"Come to the edge" he said, "but we'll fall", they said.
They came to the edge anyway, he pushed them, and they flew.
Baron Baptiste says that each of us has our own "edge". It is a boundry between where we are now and where we can grow and transform into someone better. He calls this edge, "A place of comfortable discomfort."
Anytime we push past our comfort zone, we stretch our self imposed boundries and we grow. All breakthroughs whether they are physical, mental, or emotional occur when we are willing to challenge what we already know.
It reminds me of my dog's invisible fence. After a few mild shocks, she decided that the risk of pain was too great to pass through the boundry created by the fence. Every now and then, if I overthrow her tennis ball it will land just outside the confines of the fence. She will be excitedly running after the ball and then come to a screeching halt to avoid feeling the pain again. What she doesn't realize is that the fence has been broken for over two years now so her boundry at this point is self imposed.
We also create limitations for ourselves when we choose to remain in our comfort zone.
Like my dog, we might sit in the safety of our "own backyard" looking longingly out into the distance wondering what might be out there for us if we were willing to breakthrough our self imposed boundries.
Most of us have old thoughts and beliefs that can hold us back from reaching our potential or trying something new and different. Recognizing that these underlying thoughts are holding us back in life is difficult. Many of our repetitive thoughts are so old and so habitual that we aren't even aware of them.
They might say things like, "You can't do that, don't even bother" or " You are going to fail just like the other time" or " I don't want to get hurt again." Although these thoughts can be unconscious, they are powerful enough to run our lives.
Anytime we try anything new, we are stepping out of our comfort zone and we have created an opportunity to grow and change. This can be frightening and we run the risk of feeling discomfort or even pain. But whether we succeed or whether we fail, we always learn something when we push ourselves past what we thought we knew to be true.
It might be going farther than we did yesterday on our morning run. It might be going back to school after raising a family. It might be pushing ourselves to write, paint, or to meditate on a regular basis whether we feel like it or not. It might even be leaving a job or a relationship that is not healthy for us, but we have grown so comfortable with the feelings of unease that we stay anyway.
When we stretch the boundries of our minds or our emotional body by breaking a pattern or habitiual thought, our opportunity to change our lives is limitless.
In yoga, we are constantly exploring the body's ability to respond to discomfort. Many of the poses ask us to move and stretch into places that are very unfamiliar and often quite uncomfortable. The greatest challenge in yoga practice is to stay present and relaxed throughout the discomfort.
Finding your edge in a yoga pose requires care, attention, and a good amount of self study (svadhyaya).
When we learn to recognize the difference between a pain that can cause injury, and the discomfort that will help us to have a breakthrough, we will begin to transform our physical bodies by breaking down the layers of resistance and tension that our habitual patterns of movement and thought have created over a long period of time.
Finding your edge in life also requires care, attention and self study. Learning to recognize when you are staying in your comfort zone out of a self imposed limitation can help you to push yourself in a way that may be uncomfortable, but will create the opportunity to grow and find a new edge that is beyond what you thought you could achieve.
Come to your edge, and maybe you will fly.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras