Our comfort zones are oftentimes quite small – a portable bubble we carry around with us. So small in fact that we limit ourselves greatly to only what is familiar and comfortable. In doing so we also limit our capacity for handling difficult emotions, people, and situations so that when something arises of a challenging nature we don’t know how to deal with it in a healthy and productive manner.
It is easy to think that life should be A, B, and C but definitely not D, E, and F. When we separate our lives into the categories of yes and no we are cultivating and maintaing our small zones of comfort. For example, joy is in the yes category of life along with friends, good food, love, comfort, and all of our likes and enjoyments. Suffering is in the no category of life along with awkwardness, discomfort, anger, sorrow, jealousy, loneliness, our dislikes and anything else that is even semi un-pleasant.
We put great limits on ourselves in a multitude of ways. When we can begin to unite our yes and no categories into one category called life we can start cultivating balance and unification. Life is A, B and C and it is also D, E, and F. All of what we put into the no category is also a part of life. This is an important practice.
When we limit ourselves to only A, B, and C (the yes stuff) our capacity to skillfully encounter the D, E, and F (the no stuff) is significantly reduced. When we can practice to embrace all of the letters of life our comfort zones expand and we can be more at ease in a variety of places.
We can be creatures of habit to a fault. Let us step out of our bubble of complacency to see that we are the only condition holding ourselves back from fully engaging with life. Let’s hitch that comfort zone bubble up to a big ol’ tractor and run it through the beautifully muddy fields of life and see what happens.