Do you ever have people or things in your life that you avoid due to the discomfort they bring?
I do yoga 3-4 times a week, using a fitness app that has audio yoga classes built in. No need to go anywhere--just grab my mat and my bluetooth headphones and off I go.
As part of the app, there are 3 main yoga instructors, but one of them I avoid. I did 1-2 classes with her when I first started using the app, but there is something about her voice and accent that drives me crazy, so I typically do classes with the other two.
Yesterday, though, I was scrolling through some of the class options and decided to give her another try. Perhaps I was misremembering?
A few seconds into it, I remembered exactly why I was avoiding her classes. It was like nails on a chalkboard to me. I could have stopped and started a different class with one of my preferred teachers, but for some reason I decided to stick with it.
In the end, it was a powerful yoga class and I am glad I persevered.
While I was flowing through the poses, I was thinking about this concept of avoidance.
There are many people who would advise you that if people in your life are not serving you, it is best to avoid contact, or perhaps for you to cut the cord entirely. Only have contact if you HAVE TO. Sometimes this is the "right" tactic to take, especially when your physical safety is at stake.
There is another option, though. We can change how we relate to the stimulus, to the person. We can unhook ourselves from whatever it is that they are doing that irritates us, and instead focus on all the rest.
Yesterday, the voice of the yoga teacher was an irritant for me, but instead I focused not on her, but on myself. I focused on all the benefits that I was gaining from her knowledge and experience. I focused on my postures. I focused on my breath.
“What you focus on expands.”
If I had focused on her voice, I probably would have driven myself crazy. Instead I focused on my purpose for hitting the mat in the first place. I focused on what was in my "circle of influence" as Stephen Covey likes to call it.
Sometimes our discomfort doesn't come from real discomfort, it comes from our minds, and when we focus our minds elsewhere, the discomfort lessens. We can start avoiding our avoiding.
Is there anything or anyone in your world that you are avoiding, but perhaps if you look beyond the irritations, you might find something deeper and more beneficial for you?