Lean Into Discomfort Because it Will Lead You Past Your Fear


Welcome to my peace filled space. Thank you for choosing to share energy here!

This month’s theme on my blog and in my life is *create*.  I’m offering a free one week clarity session and we’ve looked into creating this moment and all moments

As I write these words, my children are on an adventure.  Without me.  They are ready to enjoy experiences without me hovering over them, organizing the experience, protecting them from external harm. 

May I share this with you?  This freedom was not my ideaAt all.  This freedom was suggested to me by a trusted friend whom I love dearly: “Why don’t you let your children try experience A without you?”  Right.  My internal reply was not at all nice.  Fear.  Which means my friend was on the right track.  Absolutely. 

Having recently gone through an internal transformation, I am committed to honoring transparency in all of my relationships. Having just read a beautiful book on relationships \”Kindred Spirit\ this thought surfaces:

Lean into discomfort because it will lead you past your fear to a place of love you have yet to experience!

so I begin to lean into, not bolt from!

I am responsible for my choices; when relating with you if you want to bolt, go ahead, but I’ve double dog dared myself to sit here and lean:)

We (meaning I) tend to walk away the moment discomfort appears.  I prefer butterflies and glitter not vomit and mess.  Truly.  I get enough vomit and mess at work, thank you very much! 

May you examine this with me for a minute?  What I have just said is I tend to love you unconditionally, but to relate conditionally..you give me butterflies and glitter (and throw in a sunset or the moon) and I am there..but suggest to me something that makes me squirm and I am so not there you don’t even know I’ve left. 

Guess what? Once I recognize a thought pattern that no longer serves me/is a block to abundance…I may release it..this very moment.  Released!  So go ahead make a mess..and I will suggest we clean it together…*grin*

Here is my friend suggesting something to make me squirm..big time..(by the way, how many friends actually risk comfort to suggest tools for growth?) so I decide to try something new and sit in discomfort.  Squirm.  Don’t love it, but not so bad..as I move through my day the idea grows on me..so I speak with my children who are *elated* to try this experience without me.  Elated!  (People pleaser that I am, elated is a shoo-in!).  After a few days, my discomfort disappears and I begin to send gratitude to my friend for suggesting the idea.  (Went from a not nice internal reply…to sending gratitude–yes, love transforms the moment when I allow it to!).

May I take this a step further with you?  Thank you for humoring me..knowing we are in this together allows me to explore new and different.

My belief: All that I See is a reflection to me and of me.  New and different: My friend’s request at surface level was about my children..but I See now, it is also how we relate to each other.  When we see a loved one grow, we celebrate that, yes? (I do!), yet sometimes even as we celebrate, we cling..Please only grow this far so we may still relate..not that far because where is the room for me?  I love you *here* but loving you *there* may be a stretch for me.  And so on…

My friend was saying, may you please love me enough to allow me the room to pursue this experience without you.  Oh, yes…I will.

I begin to feel discomfort again.  Because I See even past that.  To my own inner core.  My friend is *me* saying to me (as I am embarking upon a new experience that allows me to grow on all levels, and puts physical distance between my self and this city) Joy: may you please love me enough to allow me the room to pursue this experience without you?

You See?

When I take *me* out of it, even in my own experience..I am allowing Spirit/Love/Divine..(insert your own word here)..to guide me through this experience.  I am allowing the Oneness I believe in to radiate through me, to be *me* because *I* am not there.

As an aside..as I said above, sometimes, yes sometimes…rather than squirm, I give up!..I’ve walked away from some potentially amazing experiences.. and now I’m learning the significance of embracing nomaddawhat .

So,  I thank you for allowing me the space to explore this with you..and I wonder how do you Feel as you read this?

Much peace,


If my work has enriched your life in any way, may you consider donating through my home page.  Each dollar amount is very much appreciated and allows me to invest my energy into my passion of spreading love and peace through writing and teaching.  With each donation, you will receive a daily email affirmation in your in box for two weeks.  A refreshing and peace filled way to begin your day!



  1. #1 by J.D. Meier on May 9, 2011 - 5:26 pm

    Beautiful insight.

    One of my mentors always reminded me that whenever things feel uncomfortable, “that’s what growth feels like.” While it’s not quite like the calm before the storm, it’s the uncomfortable before the growth.

