you handle more of whatever you are experiencing? A little more? A lot more? How close are you to the edge, before you explore or storm out or shut down?
2. Practice noticing when you get to the edge of your capacity. Maybe you get a
little twitchy, or hot, or feel concerned, or your voice is starting to get louder.
3. Pace yourself. Literally move your body for a minute, get a drink of water, tell the
person your are talking to that you need to go to the bathroom and you'll
reconnect with them in 15 minutes. Remove yourself from the situation in some
4. Return to the situation when feel in your body that you aren't so close to the edge. Give yourself the gift of time and space to regulate and slow back down.
5. Stay with yourself. Notice how you are doing. Be gentle and compassionate with
Remember: 👉🏽 Discomfort is part of the human condition. 👉🏽 As we increase our capacity to be with our own discomfort, we increase our capacity to move through it with self-compassion. 👉🏽As we do our work, we are better equipped to be with others when they are at the edge of their capacity, and can better navigate tricky interpersonal stuff, with compassion for others.
I know stuff in our world is super messy right now.
No matter how messy it gets, we are still 100% responsible for how we show up.
Increase your capacity to be in the discomfort, my friend.
Exercise Your Soul!
Rachel Sartori is an Embodiment and Wholeness Coach. She is kick-ass and heart-centered whether she is showing up as a workshop/retreat facilitator, a private coach, a writer or a speaker. Rachel invites you to exercise your soul, and participate in the healing of your own heart and the world around you. With Rachel, all is welcome, all the time.
Read: Exercise Your Soul: Ignite Healing and Wholeness in your Life and Live from the Inside Out