"I really appreciate how authentic you are and that we talk about everything that comes up." said Sarina, one of the retreat attendees.
I have a tendency to talk about everything. The good, the bad, the comfortable, the uncomfortable. I can't sugar coat or sweep it under the rug. It's there–whatever it is-–like a big fat elephant in the room. Even if I can't see it, I feel it. I can't just ignore it. So let's talk about it.
As humans we are constantly feeling. We feel the energy in a room, the energy of another. Sometimes we can't explain why or what we feel, we just do.
Sometimes we really connect and jive with people and sometimes not so much. Different people illicit difference emotions in us. Sometimes we have really great experiences and sometimes things get awkward or uncomfortable.
Less often we talk about it, more often we run away.
Whether we want to realize it or not, when we get uncomfortable others likely notice. It affects those around us. We are energy being able to sense the energy around us.
Getting uncomfortable is a normal part of this human experience. The good news is every situation is an opportunity to grow and learn. Especially in the uncomfortable there are lessons to be learned and greater understandings to be had.
When we talk about it we better understand each other and the connection between us strengthens. And this is exactly what happened on this past retreat and each one before.
I welcome and encourage talking about the uncomfortable in the retreat space with the hopes that being open, honest, and transparent will continue on in “real life.” In a new environment with new people uncomfortable feelings can be triggered. Perhaps there are challenges with personalities, with the schedule, being away from home and the controlled environment of everyday.
Just as in “real life” feelings and emotions surface in the retreat space. And may even be magnified with all the time dedicated to self reflection and self care. The difference is that the retreat space is a safe space that invites everything to come up and be witnessed, understood, healed and released in a supportive, loving, compassionate environment.
I've always believed honesty is the best policy. When I was younger I was often told, "You're brutally honest." Though my intentions were rooted in love, too often when speaking my truth I was quick to the point without the awareness of how my word choice and tone affected another person. Indeed delivery is key to communication.
After feedback like this I intentionally began to change–remaining silent and not discussing the uncomfortable to not disturb another and keep the peace.
Silence and pretending was a disservice to myself and others. I was missing out on opportunities to grow, to understand another person's perspective, and to better understand my myself. Better to get it out and clear the air, than to suppress it and create stories in our minds.
The first day of the retreat, someone farted during class, as many people do during yoga. Yes I'm sure it was uncomfortable for most people in the class because society makes us believe farting is such a "negative" thing when it is just an uncontrollable bodily reaction. Though it was obvious, in that moment while teaching I intentionally did not say anything. There was no need to bring attention to the person. But of course the next day while we were doing some abdominal massage poses, I made it very clear that it is normal to fart in yoga as we are moving, twisting, and squeezing the body. Talking about the uncomfortable made it comfortable.
"You trigger me." said one of my dear friends at Burning Man. "Your discipline and your commitment to your path triggers me because I begin to judge myself about what I’m supposed to be and not supposed to be doing." In that moment all I felt was love for him. I wasn't mad or defensive, I was there to listen and to facilitate the space for us to better understand each other. By choosing to talk about the uncomfortable we became even closer.
Through the ups and downs of life, the ecstatic moments and the uncomfortable ones, I've come full circle to realize that it is best to communicate, and especially talk about the uncomfortable. To do so with love and compassion. And to choose moments when I wasn’t upset and I had some time to process. Easier said than done, but a conscious practice none the less.
Let's clear the air. Speak up when it doesn't feel good between friends, in business, or in life. Talking about the uncomfortable with a heart centered intention cultivates more peace and love in everyday and is bound to result in greater understanding and connection.
So what are some uncomfortable situations that have been fueling that chattering monkey mind? Are you ready to talk about the uncomfortable and clear the air? Comment in the box below and share your experiences. I look forward to reading it!