It seems these days that the universe is presenting me with numerous opportunities to break out of my usual routine and comfort zone. And as uncomfortable as it can be, I know that I’ve asked for it. So I’m going with it.
First, I booked my flight to Europe. I’m still in mild shock that I made, and acted upon, the decision so quickly. If you’d told me a week ago that I’d be planning a trip to Italy instead of applying for a great job and signing my apartment lease, I wouldn’t have believed you. (Okay, I might have believed you, but it would be with big surprise.)
My plans changed fast, but my intuition was telling me not to over-think things. I’m sure the longer I would have waited, the more reasons I’d find to talk myself out of it.
Also, a few nights ago I really stepped out of my comfort zone in co-hosting my work’s annual Arts Gala. This was an entirely new thing for me; my previous public speaking was limited to class presentations in university. When I was approached in April to host this event, I immediately knew that, despite my ‘shyness’ and lack of experience, I had to say Yes.
I’m becoming more aware that if I want real growth in my life – and by ‘growth’ I mean allowing more opportunities for joy – I need to try those things that I would normally avoid doing. I’m also learning that stretching out of my comfort zone doesn’t mean pushing myself unnecessarily hard, or having to ‘prove’ something to anyone (myself included).
It’s about breaking out of my own limiting self-perceptions, as an act of self-love. It is allowing the possibility of more personal expansion. And it is experiencing the amazing feeling of seeing myself in a new light.
And the gig was fun! I was nervous going into it, but instead of over-identifying with that, I tried to channel as much of it as possible into the energy of excitement. And though there were a few hiccups – aren’t there always? – overall it was an awesome experience, and one that I know will positively impact other aspects of my life.
Another thing I realized from this experience is that when people tell you they see something positive in you – something you don’t see – believe them. I would not have pictured myself as an event emcee if my colleagues hadn’t asked me to do it. It’s because I trusted their positive viewpoint that I was able to take that leap. We all have blind spots and sometimes – often actually – we need others to show us what we can’t see in ourselves.
So, life has been a bit of a whirlwind and now that I’m not stressing about speaking in front of a large group of people, I can more fully concentrate on what’s ahead. The trip is booked, and the details will reveal themselves as I continue to fine-tune the balance of planning and surrender – which will be especially necessary during my travels.
Mostly, I must be vigilant in not identifying with the feelings and opinions of those who don’t understand my decision. I don’t have a job lined upon my return. I don’t yet know how long I’ll be gone for; could be three weeks or three months. I don’t know where I’ll live when I get back. (I could go on…)
But so what? Things will work out. They always do. There will always be jobs. There will always be somewhere to live. There will always be excuses to not do things.
There is nothing to wait for, and there is no more ‘work’ – internal and external – to be done. I’m trusting the flow and am in gratitude for the ride.