Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

Sometimes things don’t happen the way you want them to. This is one of my continual lessons. I believe part of the lesson is, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Seriously?! Who coined this phrase? This is just such a difficult thing to do. It is counterintuitive, and yet, it’s right on the money. 
Nancy Kalina
It doesn’t really matter what the situation is, the lesson of getting comfortable when life hits you in the face still holds true and remains one of my most challenging feats.

My life got thrown out of whack recently. Let’s be clear. Just to keep things in perspective, I did not get diagnosed with cancer or some rare disease. No. I have had some challenges with pain and discomfort in my right hip and leg; I got a cold (you all know how we fight those); and my computer got an infection as well. Before you ask, no, my computer did not catch my cold. However, I lost safe Internet access on and off for more than two weeks and have been at the mercy of my computer administrator’s schedule.

Injuries to our bodies, to our loved ones or even to our property can be quite unsettling for most of us. At least, I assume I am not the only one who struggles with these issues. My first response is to deny whatever is happening because I don’t want whatever is happening to actually happen. My second strategy is to resist the unwelcome intrusion. This strategy is, in a word, unsuccessful. It’s unsuccessful because while I am denying and resisting my cold by taking extra Vitamin C, Zicam and echinacea, I am actually ignoring the messages from my body. So, I may be able to keep the cold at bay for a day, maybe even three, but I am living in a house and sharing a bed with someone who has a full-blown cold. The chances of my escaping this cold are slim to none.

Similarly, when my computer initially showed its infection, I went into denial and continued to e-mail and use Facebook even though the voice in my head said, “Something’s not right!”

I am happy to report that at the time of this e-newsletter coming out to you, my cold has run its course, my computer is fully functioning again —thank you, Shane! — and I am still experiencing hip and leg pain. However, I am on a path to uncovering the reasons for the pain.

What’s the lesson in all of this? Well, Martha Beck and others state that “what we resist persists!” Clearly, this is true with the above scenarios. Why do we resist? We don’t want to be uncomfortable, inconvenienced, depressed or any of those other awful experiences that go along with being thrown into Square 1. It’s not fun to be in Square 1. As a matter of fact, sometimes it is downright exasperating and exhausting. We as a society don’t like Square 1 because this is the place where “we grieve desperately over the loss of familiar roles and situations, all the time bumbling around in our new lives like scared, clumsy infants.” (M. Beck, Finding Your Own North Star, 2001). Believe it or not, Square 1 is a good thing! It’s the place where we begin again! Square 1 is where we shed our skin. We melt down. We can let go of all the unwritten rules that we have clung to for many years. This frees us up to move forward.

So, am I thrilled to be in Square 1? Not necessarily. Having been trained by Martha Beck, I know to expect it. I am, hopefully, getting better at noticing when I am in Square 1, which definitely makes it a bit easier. The more we anticipate that change will happen in our lives, the more able we are to surf the changes when they arrive. Eventually, I hope to be grateful when I hit Square 1, even though I believe the gratitude shows up after leaving Square 1.

When I was in Hawaii in 2012, I had the opportunity to take my first surfing lesson. I loved it. I fell down, laughed at myself and couldn’t wait to get back on the board and try again. Isn’t that a great metaphor for life? Why don’t we make life a lot more like surfing? Why don’t we teach ourselves to be agile and nimble and ride the waves, as opposed to being rooted and awkward when the waves arrive? Seems like teaching ourselves to expect change, acknowledge the change, grieve the loss and then surf on feels a lot better than being swept away by a tsunami because we would rather avoid the inevitable change.

Where are you resisting change in your life?

Where in your life do you find yourself in Square 1?

What can you do to allow yourself to grieve your loss?

Please feel free to share. I would love to hear.


Sharing Corner

CARING FOR THE CAREGIVER will be offered one day in May for Monroe County’s Creative Aging Festival! So, Wake Up the Vibrant, Sexy and Alive YOU with Global Dance Movement & Personal Life Coaching!

One-day Teaser classes will be offered this time on Friday, May 17, 2013.

  • The class has moved to Panache Dance on Winslow Road.
  • The one-day teaser is $40.
  • Registration is now open!
  • To register, e-mail me at

The 2013 schedule for Caring for the Caregiver is set. Please look on my website for dates and times for the remainder of 2013!

I had the great pleasure of attending one night of the 2012-13 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour when it came to Bloomington, Ind. I wanted to share with you this amazing movie that I found priceless! Ndizotheka (It Is Possible) was directed by Canadian photographer Benjamin Jordan. This documentary is quite simply a wonderful story of how two men are united from opposite corners of the earth by a common dream: to be the first to paraglide from Mount Mulanje, Malawi’s highest peak. Please note that one of these individuals had never before paraglided in his life. I will say no more except that if you get a chance to see this movie, DO! It is a delightful adventure that lands the twosome back in Square 1 multiple times, yet they keep trying. This movie will have you dancing to the pulse of possibilities!

Here is the trailer. You can go online and purchase a DVD! It’s worth it!



When I got back online from my home computer, there were a couple of nice surprises. One was this Ralph Marston slide show that goes along beautifully with what I had written out longhand due to lack of computer use. Enjoy! It’s nice to be back!


Until next time,

Safe Space Life Coaching

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