C is for comfort zone.
The edge of our known world. The edge of reason. The edge.
We all know our comfort zone. For most of us its the place we live in day in day out. It’s familiar, safe, furnished to our liking, and of course, mighty comfortable.
Or is it?!
Gabrielle Roth says ‘if we are not living on the edge then we’re taking up too much room.’ OK then love. OK.
The thing about our comfort zone is exactly that, it’s not so challenging or life giving or dynamic. Its daily turning can sometimes leave us slightly uneasy. As our heads touch the pillow at the end of another day we might find some voice within us imploring ‘is this it??’.
Now don’t get me wrong. If your comfort zone is working out all tickety boo for you then great. Don’t fuck about with the status quo. And as they say, if it ain’t broke…
But what if there is a gnawing within? What if there’s a part of you that drifts off into dreaming of a life that looks rather different? And what if you know full well that mamma be parked her car in the zone for far far too long it all gone goddamn rusted!!?? ;-) :-)
Within our creative life there will come a point where we will meet the edge of this zone. To be frank if you’re an artist then it’s likely that you’ve met it already, a thousand and one times before. Indeed you might be there now, feet planted firm on terra cognito, nose peering out into the void, heart beating, palms clammy, and your mind racing a million miles to find the how to step in.
Stop. Stop right now. No my dear, I wasn’t talking to you I was addressing your mind. You see the thing is about stepping outta ones comfort zone is that we do not, cannot, and will not, know what happens next. It’s impossible. It’s the very nature of it all. It’s the whole fuckin point!
Ironically, it’s not the stepping outta the comfort zone that’s the problem. We’ve just made it that way with our if’s and but’s. In fact to even think that we are stepping is a falsity as what we are really doing is expanding into, or responding to, this supposed edge. This unknown.
It’s not a new place with a different postal code and temperate climate. It’s still our life, only bigger, with more of it available, a broader and wider and deeper perspective one might say.
Let’s see if we can connect the dots a lil more shall we?
Take a moment to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Put down any ideas on how or what and just quieten into just this moment now. Feet on the floor if possible or at least be aware of your bottom on your chair. Good. Now I’d like for you to picture yourself in the life you are peering all telescope at, the one ‘over the edge’. Really see yourself in it. Use all your senses. How is it once you’ve written your script, completed that series of paintings, taken a bow at the end of your performance’s first night? Really go into how it feels. Allow yourself to feel elated, satisfied, joyous, peaceful…Notice too what else is in there. Maybe a little resistance? Is there any fear? Anxiety? Numbness? Embarrassment? Doubt?
Find these in your body. Are there any beliefs or thoughts that wanna sabotage or dampen or even destroy this possibility, this place?
Be totally honest with yourself here, as in all truth, because you are most decidedly and defiantly human, there will be both. The joy and the doubt. The peacefulness and the anxiety. The elation and the fear. All a hodgepodge of human feeling and emotion. Same with your thoughts darling. You may well have the ‘look what I created!’, with the ‘what the fuck did you do you stupid talentless idiot!’ running side by side.
OK. Good. Let it all be there, the good, the bad, and the ugly! ;-)
You see here’s the magic key. It’s in our ability not to run for the hills or bury our heads under the duvet. It’s in our superhero power of simply staying with. Staying with. In feeling and allowing all of what arises to be here. Yes it will fly up and slap us vehemently across the face, whip us into a fretful frenzy, and pull at the strands of our hair in all the directions of the compass. And yet. And yet.
And yet if you choose to stay, to feel, to allow, to even say ‘hey you fuckers bring your worst!!!’, something begins to happen. After a while they begin to calm down, to settle, to slow and become quieter. They may not go away all together, and they probably won’t. But they’ll calm and as they do you will notice that you’re still there, or ‘here’ really. You’ve not been blown away. And as the dust settles you realise that you are still at this edge but now, but now, you are not so at the mercy of all your mind made lunatic possibilities. And this my dear even includes the ‘good’ ones because, hells bells, we really don’t know how we’ll feel or what kind of impact our creative work will have, but we will have done it. We will have stepped outta our comfort zone and grown!
Choices. Make a choice. Do it anyways despite the gabbling lunatic voices? Do it anyways not knowing if it will all be crap? Do it anyways even though we may be laughed at? Do it anyways despite not having a fuckin clue what happens next? And do it anyways even if so aquiver with fear that you be shakin’ and vibratin’ like nobody’s business hon??! ;-)
Yes. And yes again. And one more time just in case you’re still dithering, yes!
Don’t wait til you got it all sorted out. Don’t wait until you’re perfect and coiffed and fixed. Don’t wait until you’ve got the new safety harness figured out. Because paradoxically the more you live like this the more you realise that our safe and familiar comfort zones are in actual fact, our prison. They’re not safe at all. They need a lot of controlling and tweaking and managing. They are in fact quite surprisingly exhausting. And what we also find, in this place of freedom, that the fear, doubt and anxiety that we had associated with ‘the edge’, were really practically what we we’re living on in maintaining our comfort zone! Go figure!!!
Meet your edge. Every day if necessary. Choose life and the unknown. Live in the not knowing. Grow up and in and out, all wings and roots. Create and go for it because it’s in the making remember, it’s in the making that we are affirmed and alive and in joy. It’s in the moment by moment action and breath and craft. It’s never really about over there is it!? But you never know, you may look up one day and realise that you are in that place you once dreamt of, the one over the edge, the edge that seems so insignificant and small now, that you laugh at the beautiful and amazingly human being that you are. And maybe, just maybe, you find yourself dreaming and itching and facing a brand new edge. Keep dissolving that edge of comfort darling one. It’s the only way.
P.S. Disclaimer. Sometimes, often, just chilling in our comfort zone is exactly where we choose and need to be. It’s duvet days and devouring Netflix and box sets. It’s faffing and procrastinating and going over n’ over n’ over the same old questions. It’s sad days and flat days and human days. It’s life and living and all of it, every damn moment.It’s all, oh so stupendously, ours.
Hey lovely creative genius, let me know if you resonate with any part of this musing :-) And if you would like a lil assistance with shifting that creative stuckness that be cloggin’ up your creative flow, then click here sign up to receive your FREE pdf book “10 ways to awaken your creative genius”. In gratitude, grace and freedom, HH
When you are in doubt...show up.
When you are scared...show up.
When you haven’t got a fucking clue...show up.
When death comes knocking on your door with its distractions...show up.
When you feel tired...show up.
When you have nothing to give...show up.
When you feel shy...show up.
When you have forgotten how...show up.
When every fibre of your striated muscles ache with uncertainty...show up.
When you feel it's all too much...show up.
When you feel nothing...show up.
When you feel everything ripping like electric lightning storms through your blood...show up.
When you're feeling foolish...show up.
When you are in resistance...show up.
When you feel the bruising beauty of your raw vulnerability...show up.
When you'd rather hide away...show up.
Show up in every shade of you. Show up with every shadow of you. Show up with the blinding light of you. Show up. Show up. Show up.
Heidi Hinda Chadwick
Creativity. Sexuality. Life. Art. Soul. Love.