Comfort Zone

Musings / Friday, January 14th, 2011

Yesterday I received my standard daily newsletter from Craig Ballantyne. I hate that guy. After each of his workouts, my one wish is to hunt him down…and…well, I don’t know what I would do if I meet him – but he is freaking awesome. Intense workouts are here to stay, hate it as I must. Anyway, yesterday he exhorted “do me a favor, get out of your comfort zone.” I don’t know why, maybe it was because I was particularly down that time, and my mind wasn’t in the ‘reject everything’ mode that it normally is, but this sentence struck.

I thought about it. How do I get out of my comfort zone? It’s as simple as doing something different. Being something different also counts. For long now, I realized I have been comfortable being unhappy. I wear sadness like a shield. Its darkness is comfortable, cozy, and warm. I feel at home. When I am unhappy. Harsh as that sounds, it’s true. So I decided then to cut the umbilical cord to unhappiness and be happy. To be happy is to get out of MY comfort zone. Every time I found myself thinking of shitty people who are not worth a moment’s thought, I pushed it out. That too was getting out of my comfort zone. To not brood. Gosh, that is serious non-comfort zone territory for me. I watched a movie in the afternoon. Simple thing. But not my comfort zone. I usually watch movies in the late evening. At the gym, I switched my usual hit intensity interval training from the one I usually used to do. My body struggled with the change, but non-comfort zone. I did every single damn mountain climber I could. Till then, I used to think I can’t. I lifted heavier weights. And the funny thing is I loved it. I went ahead and told my parents my future plans, which I had been dithering about.

Maybe there is something to it. Each time we challenge our mind and body, it responds. It may appear difficult, but I think it makes the soul spring alive.

And I loved this poem I came across in the movie I watched. Still trying to understand it though:

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

— Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.

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