Going Beyond Our Comfort Zone

For many, one of our primary goals in life is to find stability and to settle down with the ones we love. In doing so, we establish a firm foundation from which we create our routines, build tradition, and determine our comfort zone. These foundations are important to help us remember who we are, our values, and to gain an overall sense of belonging.

Once we establish this important foundation, it can become easy to create a routine that begins to feel limited and constraining. Our loved ones expect us home at a certain time, or we are expected to provide certain comforts with regularity - cooking dinner, grocery shopping, cleaning bathrooms. While all of these tasks are important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and supporting our firm foundations, we may begin to crave flexibility around these tasks to find time for ourselves.

We have all been there: a friend asks us to dinner or to join a yoga class on a Tuesday evening and our minds immediately begin to process the list of tasks we are accustomed to fulfilling on a week night. We start to make excuses to stay within our comfort zones, to keep the routine, to meet our expectations. But, what if these are only perceived constraints? What if we could free ourselves for just one night during the week to join a friend for a relaxing dinner or a meditative yoga class? What new experiences might we gain that could help us think more creatively about our own lives?

Spending time and talking with a friend can help create space for new ideas, support, and connections. Ordering a new dish at a restaurant can help us think about new recipes to nurture our family. Trying a new yoga pose can help us discover new physical and mental capabilities - flexibility, strength, focus - which can translate into more mindfulness about our and our family's wellness. Quickly, we will start to feel the benefits of going beyond our comfort zone and may inspire those around us to explore their own.

This does not require a grand gesture or commitment. We need not bungee jump off a bridge or hang-glide off a cliff. We need not abandon our firm foundations for another world with which we are not familiar. We can simply embrace new opportunities as they present themselves, or we can seek out these opportunities in our community: a new restaurant opening, a farmer's market, a weekly yoga class.

As we start to explore these new horizons, testing our comfort zones, we also learn new things about ourselves and our capabilities. Our inner creativity, which may not always have an opportunity to present itself in our daily lives, begins to grow - maybe into something more important than we ever realized. Maybe we uncover the hidden awesomeness of our true selves and, in doing so, serve those around us by creating space for everyone to live, laugh, and love in ways we never thought of before.