The other day, I saw a cute drawing of two circles – in one of them it said “Comfort zone”, and in the other “Where magic happens”. In which circle would you prefer to be? Maybe in both!😄
I am more and more into getting out of my comfort zone, both in my yoga practice, and also in what I do in a normal day. Well, I won’t exaggerate, I do not do new things every single day. I do however believe I will benefit from moving out of what I feel is safe all the time, by exposing myself to new situations. I know that also means less control and more opportunity to fail!
Above is a picture of me in crow pose, a posture I used to be pretty comfortable in 15 years ago, and that I have just started practising again. I will admit to you, I feel a bit brave leaning forward over my feet, my hands stuck on the mat, trying to find my balance as I am lifting my feet off the mat. But how exciting it feels too, how fun I am having with it! This is how I view going out of my comfort zone on the mat. Off the mat, I now consciously say yes to going into situations where I haven’t been before. I probably make a fool of myself some of the times, but how bad is that – if I don’t try I won’t know how it feels, and I won’t know if I can do it. This has to do with situations such as meeting up with people I don’t know, saying yes to talking about my yoga business in front of people when I feel my heart beating faster (and I “should” be sooo calm with all my meditation and yoga practice), and so on.
Perhaps you have been invited into situations where you were tempted to go, and then your thinking mind stepped in and stopped you from proceeding with thoughts such as “this is not for me”, “I don’t do those things”, etc.?
I hereby invite you to challenge yourself! No need to go too far, maybe even starting with a yoga pose where you feel you have to be a bit brave? This is also what is suggested in mindfulness meditation. While meditating, you can reach a point in your practice where you decide to go into a difficult thought on purpose and stay there (instead of letting the thought come and go), opening to how this challenging thought shows up as a sensation in your body, and then staying curious as you check out the sensation. This is not easy to do, and that’s normal – you don’t know what you will discover! As it is a sensation present within you, why not go there – it could teach you something about yourself. No judgment needed, we all get all kinds of thoughts, good and bad, and they appear as sensations in the body if we just let our awareness go there.
What happens on the yoga mat or meditation cushion can be transferred to your daily life. Perhaps starting with a sense of both curiosity and “out of comfort zone” during your practice, and from there… bring it into how you live your life. I view it as having fun with life, it is here to be enjoyed.