If you explore the realm of personal development you’ve probably heard the saying, “there’s no growth in the comfort zone and there’s no comfort in the growth zone.” This implies that if you pursue spiritual evolution (that’s what growth IS!) you may experience a state of constant discomfort. In the Week 20 webcast, The Fab Davene presents the idea in a way I hadn’t really heard before. She suggested that we can gently nudge our comfort zone wider and wider without taking some extreme action. By consistently doing this we create a habit, that creates a lifestyle, of constant growth. In a yoga asana practice you learn that enduring a little discomfort in a posture (and in life) can lead to the training of a steady mind and a strong, flexible body; we learn to stretch our edges gently, without forcing, with patience. The principles of my yoga practice is mirrored in the MKE. The intersection of these two perspectives deepens the understanding and experience of this concept at work in my life.
I have really made a point for the last five years to listen to my heart’s call and heed my intuition. This has led me on many adventures, but more importantly has stretched the edges of my comfort zone consistently, one adventure at a time, one day at a time. It has challenged me to live life at the Edge of my comfort Zone. MKE has stretched my comfort zone in new and different ways too. This way of living gives you a completely new sense of being humbled by gratitude. Mundane moments become magical, as you see every minute as an opportunity to stretch toward a more expansive version of yourself. I had one of these moments this week.
I had to make a phone call to a utility service in Kentucky, regarding my Dad’s Estate. There were several issues with locating the account at all: my father’s last name was spelled wrong, there was no account number listed on the notice, and the address they had on file for me was my old address in Alaska. On top of that, the customer service number on the notice was wrong, and in the end we found that the account had already been transferred to my step-mom anyway. I approached the middle-aged black lady on the other end of the line, with her rich, velvety voice, like she was my best friend. I appreciated her patient and friendly manner, and she had a great sense of humor. We spoke candidly within a few minutes. We waded through the scavenger hunt of this notice for probably 15 minutes and were laughing and carrying on before it was over. She reflected back to me the greatest affirmation of why I live at the edge.
This angel of customer service blessed me with the recognition of living this expansive life. She said she was amazed at my courage to travel and move to new places. She admitted that she just couldn’t endure the discomfort of getting on the airplane; she was afraid of flying, but maybe she was also just afraid to leave the small bubble of life she had always been in. I encouraged her to explore beyond her norm. “All it takes is practice,” I said. She treated me with reverence, and accepted her fate. She took responsibility for it. My heart broke open, feeling that reflection of inspiration. Just by living my life and sharing my story, I was able to inspire her. Maybe someday she would stretch the edges of her “zone” because she remembered our exchange? Maybe it would remind her to stretch to her higher potential? I was reminded of the many exchanges previously in my life which elicited those same feelings of validation, as someone would message me, saying that they lived vicariously through me or were inspired by my story. I felt so Right in my heart. I was in the depths of humble gratitude.
Sometimes living at the Edge is uncomfortable; you are constantly flirting with the unknown…and that takes a certain level of attention…and intention. It’s harder work than living in that sense of comfort and security. But with constant practice you get good at it. And it all feels worth it when someone witnesses you and you see/hear/feel a spark light in their eyes/mind/heart. Inspiring others to live their dreams by living my own, as messy as it sometimes seems, is really the best life plan I can think of. I feel really good in my skin. I am in my Dharma, I am in my flow, I am enlightened, as in, my Spark is lit! I’m excited about life and I want to inspire others to feel that too! So I’ll keep practicing, I’ll keep stretching to my edges, and shining a little light into my next unknown. You should try it too. 😉