    • #2 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on May 10, 2011 - 11:10 am

      Hi J.D.,
      So nice to see you here:)
      “The uncomfortable before the growth”..is something I am now embracing. I used to “think” of growth as stretching toward something in the same way I do in yoga..a bit past my comfort zone, but still feels “right”..However, birthing something may include a period of gestation and then labor..a bit more uncomfortable than a stretch, but how powerful to move through!
      Leaning into discomfort has already brought all of my relationships to a deeper, most enriching level. I know folding this concept into all areas of my life will result in amazing things:)

  2. #3 by Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord on May 9, 2011 - 9:04 pm

    Joy, your writing had me smiling, laughing and thinking, “Oh gosh, I wonder what my next uncomfortable moment will feel like…” You’re such a fun writer. Plus, I love how you were able to connect everyone in the scenario back to its source: you, or rather, “the all.” Everything in the scene was you, which made me have to think about what you’re trying to teach yourself, and then what I’m trying to teach myself because if I’m reading your words, it’s as much about me as it is about you! Whoa… That’s convoluted and a little messy, but also really cool when I let it sink in.

    “Leaning into the discomfort” is a phrase that intrigues me today, sitting where I’m sitting. But beyond that, the idea of you letting your children (your creations) out into the world to do what they were born to do without you — THAT’S what I’m getting as the bigger takeaway. Can I separate my creations from myself, and let them roam free in the world as extensions of me – to experience for me, rather than with me?

    Gosh, lots to process, but more to celebrate! This, after all, is a week of celebration and fireworks (can you hear and see them as clearly where you are, as I can where I am?!!).

    I liked JD’s comment, too. Discomfort is what growth feels like. Oh yeah it is! Oh yeah indeed!!

    • #4 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on May 10, 2011 - 11:16 am

      Hi Megan,
      Thank you:)
      I’m trying to teach myself to lean into discomfort..for me that looks like dropping my story/my label about something/someone to allow it to just “be” as it is, and to receive it into my life as it is presented. In the example I wrote about, I dropped my label about my friend (some though I must have had like love is always comfortable), my self (I put a limit on my abilities when I refuse to stretch), my children (they are no longer “babies”, but power ful creatures)….Dropping labels and stories puts me smack dab in the midst of ultimate unknown and leaves my heart vulnerable..yet look at how all of us directly involved in just this one example have grown.
      Thank you for sharing your insight as far as allowing your creations to roam free. A huge example of unconditional love..I create *this* and release it..and whomever is ready to receive it shall..and I learn from what is reflected back to me..
      Definitely lots to celebrate! You’ve taught me to release my expectation that fireworks only happen on a certain day, and are just for special occasions..thank you for that awe-some lesson: fireworks every day!!!!

  3. #5 by farouk on May 10, 2011 - 8:39 am

    you are right Joy,
    not wanting to be somewhere can be more powerful motivator than wanting to be somewhere else, discomfort can really motivate us

    • #6 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on May 10, 2011 - 11:22 am

      Hi farouk,
      Thank you for visiting..good to see you here:)
      In the past, when I didn’t want to be somewhere, I would remove my self..now I am learning to examine the moment and experience it for the gift it is, rather than run from the lesson and have to then repeat it time and again..As I write this to you, I am having a huge ah-ha moment..I think I’ve bought into the “label” for my self that I tend to learn the hard way..I may release that label now that I see it, and incorporate the new thought that learning may be joy filled, fun, and a cause for celebration..Thank you for your reflection!

  4. #7 by Aileen | Kaizen Vision on May 11, 2011 - 6:20 am

    “Lean into discomfort because it will lead you past your fear to a place of love you have yet to experience!” Joy your insight gives me chills.
    Stepping into fear is something I’d often rather like to live without – but nearly every time I move forward into it/ through it – it’s an amazing gift of freedom, strength and empowerment. Yet, even now I still panic and dislike it immeasurable and only after attempting to avoid it – do I walk through, Perhaps one day I’ll shorten the process and just embrace fear when it strikes.

