by Dr. Brown on April 10, 2010

Imagine that you’re sitting in a chair or on a couch and you begin to feel uncomfortable. There might be a stitch in your side or a cramp in your leg or a twitch in your eye. What do you do? If you’re like most people, you shift position, you move to try to achieve something a bit more satisfying and comfortable. Another way of looking at it is that you move to avoid the discomfort you experience in the moment. And, again, if you’re like most people, you don’t give any of this a bit of thought. You just move. And, for a moment or several, you feel more comfortable. Perhaps you experience a palpable sense of relief or perhaps you simply return to a “normal” state of being.

What’s happened to the discomfort? Has it truly gone away, or has it just hidden behind the momentary absence of discomfort that you’re now experiencing as comfort? Did you notice that feeling or simply try to rid yourself of the uncomfortable feeling that, for the immediate moment, took all of your focus and attention?

Such is the nature of our experience, whether sitting in a chair, a comfortable couch or living inside our bodies, skins and beings.

I would encourage you, the next time you experience something that brings a sensation of discomfort, to pay close attention to it. Watch it with your mind’s eye as the feeling and experience changes and moves around your body. Take just one or two minutes to pay attention before shifting position and getting comfortable again.

Your discomfort is telling you something important.

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