ADVENTURE: LEAVING YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Adventure, which requires you to leave your comfort zone, may be easy or difficult for you. How do you definite adventure? One of Mirriam Webster’s definitions for adventure is “an exciting or remarkable experience”. Adventure can come in small or grand sizes. It can include newness, experiencing something different, or leaving your comfort zone.
Many people live in their comfort zones with no desire to experience new people, places or things. Life though often and eventually brings change. These changes may include life bigger transitions such as death, illness, loss of job, etc. These experiences force individuals out of their comfort zones.
My recommendation or suggestion is to leave one’s comfort zone willingly in small or even bigger ways. This free choice exercises a muscle-of-sorts – an “I am flexible” muscle.
Think for a minute or two or three. What would be an adventure for you? If you are accustomed to leaving your comfort zone, you may choose larger types of life situations as adventurous. If leaving your safety zone scares you; doing so in small ways may fit the bill.
I recently received a henna tattoo on my forearm. It was a mini-adventure for me and spur of the moment. At a grand opening I was attending, the opportunity existed to get a free henna tattoo. Why not? I had never done so before. The artist and I talked as she drew. We actually had a somewhat deep conversation about life including the topic of tears of gratitude and joy. What started as a simple experience gave me joy on a deeper level.
This week, I have received compliments and comments regarding the henna tattoo. It was fun talking to others. The joy continued in small ways all week.
Ideas of adventures include:
Take a dance or exercise class – especially if that is not your forte!
Travel to an “exotic” country instead of the usual trip to your normal choice
Volunteer or take a temporary, short-term job in an area that is not your expertise
Wear clothes or colors you do not usually choose.
Serve food for the homeless and working poor in your community. Talk with a few of the people you serve. Listen to a person’s story.
Join a protest – be an activist
Camp using a tent for a few nights with no cell phone or electronics
Enjoy a meal at a new local restaurant or eat a food you never even thought of eating!
Attend an ecumenical gathering or a Buddhist temple. Learn about other people’s beliefs.
If you are a talkative extrovert or even if you are not, listen more and talk less for a day. (Do people ask you if you are okay?)
Adventure adds spice to our lives. One’s perspective enlarges. Viewpoints may change or, at least, understanding may form. Empathy may occur for yourself and others.
If you choose to do something different that others notice, see what their reactions are. It is quite interesting to see how people respond when someone does something different or out of the box. How does changing the style of your clothes make you feel? Do you feel different on the inside also?
During the experience of leaving your comfort zone, be aware of your reaction in the moment. Are you feeling excitement? Anxiety? Joy? What thoughts are in your head? The thoughts may be similar to these:
Wow, I’m actually doing this.
Oh, no what am I doing?
Why did I choose this?
After the adventure, what are your thoughts? How do you feel?
Was it hard for you to exit your comfort zone? Did you want to remain in it or return to it quickly?
Did the experience incite in you a yearning for further adventure?
Just be aware. No judgment. Life is meant to be lived – truly lived and experienced!
Whether you like your comfort zone or yearn for adventure, notice and be present for whatever choices you make.