So what happens after we hold our breath and cross that threshold??? The "Practice of Being Uncomfortable" begins... 

As I wrote in my June Newsletter, I want to to take a look at the "Practices of Pilgrimage," as outlined in Christine Valter Painter's, The Soul of a Pilgrim. These include:

1. The Practice of Hearing the Call and Responding.
2. The Practice of Packing Lightly.
3. The Practice of Crossing the Threshold.
4. The Practice of Making the Way by Walking.
5. The Practice of Being Uncomfortable.
6. The Practice of Beginning Again.
7. The Practice of Embracing the Unknown.
8. The Practice of Coming Home.


This is probably the area I have the most feelings about. It's the place I know so well and yet hate being in. But I also know that it is where growth occurs and I am grateful for it. It's a complicated thing!

When I am in the between spaces, I can almost feel every molecule in my body wanting to jump out of my skin...wanting to get to the place where things no longer feel uncomfortable. It's a frustration and an impatience to get to the next place where everything makes sense again. This is (seemingly) a place of stagnation, and most definitely a time of frustration.

When I was walking in Scotland, I came across some stinging nettles (or what I thought were stinging nettles). In order to find out I, of course, touched one. They were. It got me thinking about the benefits of the plant...how picking them bare handed can help improve stiffness in the joints, etc...which got me to thinking about all the ways we inflict pain or some kind of suffering on ourselves in order to create healing (acupuncture, deep tissue massage, painful relationship stuff). We create discomfort in the hope of finding comfort.

When I think about my life as a soul journey, all I can see is how I lived in the darkness for years until a light was switched on. And, in turn...the switching on of that light illuminated all the things that I needed to change in order to grow into the person I wanted to be. Any time that light is turned on, will hurt the eyes and make us want to crawl back into the dark a bit. The growth process comes with growing pains for sure and it is NOT my favorite place to be. I literally will feel uncomfortable in my own skin for a time.

All of the steps before have lead to this...the unknowing, and worrying about the "hows. All we want to do is leap past it to where things feel good again. Yet all we need to do is have faith in where we will land.