The quote "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" is one of my favorites. I believe that if you stop growing and learning, you are not living. The best way to continually expand your horizons is to challenge what you know, what you can do, and what you believe. The moment that I start to feel like I have mastered something is when I find myself wanting more; whether it’s a stretch goal, or something entirely new. For example, I started road biking to train for a triathlon. I gradually started riding longer and registering for multi-day bike events, which culminated in signing up alone for the weeklong, 400+ mile Ride the Rockies in 2015.
One of my favorite aspects of yoga is that there is so much to it that I am consistently learning more and expanding my practice and teaching. Travel is another part of my life that pushes me out of my comfort zone with each new place that I explore. While there have been times that I have traveled with tour groups in a relatively safe environment, I have also gone solo on some trips, or made up my own tour rather than going with a pre-packaged option. A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I hiked in the Dolomites together following the Indulgent Italy yoga retreat. Saying farewell to my husband after Cinque Terre and then separating from my friend at the train station in Bolzano, I experienced an initial wave of anxiety, but before long I settled into my surroundings confident in my ability to take care of myself and have a great time! After spending three days in Florence alone, I flew to India to co-lead the retreat that I’m on now trekking in the Himalayas. We hiked 55 miles in six days and spent four nights in tents. The trekking was tough, but worth the challenge to see the birthplace of Ganesh and the source of the Ganges.
My latest endeavor to change my career from Human Resources, which I studied in school and have made a living working in for the past 19 years, to start my own business is another opportunity to step outside of what I know and into the great abyss. While it’s certainly scary and there are many days that I ask myself whether I’m really ready to be my own boss, it feels like a natural next step. To feed my inner fire, it takes risk and a willingness to be uncomfortable. By doing so, we find out what we are made of, and discover that we are much bigger than we think. Staying inside of the limited view of what we know and who we are now prevents us from fulfilling our destiny. So do it, jump in – you just might find that you have wings.