Comfort is overrated.
It might be comfortable but it also quickly becomes stale. When we keep doing what we’ve always done, we get what we’ve always got. It’s time to seize the day. Variety is said to be the spice of life.
Living in routine, our minds go on autopilot and we fail to notice so much of what’s really happening. It’s like falling asleep at the wheel of our own lives.
There’s so much we can do without ever having to think. And, maybe that’s the problem. We get pulled mindlessly through the day and then wonder what’s happened and where life has gone. It’s like life living us, rather than us living our lives.
We’ve all driven our usual travel routes, arriving at our destination without noticing anything of our journey. We get lost in thought, like a robot, oblivious to the details through which you’ve passed. This is no way to live.
As one of my teachers, Dean Regnier, cautioned, “Beware the fur-lined rut.” The fur-lined rut is the narrow, yet comfortable space many of us live our lives in. This is where we fall asleep to the wonder, the joy and excitement of life.
Our brains go off-line when we abide within our comfort-zones, and it’s like sleep-walking through life. We’re missing the richness of new experiences as our brains go off-line. Life is meant to be lived, not slept through.
I wonder if the rejuvenation from vacation comes because we are out of our routines, open and available to whatever arises. New experiences heighten our awareness and offer us a juicier experience of life. Even small changes add up.
We can get comfortable with our discomfort. Many prefer to be comfortably unhappy than to risk the discomfort change might bring, preferring complaint over change. Trying new things can be scary. When I’m trying something new, I get butterflies in my tummy but I also get a sense of heightened energy and awareness. I used to let this feeling stop me, but not anymore.
The feelings of fear and excitement are similar to one another. What’s different is the meaning our minds attach to the feeling. Those butterflies can stop me—“stop, danger, danger!”—or they can signal new and exciting possibility.
There are several acronyms for fear. One is “Forget Everything and Run.” This was my old pattern in life. I could find all sorts of reasons to let the fear rule, but life was limited. Each day seemed to be a carbon-copy of previous days. Boring.
Then I moved to a different meaning of fear, “False Evidence Appearing Real.” This helped me to question what was happening, realizing things are not always as they appear, and I became curious.
Now, my favourite acronym for fear is “Face Everything and Rise.”
I feel the butterflies inside, I take a breath and know life begins at the edge of my comfort zone. It is good for my brain as I grow new neuro-pathways, and my physical health benefits. My life has become juicy.
Comfort is overrated. New possibility exists within discomfort. We feel more alive and engaged.
I’ve not been comfortable in years, and find joy in testing my limits, finding new abilities and opportunities I’d never have dreamed of in my old life. Next month I’m fulfilling a long-held desire to parachute out of a plane.
Next time something new comes along, and the butterflies take flight in your belly, seeing them as a signal of excitement can help us know new opportunity is coming. Step out of the rut, into life.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.