May 21, 2018
Traver Boehm was the guest on episode 73 of the Uncomfortable is OK podcast. Traver is also an author, speaker, and transformation coach who consult with clients from around the globe, assisting them in vastly improving the quality of their human experience through One Day Stronger, Inc. With a background high level Executive Protection, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and professional athletics, his approaches to using pain and trauma as catalysts for positive change are pretty awesome.
Traver admits that he had it all, the wife, the job (owned a gym), the dog, the life, until all of a sudden it went away. He admits it was not an easy experience to go through, but it was a crucible, it was the most transformative period of his life. He could have continued on the conventional path, or he could follow the path of outlandish adventure. Traver decided on the latter and set about preparing his “year to live” project. You can hear all about that in the podcast episode.
Traver came to this crossroads at this point in his life and made the uncomfortable decision to go against the norm. At times we get convinced to not explore something that we are curious about because it’s outside what we think society expects of us. This doesn’t have to be something completely outside the norm, like starting a podcast or going on a yearlong adventure. It can also be making a career change or other significant change in our day to day life. We perceive that if we change direction now, then all the time and energy we have put into a pursuit or career will have been wasted. This isn’t the case, that time and energy you have put in has got you to the point you are at today, it’s got you to the point where you are ready to make a change. It’s taught you valuable lessons, and likely valuable skills. It’s hard to challenge the story of what we think society expects from us — but is it harder to continue on with something that no longer fulfills us?
Volunteering in a hospice showed Traver the impermanence of life, how death is a natural part of life, but one we push to the peripheries because it’s uncomfortable to think and talk about. I’m guilty of often worrying about the future, or ruminating on the past in a way that I occasionally miss opportunities in the present. We also live in a time where there have never been more distractions for our attention, we’re losing the skills of sitting and being present. This hit home to Traver when he just needed to sit with another human being the day before this man passed away. This simple act of sitting and being there for someone else with no distractions was incredibly powerful.
Everyday life continues to happen. Some of it we plan, some of it we don’t. Some of it we think is good, some of it not so good. Regardless of our perception of what happens we’ve seen more, we’ve done more, and we can take the opportunity to learn more. The lessons that we take from what happens today, can make us stronger in dealing with the challenges that we face tomorrow.
This may have been my favourite quote from the episode. Performing challenging tasks is inherently uncomfortable. It could be asking a difficult question, apologising to someone that you need to say sorry to, or having that awkward conversation. The act of doing these things is inherently uncomfortable, but so is the planning and anticipation of them. That feeling of discomfort is hard to overcome, sometimes it’s easier to try and push it off to one side. We’re never able to push it fully away, to bury it deep enough that it won’t resurface. We keep having flashes of discomfort if we fail to address what needs to be addressed. It’s hard making that call or having that conversation, but once we do it feels like a weight has been lifted from us, we can let go of what we’ve been holding onto and move forward rather than continuing to experience the ongoing discomfort.
Listen to the full episode here.