Stepping out of your comfort zone

Motivation Towards Positiveness:

Stepping out of your comfort zoneEveryone of us has a comfort zone. We have our routine, habitual patterns and the predictable run-down of what is going to happen in our daily lives.  We feel secure and have absolute control over what we do, what we eat, where we go, what we say, etc.  For some of us, we don’t even have to think too much because we naturally go on auto-pilot, thereby allowing us to feel totally at ease. The sense of comfort and ease with time becomes inertia.

Stepping out of the routine and trying something new seems to be terribly daunting that we start to doubt ourselves – ‘I am not sure it will work’; ‘I don’t think I will be able to do this’; ‘It’s just not me’; ‘I’m too old to try anyway’, ‘it’s too risky’, etc.  For a moment, we become a persuasive antagonist in the debate of do’s and don’ts.  Not only that we give apparently ‘justifiable’ reasons for not reaching out to this wonderland, our fear of the unpredictable and perhaps life changes also grows.

When all these counter-productive chatters are bouncing against each other, the courage and drive subside.  The taste of falling and coming back up, of making extra 1% effort, of defeating the demon of fear, and even the taste of crossing the finishing line is almost too good to miss.  When I first learnt grabbing my ankles from dropping back into full Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose), the emotions were searingly intense. It is indeed a very challenging pose and it requires very open spine, open shoulders and needless to say, a steady mind. (Practitioners start to approach this pose only when they can stay in a full wheel pose and that their hands can walk in closer towards the feet).

Even though I am still working towards grabbing the ankles, I try everyday anyway. It was hard at first, especially when I could not keep the integrity of my entire spine and hence the feeling of losing the pose altogether.  Knowing that the process of achieving the goal can be as long as a lifetime, it is the quality of exploring the fear, letting go the expectations and the hope for personal growth that keep me on the mat everyday.  In this similar context of fear and subsequent growth, Ana Forrest, the founder of Forrest Yoga and an internationally renowned yoga instructor, explained in her book Fierce Medicine the nature of fear and how we can break through from our practice.  You need to be ‘brave-hearted’ – part of the recipe of positive changes and holistic healing.

If you can acknowledge the hesitation of taking a new action and be able to come to terms with the uncertainty and fear, you are ready for a new horizon of experience.  Daring to do something completely alien to you takes tremendous courage and an open heart to receive.  What we receive may not be something expected. That is why it is an adventure.where new experiences turn into happiness and positive changes.   In the Bhagavad Gita, the great Indian Vedic text about an in-depth conversation between Lord Krishna and Prince Arjuna, we learn about the yoga of action – To engage in an action with pure devotion, to renounce attachment and fruits of action; and to free oneself by righteous and selfless acts.  Beholding these attitudes, new situations beyond regularity will be wondrous and tasteful.

Every new action brings multiple directions and new solutions to life.  Sometimes dullness happens because the road we always walk on turns into a cul-de-sac. In turn our life falls into a vicious cycle and attracts negative forces that contaminate the mind.  We lack motives, enthusiasm and self-determination.   When the mind is bored, it creates wasteful thoughts.  When the mind is busy steering life into various directions, it leaves us no time for meaningless excuses. The brave idea of doing something different at first may still be at the back of our mind, but sooner or later when we learn to let go of the unnecessary reasoning, words will become actions. It is an equation of trust, courage, patience and perseverance. Master Oogway (the Tortoise) in the animation film Kunfu Panda says, ‘you just need to believe’ when he and Shifu (Kungfu teacher of Panda) discuss about trying to defeat monster Tai Lung.  One of the deterrents in trying is the lack of trust in our ability to break through from our habitual thoughts, conditioning and preconceptions.  We find freedom in our yoga practice in that the practice itself is a new experience everyday.

Author:  Dorothy Watts. (can be contacted at: strad_loh@hotmail.com ), visit Yogawith to find our more on this

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