LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF OUR COMFORT ZONE
I have placed it on my kitchen counter as a reminder to notice when I am choosing “comfort” over the risk of doing the next right thing even when I don’t want to.
It’s so easy to do what is comfortable, even when it’s the very thing that keeps us stuck in the old ways of suffering.
For instance, it is easy for me fall into blame. It’s actually comfortable because it’s so familiar. If I don’t blame others then I blame myself. It keeps me out of the unknown, the unfamiliar. Blame is a template that I can put on any situation that I don’t like.
Or worry. Worry is also very familiar. It’s like second nature. It makes me think I’m doing something, which I am, but not in a positive. The root word for worry, means: to strangle.
Since I don’t want to strangle those about whom I worry, I need to be very aware when the emotion of worry and fear arise. I need to meet them, to engage these destructive thought systems, rather than just stay in my comfort zone.
As I investigate the emotion of “worry,” I become aware that I am not trusting the universal energy, in which I live and move and have my being, to bring forth that which is good and totally appropriate for each moment. The universe is organic. That means it’s GOOD for us! We can breathe it in and revel in whatever state it’s in. It is healing energy, not toxic.
If either worry, hurry or blame are flowing through my mind, the best thing I can do is be aware, notice them, and let them flow. Breathe them out.
They are impermanent---unless I get attached to them. But if I get into the stories that worry and fear are connected to and repeat these stories, the suffering continues.
On the other hand, when I allow myself to feel, by deeply experiencing, whatever emotions are arising, I find they pass. Studies have shown that emotions only last about 30 seconds. Thus I can choose to sit with them and watch them flow. It isn’t forever, though it might seem that way.
But it’s uncomfortable to sit and experience emotions without getting caught up in their content! It takes trust.
It’s more comfortable, easier, to get involved with the content of the story that these emotions are attached to.
This is the time to take a risk. Do something uncomfortable.
An example of risking is to explore my motivation for thinking my current thought. Is this fear-based?
What am I believing? Really believing.
Going within and beyond surface motivations takes courage and a commitment to live freely, to know there are options.
I continue to remember that I am only stuck when I take the easy path—the old, the familiar.
And the way out is in and through.
I remind myself again and again that I’m creating my experience by my view—how I see things.
And I can change my outlook, my view any moment. It means taking a new step in a different direction. This is an option.
Fear, worry, and any manner of hurt feelings tell me there is a little child that is frightened. I need to just sit with her, hold her and comfort her.
As I sit in the quiet of the not-knowing, new ideas come. Out of this comes a thread to follow. I don’t know where it will take me. But I trust it. And I do my best to act on it, for it is the next right thing.
Out of the darkness comes the light. Can I wait?
The darkness flows into the light, and the light recedes and becomes dark again.
Universal energy knows how to evolve; how to become.
And in every moment there is always enough!
“Enough is a verb. Not a noun, as Wayne Muller says in his book. A LIFE OF BEING, HAVING AND DOING ENOUGH.
Enough is not a quantified amount. Enough is a description of the flow of energy that continually breathes us. As we pay steadfast attention to this energy, and trust it, we find there is always enough.
We don’t have to know the way, simply sit in the darkness until the light comes—and follow.