Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday: Discomfort is my comfort zone

As singers, we almost become more comfortable with discomfort than comfort, in many ways. We become accustomed to having teachers ask us to do humiliating things and make rather humiliating sounds in the course of lessons, because we have learned that ultimately, it always helps! We pay coaches to lovingly insult us into being better performers and more careful linguists. In fact, I have always had the distinct sense that when it comes to singing, if I'm not kept on my toes, I'm wasting my money! I think we would also all agree that there is nothing really that comfortable about singing art music in public. Sure, it gets easier every time, but ultimately, in order to even approach professionalism and a competitive level of work, we are performing with lots of focus and attention and energy. There's nothing cushy about it, in fact, it's pretty darn intense.

So, in that aspect of my life, I make a bee line in the direction of discomfort and ultimately growth.

It's the rest of my life that I find it's easier to fall into a pattern of comfort. For instance, sometimes its literally more comfortable to be angry with a someone that pisses you off than to make the effort to just get over it, and move through the discomfort of having to let it go. How funny that living with something damaging like anger is actually where my brain wants to go! Discomfort is my comfort zone. Yikes.

Just a couple of months ago, I made the decision while walking down the street that day to make a particular person in my life my spiritual practice. This person became my challenge to myself to see how much I could let go of anger, resentment, and annoyance that I found just seeping from my pores in their general direction. It has been really difficult sometimes, and nothing about it has been comfortable. But the changes it has made for me in this relationship with this person has been unreal. I am still struggling in my own way with aspects of this person's personality, but I now see it for what it is-- unnecessary. When I feel myself going there, I make the choice to let it go, and instead, react with kindness.

Something else completely out of my comfort zone: eating salads. I am making a huge effort to keep fresh greens in the house and just eat a salad a day, but it's hard, because I always have excuses and reasons why I'd rather be eating almost anything else. I'd rather be eating chips, you better believe it.

All this goes against my long held personal motto of "Sometimes you just have to do what you want."

And that is true too, except when doing "what you want" is actually bad for you.

Oh man is that deep. Whatever happened to frivolous Fridays???

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