Word of the Day: “Growth”

©Kelly Fitzgerald. Jungle Trees, Maui


  1. The process of increasing in physical size.
  2. The process of developing or maturing physically, mentally, or spiritually.
Synonyms: cultivation – evolution – improvement – unfolding

I find “growth” is often an uncomfortable expedition in life.  A safari into the jungles of the unknown, where anxiety and worry growls behind canopies of accumulated doubts and fears.  I have run from it, tried to hide from it, avoid it, denied it, but it wasn’t until I just stopped and acknowledged it that it become easier to let go and just go with the flow.  Fortified in acceptance and courage, I have come to trust that the uneasiness of growing pains leads me to a discovery of greater awareness:  mentally, physically and spiritually.   Change and growth leads me to uncover layers of my existence.   Growth cultivates living.  Without it, what remains?

Below is a terrific article that so wonderfully illustrates how growth is necessary to take us to the next level; nothing that lives can stay the same. Life is all about growth and change.

Striving for ‘Sweet Discomfort’

Not pain, but not where you’re used to being.

Published on January 10, 2011 by Dara Chadwick

Recently, I took a three-hour yoga workshop in the afternoon — that’s right: three hours — and the instructor introduced an interesting concept. There’s a difference, she said, between pain and what she called “sweet discomfort.”

Sweet discomfort. I love that image.

Sweet discomfort, she said, is the point at which you’re aware that you’re stretching beyond your capabilities. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s not where you’re used to being.

Sweet discomfort is something I’ve experienced many times, but because I fear it will lead to real pain, I sometimes turn back. The result?

No growth. No increased flexibility. No moving to the next level.

I certainly experienced sweet discomfort when I was learning to eat a healthier diet and to challenge my body with exercise. There are body image moments of sweet discomfort, too. Maybe it’s wearing a form-fitting dress after years of hiding. Or walking down the beach in a new swimsuit. Or looking — really looking — in the mirror.

None of these things cause pain. But they can sometimes cause that uncomfortable feeling.

Experiencing the “sweet discomfort” — and knowing that a new way of being or of looking at ourselves exists on the other side — is something to strive for. Whenever I have that “I want to turn back” feeling, I’ll forever stop to ask myself: Is what I’m feeling pain?

Or simply sweet discomfort?

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