Highway To The Danger Zone

15 August, 2014

On Sunday morning I took my open-minded boyfriend to a master yoga class at Body Mind Life Surry Hills led by visiting American yogi Chanel Luck. It was an experiment in how far I could lead him in to the alternative world I call home, like stepping through the wardrobe to Nania with the fawn, enticing ‘just a little further’ ‘just a little longer’ with that unsettling background fear that it’s going to go all wrong.

mr tum

My intention was for him to experience a highly connected practice through the leadership of an artist, the whole kit and caboodle, just like the flyer promised, pranayama, meditation, asana, shavasana.

When we arrived to find the room set up in a circle, mats pointing toward the centre of the room where Pacific frangipani flowers lay scattered around a small wooden god, compared to the normal mats in rows, a little concerned voice popped up in my mind ‘oh dear, a ritual…’

Even more hilarious was the start of the practice, where the fabulous Chanel had us rocking in our seat from side to side, eyes closed going around in a circle giving our name and offering something that gave us peace.

One of three men in a class of forty-five women.  I look at Will. His look is one of puzzlement ‘she can’t be serious?’ Followed by a quick glance around the room to place the closest exit.

But to his testament, as yogi’s took their turns around the circle offering up ‘the mountains’ ‘long walks on the beach’ & ‘cups of tea’ as their badges of peace, Will at least 100 fathoms from the comfort zone speaking quite clearly sets the whole room in hysterics claiming ice cream was his peace trigger.

Phew. This isn’t weird at all, a perfectly normal thing to do on a Sunday morning.

I start to wonder if it’s Will’s comfort zone or my comfort zone that’s being tested.

A ‘comfort zone’ is like a living room you never want to leave.  A ‘rumpus room’ shall we say, where you have everything you imagine you need.  Non-stop fresh uninterrupted films, hot buttery pop corn, a soft black leather couch that you could easily doze on for a week.

Most of us live in comfort zones.  We purposefully design our lives this way.  Maybe it’s a job you’ve had for years, to which a small part of you keeps saying ‘you could do better than this’ but a bigger part in control demands, ‘this is easy, let’s stick with what we know’.  A relationship that’s taking more than it’s giving. An exercise regime that’s got all the right intentions, but no motivation. An addiction. A belief system. An old secret. A story you’ve been telling yourself for years.

We generally become aware of our comfort zones when we’re forced to try something new.  Every time I recommend a foreign film with subtitles to my parents, I am shushed away with ‘oh we’re too old for that now and ‘you kids and your fancy things’. French, so fancy.  Perhaps you know a similar story?

A comfort zone is very intimately connected to laziness.  Maybe you’re one of those rare highly effective users of time, but I am definitely tainted with the lazy brush.  Many of us preferring to go day to day, week to week, year to year making up excuses for the WHY’S we can’t do something, try something, learn something, rather than just DOING that thing.

Where did this laziness come from? I ask myself this question regularly. Habits, bad habits, ingrained over many years.  An intimately attached pattern of behaviour, ‘it’s too hard, why try, it’s not worth it’ that holds us back like a high sand bank retaining the open ocean from the release of shore.

Okay Doubtful Debbie, what can be done?

  1. Totally acknowledge and accept your comfort zone. Sketch it out on paper if you must, drawing items of furniture to represent your feelings/ideas/beliefs (yours doesn’t have to be an ideal cinema like mine above!)  Maybe it’s a cozy Sunday morning sleep in or…
  1. Get underneath the bonnet of your fear and examine. Sit quietly and ask yourself “Why is this coming up for me”.  You could even do as I do and ask yourself these questions out loud (just not when anyone else is around, or they’ll be calling off for the men in white coats ha!)
  1. Get in touch with the higher self. Use clear statements like “Even though I’m worried/playing the victim/freaking out… I deeply love and accept myself” This can help us gain a fresh new perspective.
  1. Be grateful for the journey. Everything is good! The good times are good. The rubbish times are good.  Every experience is sent to teach us something, how we react is up to us.  If you’re being pushed outside your comfort zone, embrace it with the mind frame of ‘wow, this has got to be good for me!’ rather than complain and throw your toys. You’ll quickly see your comfort zone expanding.
  1. And lastly, highly recommended NOT to try and change anyone else.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it…  Seriously, do. Not. Waste. Your. Time. Trying to move someone from their comfort zone. Even if you love them and their zone is consuming them, learn to accept that is their path. Live by example, but don’t force your ideals on someone else. Do as Michael says and start with the yogi in the mirror.



comfort zone 1Thank you Pintrest for the pictures

previous post next post