Someone close to me went to an earth shift sweat lodge this week. It sounds uncomfortable doesn’t it? Apparently it is. This isn’t a luxury, sanitized sauna at a four-seasons resort. This is the real deal. You and twenty other people cram shoulder to shoulder into a tent, low to the ground, where you sit on the soil amongst hot burning rocks for two hours.
In the dark.
Confronted by reluctance. Fear. Resistance. Anxiety. And eventually surrender.
And when you surrender – that’s when the good stuff apparently starts happening. That’s when you feel reflective. Resilient. Courageous. Cleansed.
Anyway – that’s what I’ve been told. Which is a very different experience to trying it out myself.
Think about how often we are ‘moved’ by another person’s story? Moved to tears. Moved to smile. Moved to consider.
Being moved is a valaubale resposnse but also a sedenatry one. Feeling something deeply doesn’t always lead to allowing that feeling to propel you.
Now think about how often you ‘move’ after being impacted by something you’ve heard or read? Move to to contribute. Move to change something in your world. Move towards participation.
You might well be intrigued by someone else’s life experience but if that intrigue doesn’t lead to inspiration, and that inspiartion doesn’t lead to action, then all it remains to be is – someone else’s experience.
Am I proposing that we all squeeze into a hot tent? No. But I am suuggesting that we become more open to being affected by other people’s lives. I am suggesting that we pay closer attention to what ‘moves’ us and then make a move in return.
I personally was fascinated by the idea of the sweat lodge. It left me pondering how much time and money and energy we expend in the developed world keeping ourselves ‘comfortable’ when there is much to gain from being confronted by discomfort. Whether that discomfort be awkwardness, anxiety, fear, trepidation.
It’s essential every once in awhile to drag ourselves out of our element and exist in a place that feels too hot or too scary or too new.
Staying safely cocooned leads to apathy. Not only apathy towards events in the world around us, but apathy towards ourselves. A numb sense of disconnection. Distance from the potential to truly and profoundly grow.
The ‘movement’ I’m imagining can be any size and take any shape.
- Tackling a conversation you’ve been avoiding.
- Taking steps towards launching a new project.
- Signing up for a class or a workshop.
- Trying something you don’t think you can do.
- Volunteering at an organization that you believe in.
- Beginning a diet or an exercise program.
It doesn’t really matter what it is.
Just as long as it makes you sweat.
Write about discomfort. What is it you need to do at this point in your life that will bring sweat and growth? Remember it doesn’t have to be huge. Baby steps count too. Perhaps posting something here on Write To Be You can be your first attempt at sweating. Does writing make you uncomfortable? Post anonymously. Try it…
Write for ten minutes about something you DON’T want to write about. Face the discomfort. Burn it or tear it up afterwards if you feel the need to.