In the teacher training I have just completed, we had a list called the “Assumptions and Agreements.”
The assumptions gave us an insight into what the teacher trainers believed, and the agreements were more of a code of conduct that we agreed to honour and respect collectively whilst working together as a group.
We would come back to the list every week and would individually share which agreement we were feeling called to embrace and work with most.
“Brave space not safe space” was one of those agreements, as was “Have a willingness to sit with discomfort.”
My previous post delved into the subject of confidence, and following on from that; it has led me back to these two agreements.
Reconnecting to our inner power and finding confidence where we lack it is not necessarily an enjoyable ride. It may well be complicated and challenging and require curiosity and courage, but that’s okay as it’s all part of the process of learning, evolving and overcoming.
“Fear, uncertainty, and discomfort are your compasses toward growth.”
Yoga and meditation are not an escape from the uncomfortable; if anything, they are practices where one can explore such discomfort and work through it.
Essentially one is encouraged to have a growth mindset; a willingness to learn and grow, even if the path is not easy. Many people have a fixed mindset however, this shows up in different forms, but here are some examples…
- They turn and look the other way when something challenges their views or ideals.
- They put up defence barriers when they don’t want to face a problem.
- They choose to stay in their comfort zone over the growth and expansion of their heart, body and mind.
- They are stuck in their old ways and habits and don’t see or stubbornly choose not to see other solutions or ways of doing things.
When we have a growth mindset, we behave in the opposite way. We say “YES” to new ideas, other opinions, finding solutions, growth, change, remaining open and being curious. At times it may be harder work or an uncomfortable process, but it’s done with a knowingness it’s for the greater good.
Take the 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training course I have just completed as an example; it left me with very little free time, it was tiring and threw off my work/rest rhythm. At times, the workload was stressful and overwhelming, and occasionally it was emotionally challenging when we explored deep subjects such as social justice, white privilege and anti-racism. BUT… the list of benefits and breakthroughs are boundless, and I’m a better person and teacher as a result. And, of course, it was worth all the discomfort.
Finding support and people that you can trust is truly valuable, but it’s helpful also to remember that even when the ‘space’ – physical, mental or emotional doesn’t feel safe or pleasant in some way, we still have an opportunity to take a step forward and step up in that moment.
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
M. Scott Peck (American psychiatrist and author of The Road Less Travelled)
So, when you next feel fearful, resistant, discomfort, challenged, unsafe, or out of alignment in some way, don’t turn away; turn towards it and sit with it, not only to gain a greater understanding of what you are actually feeling but to find ways to work through it and to get to know yourself better. The process of which only helps you grow as a person.
Whether you are on or off your yoga mat;-
Adopt a willing attitude.
Create brave spaces.
Sit with the discomfort.
Allow whatever arises.
Reflect, learn, grow.
Invitation To Brave Space
By Micky ScottBey Jones
Together we will create brave space.
Because there is no such thing as a “safe space”
We exist in the real world.
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love.
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.
We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be.
It will be our brave space together,
We will work on it side by side.
In case you missed last week’s post, here’s the link…