Pushing Your Comfort Zone

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“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked.

“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” ~Trina Paulus

Amanda Votto - Divider

This is one of my favorite quotes. I love it so much that I made a picture of butterflies for my daughter’s room with this quote on it. At a time in my life when I realized that I was “just going through the motions,” this quote spoke to that part of me that knew there was so much more of life to be experienced.

I think many of us can relate to wanting to stay in our comfort zone. It is familiar, safe, and predictable.

However, greatness never exists within our comfort zone. In fact, I have personally learned that all of my deepest desires and innermost growth actually lie outside of it. The past few years have been a process of me getting to know my patterns, especially the ones that do not serve me. I have definitely witnessed my patterns of “playing safe.” I have always searched for safety and comfort in my surroundings, relationships, and career.

About 6 years ago, I was thrown for a loop when my husband got a job in Connecticut. In my well thought out and safe plan, I had intended on staying in Massachusetts close to family and friends. However, I knew that it was the best decision for our family to relocate and I wanted to fully support my husband’s dream. Nevertheless, it was a stretch for me. I was leaving my familiar surroundings and starting over in a new state with two little kids.

The first few years were so busy. I could have been on a remote island and probably wouldn’t have realized it since I was nonstop with the kids. It wasn’t until about 3 years after we moved that I really became aware of the huge impact the move had made on my life. I missed being around my friends and family.

At that point, I started to really feel like I was “off track” with my life. I wanted to go back home and make all of it just go back to “normal.” But I knew things weren’t meant to go back. I went through many stages. In particular, I questioned if it was the right idea to have moved. I struggled to find an answer but something deep within me knew that the move really had nothing to do with my uneasiness. I knew it was internal struggles that needed to be addressed. I finally found peace within my question regarding where we should live.

Peace came to me when I realized that I needed to stop controlling life and to allow it to flow. I needed to learn to trust in life and know that I am always being supported. I don’t need to plan everything and figure it all out. Life can actually be fun if I just let go of the reigns and allow myself to be guided. Now that does not mean passively letting life happen nor does it mean trying to control every outcome.

There is a beautiful place in between and it is called co-creating with life. It is the ability to take actions in the direction of your deepest desires but letting go of the outcome and trusting in God’s plan. I feel so much relief knowing that I don’t have to control my life. I can allow it to unfold and know that my safety lies within me and not in my external circumstances.

If you could do anything that you wanted and knew that you would be fully supported, what would you do? I think it is important to listen and start taking actions in the direction of your deepest desires. It doesn’t need to be a drastic change. Small steps in the right direction add up to big changes over time.

Where are you playing small?

Making friends with our fear and being curious, allows us to push our comfort zone. Fear was definitely present when I decided to start my website and blog. However, I knew that I was supported and I was willing to take the risk of failing. If we aren’t willing to fail, then we will never be able to soar. By facing my fear of moving and being away from my familiar life, I learned that I am safe no matter where I am because my safety lies within me. I am free to let go and know that I will be caught if I fall.

If you want to live your best life, you must push your comfort zone. Why settle for being a caterpillar if you know there is so much more to experience. We don’t need to know the how’s and why’s. We just need to be willing to grow and create the conditions to rise. Taking time for stillness, creating healthy boundaries, being fully present, spending time with those who uplift and support you, and asking for help are just some ways that we begin create the conditions. A caterpillar does not become a butterfly overnight. It is a process. Trust the process and get ready to take flight. We all have it in us.

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Mindfulness is a limitless tool for self-discovery. It is an experiential process, meaning that you cannot just read about mindfulness to understand the process and receive its benefits. You actually have to practice and develop the skill to be present.

 

-- Amanda Votto

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