    • #8 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on May 15, 2011 - 3:32 pm

      Hi Aileen,
      “Leaning into discomfort” has transformed my life within the last two weeks. When I identify fear is present, I no longer revert to old patterns of pushing a person far away, or avoiding the discomfort within my self…I lean into it fully. Sure, it may have the illusion of pain, but each time there is the reality of great freedom and joy..from breaking something that binds me/allows for a barrier to flow..much as you’ve shared. Life may be as effortless, as easy as we allow it to be: one “story” I’ve dropped about my self is that I tend to learn the hard way..I now affirm I am learning each and every moment, in a joy filled, ease filled, lovely manner…and this is now how I learn! If I am going to create a thought, I choose to create a thought that serves me best…(sounds amazing on paper, reality is I am beginning to embrace this new idea!)…

  5. #9 by Alien Ghost on May 13, 2011 - 3:17 am

    Hi Joy,

    Expansion is growth, but contraction is easier: The short path there that becomes to nowhere. It takes courage to expand and yet, once started its easy to see it wasn’t so difficult after all. Running happy without fears is easy to keep open arms to embrace what’s to come, but self protection by engulfing arms takes us in a blind trip with avoidance of the amazing surroundings.

    Very interesting post Joy! Lots to think about; thank you 🙂


    • #10 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on May 15, 2011 - 3:36 pm

      Hi Raul,
      Interesting to me: expansion is my new word for this week..so much height to expansion, I am learning to embrace that!
      I love your comment, because in the past I’ve practiced contraction, self protection, and avoidance..yet I may choose to turn that around in any moment..so I choose to acknowledge that expansion, courage, and open arms ready to embrace yield far greater access to Universal Flow, which yields magic to the nth degree:)
      Thank you for your thought provoking insights..

  6. #11 by Sibyl - alternaview on May 14, 2011 - 5:16 am

    Joy: I loved this message and I think it is something so many people need to hear. It is too easy to just run away from fear or avoid it because you can. It usually is worth it to squirm, as you put it, and manage through. You always learn so much about yourself and wind up stronger once you walk through the fear. Thanks for a great message filled with so much wisdom.

    • #12 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on May 15, 2011 - 3:38 pm

      Hi Sibyl,
      Thank you:)
      “Unfolding” means that I allow natural cycles to guide me; within that though is my personal need to process fear as I open my arms wider to flow…I choose to create a new path, embrace a new vision..and as I walk these steps, life has an extremely magical quality to it. Amazing!

  7. #13 by Rand on May 14, 2011 - 7:54 pm

    Hi there Joy,

    A couple of months, or so ago, you asked me… “What do you want to create?”

    My reply was: “To create a future for my daughters”.

    Last weekend when the girls and I stopped at the playground while on our bike ride, I found myself standing before them memorized by the *story* of their growth. The two competed for height in full arc swinging as I thought… “My god! The time has gone by so swiftly! Where are my little girls that asked to be pushed in their swings?”

    You see there is the “fear” that I am losing the most precious *two things* in my life…yes there is the *story* that started with their birth, but the *story* continues to be on-going with their growth. The wonderful thing Joy… is that I am still in their lives *creating* their futures. My eldest will be off to College five hundred miles away come Fall. She was awarded a full scholarship grant for all her hard work, and my hard work will help pay for her registration fees. It is not so bad when we “walk through fear” and grow together.

    Think I’ll polish my truck and go for a long ride with my *windows rolled down*…

    • #14 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on May 15, 2011 - 3:41 pm

      Hi Rand,
      Thank you for stopping in..I hope your absence was due to amazingly good in your life:)
      Thank you for sharing about your daughters..for honoring the bond you have, and for allowing it to grow and evolve over time..it is fun to share in the results of work with those that we love..and I am sure that your daughters appreciate your gifts as much as you appreciate theirs!

  8. #15 by Beverley@Mindful Productivity on May 16, 2011 - 10:42 am

    I really like the way you phrased this..’Please only grow this far so we may still relate..not that far because where is the room for me? I love you *here* but loving you *there* may be a stretch for me’

    Often one of the hardest things about growing within our selves is the understanding that some people we may be close to at the moment may ‘fall by the wayside’ in our growth. We dont all grow at the same rate….

  9. #16 by Sara on May 16, 2011 - 7:30 pm


    I love the idea of leaning into discomfort. It’s such a great visual image. I see it as taking away the space that fear demands. Instead of running from it; we move into it, crowd it and not let it intimidate us. I like this image:~)

    As a mom, I understand what it’s like to let your children have their own adventures. It’s not easy, but essential to growth for everyone concerned. You have done a great job of making this an important lesson for all of us.

    Thank you:~)

  1. What Lives Within Me: Freedom « Unfolding Your Path to Joy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: