Let's deal with this issue once and for all, peeling off all the myths from it, separating the grain from the tares. Comfort Zone – what is it? Judging by the name, this is the "place" where we feel comfortable. Right? So why can't we stay here for longer (eternally will be ideal of course), why does it consistently change, why are we pushed out of that zone when it is comfortable and cozy there?
For me personally I started to ask these questions when I began practicing yoga many years ago. I remember my teachers were always saying: "To transform and change you need to move out of your comfort zone." I was so resistant, I simply didn't want to get out. I thought I liked the place where I am. However, thinking more about that zone I started to have the slightest hints of doubt in the "place" where I was at that time. I noticed that something started to change, many things in my life started to feel different. The environment and the events, even my body and mindset, even those people with whom I was at that time have changed. And there it hit me – the place where I was is not my zone of comfort anymore. It was shocking to realize that the place where I was at that specific time of my life is not a comfort zone, it's a zone of at least half-comfort, and even discomfort. And immediately I wanted to change, to move on and to find again the place – the zone where I will feel comfortable again all by myself.
The truth is no one ever leaves from the real comfort zone – it's not normal. It is our innate ability to seek happiness and joy, and once we find it we make sure we stay there as long as possible. However, if something encourages us to leave the "current comfort zone", then it seems that that place is no longer our comfort zone anymore. Maybe a couple of years ago – it was, maybe a couple of months, maybe a couple of minutes or seconds ago it was our zone of comfort, but if we feel that something, some impulse from within, an article, someone's words can push us to do a bold step and exit from that comfort zone this means only one thing – our current comfort zone is no longer relevant, it is outdated. And we will get out easily and with delight from the zone of semi-comfort, in search of a new, real, fresh comfort zone that would satisfy us. It is certainly important to leave from these false or illusionary zone of comfort. What for? Of course in the hope of finding a real comfort zone, the one that you will never dare to leave. Do you know why? Because, being in this very real comfort zone, you will be illusorily happy, and I will say even more, even if you try – you will not be able to leave that real comfort zone. Because this comfort zone is YOU. You, yourselves are this zone of comfort, you are the happiness that you are looking for. You are the satisfaction that you lack. But it needs to be found and discovered independently and safely.
1. My Body
My body, my temple proved many times that my comfort zones were changing monthly even weekly, sometimes even daily. I had bad periods in my life when my body was falling into pieces and I felt very lost and unhappy. And I also had good times when my body was actually healing itself and immediately getting into a better shape. There were plenty of other examples in my life (we all had) to compare and realize the only truth that I am the only Comfort Zone.
2. My Life
There are many great things for certain in our lives, maybe it is a good job, or a good education, or a good salary, a home, a family and anything else, but if there is no happiness in our lives, we have only three choices: 1) to exit, to move out and start our search all over again, 2) to change something and adapt to new changes, and 3) to do nothing and just stay there, wasting time in vain. It took me a few years to learn this lesson, to understand and accept the simple fact that I am not a temporary comfort zone. I better take a risk and a responsibility for my choice and move out, then stay there and waste my time. Life is worth living every second and every moment joyfully and happily.
3. My Yoga
Yoga taught me to be honest, brave and straight forward with myself, it taught me to question everything and not to live by the rule, to surrender, to trust my body and myself. And regular practice of yoga showed me that my personal yoga practice, my attitude, my vision consistently shift and transform. Especially my mind and my body become more focused and strengthened with regular practice. New energetic patterns in my mind and body had develop, so less effort was needed to perform the poses with proper alignment and action. I started naturally to seek for different challenges, growth and improvement. So, again my comfort zones proved to be temporarily and it was only me who decided what to do next – stay in or keep moving on.
4. My Career
My all professional business and career encounters taught me a greatest life lesson: "if you do not enjoy this moment, if right now you cannot call yourself the happiest being in the universe, while doing your job, then there is no comfort zone in your life yet. It is time to detach and move on." I admit it was a very scary to make a first step and move out of my secure career (being a successful financial consultant and business woman), to the unknown and unexpected – being a full time yoga teacher. And I am so happy that I finally listened to my heart after neglecting my inner voice for many years and stepped out of "Busy" life that was making me very stressful and unhappy that I was even forgetting to relax and have fun.
5. My Mindset
It took me sometime to realize that any comfort zone associated with my achievements in life or in my yoga practice, related to my own successes, to my body, are associated with external circumstances, or associated with people who surround me, in itself is not bad. However such a zone and such comfort are temporarily. The real zone of comfort is only me, by myself. Everything around me and inside of me is consistently changing; my body changes every day I practice yoga, my mindset and attitude changes every time I meditate and live my life mindfully, my perception and understanding is different from what it used to be a day, a week, a month ago. I am the only my comfort zone.
We consistently evolve and transform, every second, every minute, with every breath we take. However, there is only one part of us that stays the same and is not changing – our True Self, our Soul that is directly connected to the Divine. It is only when we connect to that sacred place, to our True Self, we find the only zone of comfort, peace, love and harmony that we can carry throughout our life unchangeable.