Friday, June 22, 2012

In the Zone

We interrupt this regularly scheduled chakra informational programming to bring you musings of a different sort.  Now that I'm a new age hippie type I notice when things seem to take on a theme in my day to day life and this topic is one that keeps coming up.  I feel compelled to wax advice-y. 

It's about your so-called comfort zone.  You need to get out more.  By "you" I mean everyone.  From the truly agoraphobic to the world traveler who can catch a quick nap in nearly any environment, everybody.  It is within the realm of the familiar that we languish.  Inside our comfort zones we allow our growth to be stunted, we remain in unrewarding jobs and relationships, we pass on opportunities, we feed our gremlins (they are the critters that live in your brain and thrive on complacency, whining, 'yeah but's and fear of any type).  The comfort zone, like so much legislation, is facetiously named.   If you take a look around your own comfort zone and cannot come up with at least 3 things in it that are decidedly uncomfortable to you, you are most likely in a coma. 

The Cliffs of Insanity!
I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, along the river by the same name (holla, home!).  Summers were spent swimming in the river and all the various creeks and brooks and mud puddles it fed.  On Stony Creek (which was, indeed, stony) there was a rock cliff beside a swimming hole, maybe 12 or 15 feet high, if that, though to 5'3" me it seemed miles high.   It was common practice to climb to the top of the cliff and jump into the water below.  The first time I swam there, I stood at the top of the cliff for what felt like years, talking myself into jumping.  Other, less cautious, kids were doing it over and over and not one of them had incurred an injury.  Yet, it seemed batshit crazy to just jump off a cliff.  I stood, peering over the edge, my feet firmly rooted.  Finally, my friends shamed me into it (bless them).  I jumped.  I splashed into the cool water below, sank to the bottom, and shot back up like a buoy, exhilarated.  Then I did it twenty-seven more times (at least) because if was so much fun.  This friends, is my metaphor for life outside your comfort zone.  Too many of us are lingering at the edge, watching others play, seeing them enjoying themselves, but thinking certainly we could not enjoy that.  So, we aren't having any fun.  The longer we terry there, the more the gremlins convince us we belong there, that taking that leap would be the death of us.  That is because your gremlins cannot swim.  Now is your chance to drown them!

There is very little fun to be had in the comfort zone, even the things that truly do provide comfort - love of friends and family, home, security, familiar stuff - are at risk when we refuse to grow and change.  I am begging you to venture out, even just a little.  Once you get started, it's hard to stop, and, from well outside my own comfort zone I promise you, there's nothing better than that. 

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