Yesterday, after the maiden voyage of a movement class I’m offering, one of the attendees approached me and confided how glad she was that she had trounced her fears and come to class. It had been “out of her comfort zone” (her words) and as such, had required extra chutzpah to get to class.
Ah, yes. That old comfort zone. So cosy, so familiar, so mesmerizing. And at times disempowering and stultifying.
She recounted to me the story many of us know so well: that when she was younger, she set out on new adventures on the regular. Unfamiliarity? Uncertainty? Bring it.
But then we live a little, take on other responsibilities, while our bodies withstand injury, aging, illness and we get worn down. Suddenly, we don’t pounce on the new-to-us forays.
Somewhere along the way, the intimidation of the unfamiliar overwhelms us and we’re cemented in our so-called comfort zones.
For some of us, daring to get out of those comfort zones was rarely, if ever, in the cards. Either way, as time goes on, the various forms of gravity, of stasis, demand more and more courage to transcend them.
But we’ve got to do so! For if we stay stuck, er, stationary within the familiar we will never know what life is made of. Nor what we’re made of.
As my new friend noted, she wasn’t sure whether she could handle what we were doing, but she realized she’d never know if she didn’t come. Ye olde comfort zone would have kept her from discovery.
Through her venturing forth, and yes, triumphing, she learned what the class entailed and that she could handle it. And as it turned out, the class provided precisely the release and energizing she needed to de-stress from some recent, significant challenges. Ta-da!
So, I’m heeding this angel who showed up in my life. Reminding myself to keep exploring on unfamiliar seas, to keep fueling my courage so I can give this life as much of a go as possible. Will I fail sometimes? Absolutely.
But at least I will be on the path of expanding and not shrinking. What about you?
“Courage: strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty”
“…I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time….” Dr. Brené Brown
Photo credits: Middle and bottom–Nikki Carrara