Step out of your comfort zone – Make the effort to take the journey
While living in Chiang Mai, Thailand as a ‘yogi farang’, I had the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone in New Jersey and experience a very different culture and way of life. Along this journey, I’ve made some meaningful new friendships and deepened a few that began during last year’s trip.
When we move beyond our comfort zone, we find at first that it’s unfamiliar and even a bit scary. But soon the discomfort becomes easeful and there is an expansion that perhaps we never thought was possible.
We all have yoga poses that are so familiar to us that when we practice them we feel like we are in a conversation with an old friend. Sometimes we get reluctant to go farther in a pose, a deeper variation, or try something we’ve never done because we feel safe and secure right where we are. Off the mat, we may not reach out to make new friends and engage socially because we feel content with the friends we have. Both our mind and bodies tend to latch on to what’s familiar and we can get stuck; reluctant to stretch, twist or reach in new directions.
If we recognize this and make the effort to explore with a receptive heart, we can find new life experiences in faraway places. When we see that the unease of moving beyond our comfort zone is temporary, we can go further and open ourselves up to the freshness of new people, cultures and ways of living.
This is what my time in Chiang Mai has gifted me this year; connections with wonderful new people, and a few new friendships that are truly special.
If we approach our mat with the same awareness, we can find new ways of expressing ourselves in our asana that we once thought were out of our reach, too exotic or too far away for us to experience. Anything is possible. Take the journey…