Yesterday I walked into the kitchen to prep my daily green smoothie. I suddenly remembered – facepalm – I was out of power greens and celery. Hmmm. I’m not easily dissuaded, so I shook down the fridge and found baby arugula and romaine lettuce (surprisingly, romaine lettuce is a solid source of protein).
I packed my Vitamix full of these optional greens, blueberries, a chunk of fresh ginger, chia seeds, maca powder, avocado, organic protein powder and pure water. It was disgusting. And I guzzled every drop to get it down the hatch quick. Why? Because the goal wasn’t pleasure, but nourishment.
Mark Hyman, MD, director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine says, “Food is the most powerful drug on the planet. It can improve the expression of thousands of genes, balance dozens of hormones, optimize tens of thousands of protein networks, reduce inflammation, and optimize your microbiome (gut flora) with every single bite. It can cure most chronic diseases; it works faster, better, and cheaper than any drug ever discovered; and the only side effects are good ones – prevention, reversal, and even treatment of disease, not to mention vibrant optimal health.”
I’m determined to do everything in my power to maintain optimum health and that means enduring some discomfort on a daily basis, whether that be a nasty green sludge smoothie, a power walk including steep inclines, or an early bedtime to get plenty of sleep. (Click here for a quick read on feeding your kids for best outcomes.)
It occurred to me that much of my life has been spent living intentionally in my discomfort zone, from which I’ve reaped many priceless benefits.
Anything you want outside of normal is likely going to be produced in the discomfort zone – that awkward, uncomfortable, at times miserable, redundant, tedious, costly, trying, testing, lonely, d..r..y place.
The place average achievers intentionally avoid.
It’s really the only place to be often if you want to initiate real living, bring about true change in your life and family, and have an impact in the world. All that accomplishment doesn’t take place binge-watching Netflix with a bag of chips and soda every night, yet stats tell us the average person spends 3-8 hours on the internet daily.
When I got married 6 months out of high school to a self-confident Italian 11 years my senior, I was walking the razor edge of heresy according to some. Was I ready for marriage? Is anyone ready for marriage?! Because, let’s be honest, strong marriages that last are not built in you and your partner’s comfort zones. Can I get an ‘amen’?! 38 years later, I’m so glad we determined to push through all the uncomfortable days. (You can read more about that HERE.)
Motherhood and Home Education
When I found the joy of motherhood and continued having babies, one after another to the dismay of some vocal family members – you guessed it, discomfort zone. Then when I decided to homeschool them all with no formal training, well, let’s just say it was unfamiliar territory I had to learn to navigate on a daily basis, despite the jeers in my ears. Life found us pioneering, blazing trails; trudging along bumpy and lonely roads at times over the years, but one step always led to the next, even when it seemed like we’d hit the wall. 33 years later, the outcomes were worth any discomfort. (Read HERE for a glimpse…)
Your New Normal: the discomfort zone
If you’ve got your sights set on building a strong marriage, raising great kids, growing healthy bodies, serving your fellowman, increasing your intelligence, achieving the dreams in your heart, and conquering life’s mountains along the way – just remember the motto of the U.S. Navy SEALs, “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday,” and gird up for extended periods in the discomfort zone.
Your Two-Minute Takeaway
- List the top 10 accomplishments you see as paramount in your life. Ponder how much time and energy and emotion was spent in your discomfort zone that bore such fruit. How can you apply this same determination in your marriage, child rearing and physical health? Make a plan!
- The average person looks at their smartphone at least 100 times a day where they find delicious, comfortable, indulgent, audio and visual delights every millisecond to anesthetize them briefly and distract them from real life and real relationships. Refuse to use your phone for anything more than an absolutely necessary call or text for the first two hours of your day for a week and jot down the affects of your mini-fast.
- Embrace the effects of your discomfort zone-you aren’t failing, weak or going backwards. Reframe the thoughts and emotions that feel so heavy and dark – turning them into a buoyant victory march toward the finish line of success. Be the badass you know you ARE deep down inside.
Thank you for reading, I’m truly honored. If you’d like to read more, subscribe for my updates and grab my TRANSFORMATIVE spring freebie, 7 Steps to Cure an Unhappy Kid and Revolutionize Your Home Life by clicking HERE.