What most people call the "comfort zone" is not really comfortable. It is merely habitual, a kind of rut, that we repeat. Patterned behavior, or habits, can be life sustaining. They can save a lot of time and energy handing life through routines. But they can also limit us, turning us into robots and, often, victims of our patterns as well. Putting effort into breaking patterned behavior can be one of the most life enhancing acts and can give the unconscious both practice and permission to update old, limiting, and outdated patterns.
Pick some small pattern and practice changing it to notice what happens. For instance, many people habitually use a punishing, harsh, critical inner voice to correct or evaluate behavior. What happens if you change your critical voice into a compassionate one or a curious one, or a sexy one?
© Nick LeForce
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It is easy, living small, to feel sure the world is weary of you, sure the cawing crow repeats life's disappointment in you, sure the clock ticks off another moment slipping through your fingers, sure the days are little more than a battlefield trench and the only way to survive is to lay low. Its just as easy, living hard, to lose yourself in the rush, sure the hubbub of commerce will line your pockets and build your life into an amusement park, hoping to achieve the envy of the masses, so that one day you can bask in the limelight while announcing, “I am not conceited.”
I am not speaking of comfort or freedom from stress. I am speaking of the disease of ease. The ease of following the rut and never jumping the line. The ease of living the programmed life laid out for you by the world. The ease of hiding in the trenches you have dug for yourself. The ease of crossing out your heart and stuffing your soul in a suitcase. The disease comes after the act in the effort we put into hammering ourselves for our failings or lodging complaint against life for not delivering the goal.
Why not put the effort up front? Why not jump the track, leave the trench, take the uncharted path? Start with small steps and do some little thing differently: put on your belt the other way around and see if anyone notices, take a detour down a quaint side road and let it grant you a delight, dance a little jig on the street as if you just won the lottery. And afterwards, act as if you’ve just taken your own little amusement park ride, giving your inner critic a breathy, sexy voice that charms the devil in you and says, “let’s do it again."
Please share your thoughts or comments below.