I stretch. Every morning — well almost — you know how that goes.

Today, I noticed my left leg turning out.

The sly bugger!

It was doing the stretch, but not really.

The real stretch comes from the discomfort. Asking my leg to stay extended and straight so it’s tight muscles can be asked to loosen, become elastic again is a small ask, but a necessary one.

Only by staying in the discomfort, does my calf have a chance to go from being a wooden block to its supple and agile true self. And once that leg is happier and healthier, I’m happier and healthier. Like the old children’s song, “the leg bone is connected to the hip bone, is connected to the…”

The discomfort is the left leg’s ticket to being alive.

I thought about how subtly it was resisting.

If I wasn’t paying attention, I would have missed its quiet protest.

I thought of other ways I might be doing this in my life. It’s not my left leg that is masterful, but a part of me that is adept at choosing short term ease. Like when I use humor in a conversation, which is a good thing, but not when I use it to avoid some of the harder things that need to be said. I do it without realizing.

I guess you could say, I can be susceptible to Left Leg Turn Out even when the left leg isn’t even involved. But by being more aware and turning back to the discomfort I can choose

the bigger,

more delicious,

more lasting gems,

that create my overall wellness and daily happiness.

If we lean into the discomfort and get the stretch we win. Stretching is after all about flexibility and expanding

It doesn’t repeat the same comfortable, familiar patterns that lead to stagnation, and tightness that can actually cause harm if neglected.

Two degrees to the right and my left leg gets what it needs even though it isn’t immediately comfortable. Even if it hurts.

My whole body is grateful. A good stretch’s impact extends beyond its target. I’m imagining the ripple effects if I park the humor and stretch into harder conversations when they come along.

So the real question to ask is:

What do you want to move towards? Short for — What are you looking to experience and create?

And then:

1. Keep a curious eye — that means a non-judgmental one — and notice the sly buggers that have you move away from, not towards, what you want.

2. Say, “Hello there and thanks for caring. I can handle any discomfort.”

3. Sit with the discomfort. Breathe in and out and ask what is the gift that will come from it, for it is your friend.

Let me know how it goes.

If you wish to join my free Thursday GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY CALL at 3:00 pm EST, email me at [email protected].