This image or one like it has appeared on my Facebook page repeatedly, 

posted by  me or another of my friends. It always gives me pause when I see it, but today I realized that there’s more to it than meets the casual eye.

Our comfort zone was never meant to be our permanent residence.

Just as the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results, a comfort zone becomes a rut when we fail to realize that it’s time to change things up, break down a wall or two, and move forward.

Most of us don’t watch the same movie or read the same book over and over. We look for something new which will entertain and maybe even surprise us a little. So why would we choose to do the exact same things, day after day, year after year? I don’t know about you, but the very thought of living like that scares the hell out of me! I’d die of boredom if my life was that predictable. I’ll even admit to this while my legs and abs are screaming in pain more than 24 hours after my last trip into the unknown. Would I do it again, knowing I’d spend the next couple of days walking like an arthritic old woman? Hell, yes! It was fun. It was different. It changed up a tired, old routine, and maybe even gave me that extra motivation I need. I’ve put it on my calendar for the next few weeks, but may still change it up by doing a yoga class or pilates with a different instructor on a different day.

It’s like these produce boxes I’m getting. Today’s is absolutely amazing as you can see. Harvest box 10-14-14
This week’s box sent me off to the web to find a recipe to make use of this wonderful array of veggies! I got three ears of multi colored corn, two leeks, the biggest head of cabbage I have ever seen, cucumbers, jalapenos, oranges, carrots, green beans, green leaf lettuce…all things I know what to do with…more or less. But I got a couple of things which are new to me as well; fennel and rainbow chard.

I searched the net for cabbage soup, read and discarded quite a few from different sites. Finally, I clicked on one which was billed as a vegetable minestrone (as my mind said “Aren’t they all?”) which used a large quantity of cabbage. I’d have never even thought of using cabbage in minestrone! But I can use the chard instead of spinach and I still have zucchini left over from last week. New, different…amazing!

Sorry, I got so excited about my vegetables that I completely jumped the track, topic-wise. Let me take a deep breath so I can get back to the topic at hand.

Actually, my topic change is the point. When we leave the old, beaten path, we find an excitement we lack when we do the same things all the time. Much as I love seeing my friends, even dancing on the same nights in the same place every week isn’t always what it used to be. Breaking it up when I miss nights to go see my daughter helps, but the feeling that I need to venture out and do some different things is getting stronger all the time.

I think I’m outgrowing my comfort zone

Have you ever watched a snake shed its skin? It wiggles and twitches, pauses for a bit, then wiggles and twitches some more. It’s a lot like trying to get out of a pair of tight jeans that are soaked with sweat after a night of dancing. But once the skin or the jeans are shed (depending on your species), the feeling of relief and freedom is indescribable.

I know that, for many people, change is scary, but I’m not saying that those steps have to be giant leaps. They can just as easily be baby steps. The trick, like everything else in our lives, is to just get moving. A body in motion stays in motion, so once you get going, moving out of your self-imposed rut we generously refer to as “The Comfort Zone”, you’ll find that a little taste, like one potato chip, isn’t nearly enough. You’ll dip your hand in that bag called “Life” over and over until, one day, you see someone living your old life and you can no longer remember why you wanted to stay there so long!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I’ve learned how much I like living where the magic happens.
2. I am grateful for opportunities to leave my safe little rut and spread my wings.
3. I am grateful for new tastes, new places, new people, new experiences and new feelings.
4. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts, whether with a few or many, in hopes that I, like so many do for me, will inspire at least one person out there to truly live their greatness.
5. I am grateful for abundance: opportunities, flavors, people, places, surprises, friendship, love, joy, health, harmony, peace and prosperity.

Namaste

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