Why Friction is Good for You


That moment of exhilaration when you experience joy and a spark for life! It can feel effortless and sweet.

When you look deeper though, the truth is that it takes a lot of friction to ignite a spark.

I’ve heard happiness described as the feeling of pulling on a warm sweater when you feel cold, or a drink of cool water on a hot day. The uncomfortable and challenging situation is what allows you to experience the joy and the comfort.

In this context, joy and spark don’t come from staying in your comfort zone. It’s the friction between your fear and your courage, between your resistance and your commitment that ignites your spark.

I recently bought a surf skate board because I want to work on becoming a better SUP surfer. I’ve never stake boarded before so there were a lot of reasons why this wasn’t a good idea!

Speed is not my forte, it never has been so learning to trust myself balancing and carving on a board spinning on concrete is way outside my comfort zone. After my first session of trying I got really down on myself because it felt so hard. What was I thinking?!

But you see, that’s where the friction was. And where there’s friction, there can be a spark.

The next time I went out I started trusting my board and trusting myself. It was still hard, but the feeling of being able to carve some turns and start to feel comfortable – that was joyful! It was exciting and fun and felt satisfying.

At age 46 it would be a lot easier and more comfortable to stick to what I’ve always done and what I know I’m good at, but that doesn’t open up new possibility for joy and spark.

If you want to break free of your stuckness, or the meh feeling of life as usual…

Here are 3 things you can do today that will help you re-ignite your spark

1.Acknowledge and recognize that your resistance and fear are helpful in creating the friction you need for your spark. Don’t push them away or deny them. Get to know them.

2. Also get to know your courage, commitment and yearnings. What are they telling you? Don’t push them away either in service of your fear.

3. Finally, take action! Friction isn’t created by lying around and relaxing 🙂 Friction is created by actively and vigorously rubbing to objects together. It’s not casual. Rub your fear against your courage and take action toward what’s important to you. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Incorporating a healthy habit into your daily routine that you’ve been resisting.  This could be as simple as committing to walking for 20 minutes, adding more plant based foods to your diet, or shutting off screens an hour before bed.
  • Starting a new sport or hobby. Something you’ve been saying you want to take on for a long time, but instead have let your resistance and fear of looking bad or messing up thwart you.
  • Invest in yourself – buy the gear (skis/bike/SUP/kayak),register for the program, take the class, hire the coach. If you’re waiting for the ‘perfect’ time to do something you could end up waiting your whole life. Do you want to live your entire life without spark because the ‘perfect’ time never showed up for you? Consider that your attachment to ‘perfect’ is really your resistance and fear having power over you.

Igniting a spark is exciting, exhilarating and energy producing. It feels that way because of the fear and resistance not despite. Without the discomfort you can’t experience the joy. Stop waiting for life to happen to you and take the steps to get uncomfortable, take on a challenge you’ve always wanted to. It’s time to ignite your spark and break free of life as usual.

Starting January 4th – February 27th I’m leading a group coaching program called Re-Ignite Your Spark: Winter Wellness Circle. Don’t spend your winter in the dark, join a group of awesome folks committed to igniting their spark in the areas of health, mindset and adventure. We’ll break free of life as usual together! Click here to learn more and register.