To get the most of your Wanderlust festival experience, avoid the familiar, schedule classes that will cause you to step outside of your comfort zone, they said. It would be fun, they said. Really, they said.
So, there I found myself, lying on the floor with a room full of people I didn’t know, head thrashing violently from side to side, eyelids flickering like some kind of madman, pounding my fists, kicking and screaming at the top of my lungs. This was kind of like fun, only different. Really different.
Okay, I thought. my comfort zone has been officially in a different time zone.
My greatest comfort was in the camaraderie. All the other people in the room were doing the same thing. Our teacher had instructed us all to behave this way as an exercise to, “purge from our bodies that which no longer serves us.”
Was the effect worth the effort? It’s doubtful that all the accumulated junk from failed relationships and life in general was purged from my body. But, I actually did feel a bit lighter – even happier afterward. I imagine this is what a toddler must feel after throwing a tantrum. When finished, he skips off to the next thing.
I was glad, however, that I took a step away from the familiar. I feel better for the experience. Do we need to go to these extremes to feel the benefits of stepping out of our comfort zone? No, not at all.
Keep it simple: Try walking or driving a new, longer route to work. Wake up super early to do a new meditation before breakfast. Making eye contact with every human you see for an entire day. Simple, yet profound.
Mindlessly pursuing our usual routines can numb us and separate us from the beauty that is the world around us. Taking either baby steps, or giant leaps out of our comfort zone is the antidote to becoming imprisoned in habit.
Professional ski patroller and technology consultant Steve Suraci is happiest when helping others enjoy the hills around his Pennsylvania home. He’s found meditation and yoga to be an effective antidote to life’s uncertainties, and to make more comfortable a body that regularly endures the exertion of skiing. Residing across the valley from a ski area with his faithful hiking and cross-county skiing companion, black Labrador, Beretta, it is common for him to pose the question, to no one in particular, “How much different can heaven be?”