Dictionary result for comfort zone
- a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress.”times when we must act beyond our comfort zones”
I am pretty confident that if you’re like me you tend to snuggle back into your nice cozy blanket in that worn down spot on your couch when times get confusing. My zodiac sign is a Cancer and let me confirm for the doubter out there of astrological beliefs, that shit is real! I am a Cancer through and through and that damn shell finds me every time, no matter how many times I think I’ve lost that thing. You see… for me, when things get sticky or uncomfortable or seem out of whack, or maybe even in times that my self-identity is blurred or lost, I find solace and day to day existence or living by remaining in my comfort zone. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being comfortable and at peace. That is a good thing and maybe even a great indicator of your position in your current stage of life. What I am talking about is more like a game of hide-n-seek that my 3 year old loves to play. “Count to 3 – 10 mommy and come find me.” (as he is literally hiding in plain sight and you have to play that counting game and walk around the house pretending you can’t find him.) Although hide-n-seek is an awesome game that teaches a child some versions of decision making, creativity, faith that you will find them and they won’t remain somewhere alone forever, and fun… it can become a bit less beneficial if you’re playing it with yourself and hiding from your opportunities of growth, even if it is through uncomfortable times or situations.
Recently I realized that through some pretty “sticky” and less awesome times in life, I was hanging out in my comfort zone. Now, let me explain why this wasn’t the best place for me to be. My comfort zone at this stage consisted of my home, my couch, my kids, my son’s lacrosse games and avoiding anything that might make me uncomfortable. Since having my baby girl in July, my world sort of turned upside down and felt like a yo-yo going up and down and sometimes hanging there by a thread that was twisted, knotted up, and even stuck. On one hand I was in complete bliss as a new mom all over again with truly the most amazing little snuggle bug yet on the other hand I felt the worst I had ever felt in my life physically and emotionally. I wasn’t equipped to deal with some of the things that life had unexpectedly dealt me while simultaneously trying to relish in the beautiful gift of life I was just given. I felt so much inner guilt and turmoil for not being able to fully be present in my most joyous part of life because some of the icky kept feeling like it was winning. Here’s what I have to say now to that tumultuous time: you won round one but guess what… I am here for the knock out! haha! I don’t really know much about fighting so this analogy may be incorrect but it’s honest! I felt like life was kicking me in the gut and I sort of just let it, let the sadness engulf me.
One day, just as I was about to get in the shower, I stopped and just stared at myself in the mirror for a few moments, standing there naked, fully exposed in every way and squeamishly uncomfortable; however, I just forced myself to do it. It was awful and terrifying!! If you have infinity mirrors like we do, I don’t really recommend it. At first I saw myself with sagging breasts, one larger than the other as it wasn’t drained by baby girl before her nap, I saw the looseness of my stomach from the wear and tear of growing life three separate times, I saw wrinkles on my forehead and crows feet imprinted on either side of my tired and sunken eyes, I caught a glimpse of the back and let’s just save you from what I saw there. The tears began to run down my cheeks but I didn’t wipe them away, I just let them fall. I felt like I was looking at this person that wasn’t me any more… like I had succumbed to every stereotypical description of an airline pilot’s insecure wife and full-time mother that put her aspirations on hold and took more than one hit for the team. Pathetic right?! So, I showered and I let myself continue to cry and sulk in this place of self-pity. I stepped out from this shower and that is when it changed. I heard voices of kindness and compassion in my head, echoing what others saw in me. It caused me to take another look and I asked myself to try to see something ‘beautiful’ or ‘worthy’ again.
I looked a little closer in the mirror this time and this is what I began to see: the same green eyes with so much empathy and compassion as they see the world and always seeking the best in others, a smile that is bright and full of joy for life and a reflection of the bliss that being a mother has brought me, I saw breasts that work… I mean that actually have the ability and capacity to have fed my son two years ago and now going on more than seven months doing the same for my daughter. I mean that is freaking incredible! I also was able to acknowledge that the “fat” and softness and flabbiness in areas I have never had before symbolized the most incredible gift of all: conception, growing life, giving birth and never regretting a single moment of it. These superficial flaws and places of weakness also attributed to be selfless and sacrificing for the betterment of my husband and children. (Not a good thing either btw to be too much this way, balance is key right.) This is when my self-talk turned from shaming myself and disgust to acceptance, proudness, and love. And like anything else, if something is broken and can be fixed, you now have the power to decide what to do. I found this new determination to stop living in a place of shame, and settling for comfort to finding myself again and being happier. It’s a process to pull yourself out from sinking sand, but it isn’t impossible.
Around this time, I went to a get together with people from high school in lieu of our reunion that was canceled and in a conversation with one of my beautiful and very fit friends, she told me all about this class that I had to come try… she tried to explain it and said really it was best to just show up and see what it was about for myself and that since I was a dancer, I would love it. Other friends of mine there also raved about this class and they weren’t dancers at all and still loved it. It was so intriguing to me. She obviously didn’t know that I was actually at this place internally that was craving a chance to self-love again and I knew that in order to get there I was going to need to seek myself outside of my comfort zone and her recommendation came just in time. Well, I showed up that Wednesday to this class and I haven’t looked back since. It was the most fun I had in a long time yet equally (no joke) the MOST UNCOMFORTABLE I had been in a long time too. I felt like I was inside somewhere but my body wasn’t my own. That was a few months ago now and this class every Wednesday is something I genuinely look forward to and make every effort to attend. It is a form of a dance class/workout called WYLD that kicks your butt every time… there is choreography but it is not taught in the traditional sense a dancer learns, it challenges your brain this way. It is somewhat sexy, which is super empowering as a woman! It is fun and it is definitely something that I’d dare say gets most of the women that dance alongside me each week, out of their comfort zones too. If I have peeked your interest, click here for more information. Also, feel free to comment below or message me directly to find out more. I love sharing things with others that have brought about positive change and growth for me. 🙂
Now, I am not saying that this dance class is what you must do in order to exit your comfort zone… but I can say it is a good time! Ultimately, I encourage you to push yourself to do things that you wouldn’t normally do and go to those unfamiliar places or things. Don’t sell yourself short and say things like, “I am not a dancer, I am not a runner, I am not a writer, I am not good at ‘x’ etc. etc.. Stand in front of that mirror naked, do all of the self-talk you must in order to get to that place that desires to break free. Don’t stay in a place of negative talk too long, it gets harder to leave… it is okay to acknowledge the things we aren’t happy with but it is imperative that we embrace what we can or want to change and embrace even harder the things that we can’t nor need to. Give yourself a hug and say what you would to your sister, your mom, cousin, or best friend… you’re truly remarkable and beautiful just the way you are. You are who you are because of life’s trials and celebrations. You really can be anything that you want to be, believe in yourself, realize your dreams, then get to work. Final bit of advice, don’t give up finding your way as you step outside of your comfort zone… something will speak to you and help you find what you’re looking for.
You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.-Roy. T. Bennet