Who said you had to like it?


As I’ve mentioned (so many times), I live in NYC where it gets humid in the summer. I’m a West Coast girl so it can be 70 degrees out and, if it’s humid, I’m sweating. I don’t like it—being sweaty and sticky.

I’ve also mentioned that I take a yoga class (see my post about doing a headstand), the space is poorly air-conditioned so when it’s 90° and humid it would be so easy to skip it.

When we do down dog my hot, sticky, sweaty hands slip forward on the mat, when we hinge and fold forward the sweat drips off me onto my mat, and there are puddles on the floor in front of some of the more profuse sweaters (men).

It took me a long time to want to go to yoga even on a cool day, but now I hate to miss a (hot, sticky, sweaty) class. What? How could that happen? It helps that I love my teacher, but I can’t give him all the credit.

Here’s the deal, I realized that I don’t have to like it in the moment to like what it does for me. I had this misguided notion that I should like the feeling of my arms and legs shaking, about to buckle, or that I should want to hold a bind until my sweaty fingers lose their hold of each other. Getting through the stuff that sucks in order to get to what’s good makes putting in the effort easier, dare I say, desirable. It’s not the work in the moment that I look forward to, it’s the results that come from putting in the effort.

I get a momentary relief if I decide not to go yoga and sweat for 75 minutes, but it comes at the cost of creating results.

Here are some of the ways we give in to momentary relief:

  • Making excuses for not exercising, I’m too busy; I’ll just skip today it won’t matter; I can’t afford a gym; it’s too hot and sticky out!!
  • Deciding not to go to an event because you won’t know anyone and it terrifies you to put yourself out there.
  • Buying one more purse, or pair of shoes, instead of putting some $ in savings
  • Blaming the situation, or process, instead of looking inward
  • Talking yourself out of meditating
  • Giving in to just 1 more glass of wine, or 2 more bites
  • Giving up on a goal
  • Choosing old thinking to deal with the same problem
  • Not listening to the part of you that wants more

We do it because it’s the easy, go-to response—it’s the first thought that’s comes up. It takes extra effort to quiet that impulse and listen to the part of you that wants more.

You’re not alone in this, maybe it’s a result of a culture that’s become less about community and (real) connection that so many of us seek relief and pleasure wherever we can find it. Relief from looming bills, loneliness, stress, overwork, underwork, loss, anger, and the idea that everyone else has what you want and don’t know how to get.

Momentary relief is a thief, it robs us of the opportunity to create more for ourselves in our lives.

Don’t give in to it. When you put in the extra effort to deal with the discomfort of challenging yourself, the benefits go beyond the specific challenge. When you push yourself and follow through you’re building confidence in yourself that you will show up for you. You’re telling yourself you are worth the effort.

So, when you don’t like it in the moment, keep your eye on the prize: YOU.

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