Friday, July 11, 2014
Living Outside the Zone
For a very long time, I sailed through my life in comfort. Not financial or even true physical comfort, but that which comes of keeping things easy. No challenges, no goals. I had a husband and we kept having babies and I let those things envelope me in the security of sameness. I was happy on my ship called Comfort Zone. Or so I thought.
Then a few years ago, something happened. I took a tentative step, then another, until I'd walked the plank and faced the ocean below me. An ocean with tides and waves and shark-infested waters that would require me to swim, and work, and try. I stepped off the edge and plunged.
I began to write.
I wrote a book, began another. Then, I started my blog. I wrote. Not everyday, but enough. The gift buried deep inside me began to flower and bloom.
And, I met people. Other writers who inspired me with their talent and encouraged me with kindness and love.
I wrote. I blogged. I contacted complete strangers for help. I joined groups and let others read and critique my work. I tried. I failed. I tried again.
And, I began to grow.
Looking back, I realize how small and constrictive my comfort zone was. Like living in a box. Living outside it is hard. It's scary. Sometimes, it hurts.
But, it also feels good.
Living in the 'same old' seems easy. Status quo. Don't rock the boat, don't make waves. But, it is in the attempts to keep things the same that we get stuck. Constricted and boxed in, we tell ourselves that we're comfortable. We like where we are. But, the truth is, it's an illusion.
We are living, growing beings. Like children whose bodies are always changing and developing, our spirits and minds do the same. We weren't meant to stagnate. Challenges and efforts move us forward. Developing talents, learning new things, opening our minds, facing our fears--these all bring us closer to the beings we are meant to be.
Right now, I'm preparing for another step outside my comfort zone. It is big, it is frightening, it is filled with amazing possibilities. It could change the course of my career. Or it might not. But, the simple act of trying, surely, will change my life.
What can you do to step outside your zone? Take a class, read a book, write a poem. Try something today to stretch your spirit. You might succeed, you might not. But, your soul will grow and you won't be sorry.