Expanding comfort zones

What is it about leaving our comfortable cocoon that makes us so resistant to trying new things, even when we know we’ll ultimately benefit from or enjoy the experience?  Even for temporary change or changes that are relatively small, it can be difficult to find the motivation and discipline to go out and pursue them. This week I’m volunteering with a friend’s organization that introduces youth to urban gardening. I could list out all the advantages – a chance to work with youth again, a week in the garden, time with a good friend before I leave for the East Coast (she’s one of the staff in charge of the program).

And yet this past weekend as I was packing and preparing, all I could think about was how much I just wanted to laze about in my comfortable lifestyle. No new youth to meet and cajole and tease and prod into gardening, no energetic week of crafting and cooking and chatting with my friend, no long hours in the garden in sun and wind. So much energy required for new and fun experiences … I don’t want to! It takes too much effort to have fun, don’t make me (even though I’ll be so glad I did)!

Of course, now that I’m here I absolutely love it. When else could I watch middle school students milk a goat for the first time, and go from “Ew! No way!” to slowly inching their way closer and closer to the udder, eventually sitting down and squeezing out great streams of milk with pleased hands and delighted eyes.

Something in their reactions struck a chord. I recognize that pattern. The same reluctance eventually overcome, in their case by curiosity and in mine partly because of personal obligations to my friend (it’s horrible but true! Establishing that personal relationship is a great way to push people into action) And ultimately novelty is good for us. It stimulates. It expands our comfort zone and challenges us to acquire new skills and experiences. Of course, the difficulty is overcoming the initial inertia caused by fear, uncertainty and yes, sheer laziness as well, but it is a skill well worth learning. I hope to explore some ways to overcome inertia in the weeks to come, particularly as they relate to wellness activities but also for life in general.  After all, wouldn’t it be a shame to miss out on so many wonderful opportunities?

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One Response to “Expanding comfort zones”

  1. Overcoming inertia: tackling TV time « All Things Wellness Says:

    […] longer than I’d care to admit. I know I’m not alone in this.  Again, this pervasive theme of overcoming inertia for your ultimate […]

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