Relatively unimportant contextual note: I wrote this last year, in a notebook where I was gathering observations in a way that was inspired entirely by the fact that we were then reading The Book of Delights by Ross Gay.

I have a certain comfort with discomfort that I’m coming to realize is somewhat unique. Talking to a fellow coach earlier this week, I said, “I think about discomfort all the time! Don’t you?” And however many thousands of miles away, I saw on my screen her nose wrinkle and a question mark form in her brow. “No. I move through it, but I don’t think much about it.”

Through that same screen, yesterday, I watched a client squirm as I invited him to the very edges of his understanding of himself and these messy, complex, potential-packed lives of ours. I saw the smile curling the edges of his lips even as he leaned forward in consternation – “What the hell is happening here?” his unspoken question. We left that session with its unhemmed edges, his homework – willingly taken – to ponder and process and allow for the messiness and imperfection.

That change is inevitable is a bumper sticker, the kind of truth so true and obvious that few of us stop to really consider its importance and depth. That discomfort comes with change just as inevitably as a baby comes with an umbilical cord is the messy truth we try to forget as soon as we’ve seen it. The alternative – the opportunity – is to acknowledge the humanness of it all, to let the edges of our lips curl into smiles – or even part to allow for a rogue guffaw – even as we squirm.

If you’re ready for a midwife to help you through the discomfort of birthing change in your life or in yourself, I’m here and ready with breathing techniques and catcher’s mitt.

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