I was talking with someone earlier today about how we know what it is that we are meant to be doing to honor our souls and take care of ourselves, but slowing down for long enough to actually do the thing that we’re wanting to do doesn’t always happen.
Why is that?
Maybe you’re like me, and you’ve been feeling called to meditate for years. You know that it feels good when you do it. You know that it’s exactly what your soul is yearning for. You know that you always feel more present and relaxed and alert and alive after doing it. And yet, getting yourself to actually sit down, close your eyes, and meditate oftentimes feels like pure torture.
Or maybe you’ve been hearing your soul whispering that it’s time to take steps toward living your purpose. You know what it is that you’re meant to give to the world. You know how your unique gift will help others be better able to embrace their lives. You know that sharing this gift would fill you up and make you so, so happy. And yet, taking that first step toward this dream – this purpose – oftentimes feels like the biggest step of all – an insurmountable one, even.
Or maybe you have been wanting to take better care of your body – eat better, exercise more, get plenty of sleep – those sorts of things. You know that it’s a good idea to do this. You know that you’ll feel great about yourself and just great in general if you do. You know that having a healthy, happy body leads to a happy, healthy life. And yet, actually eating the foods and doing the exercises and getting the extra sleep oftentimes feels too hard to keep up with.
Why is that?
One reason is that we’re comfortably comfortable in our comfort zones. It’s all soft and cozy and known and expected and predictable and dependable here.
Moving toward this life that we want to be living and this life that we know we would be happier living means that we have to take some sort of action – it means that we will have to leave this comfy place and move into the unknown.
And that doesn’t necessarily seem appealing, does it?
It’s like when you move into a new home. For the first few nights, it most likely feels like you’re living in someone else’s home. You don’t know where anything is; you can’t figure out how to turn on the lights or work the kitchen appliances; and you may just want to go back to your old house (even if this new house is a dream home that you’re happy to be moving into). But after you unpack your things and settle in, you most likely begin to feel great in this new space. You begin to feel comfortable. You begin to feel more like yourself in this space. Yes, it’s new and different. But it’s a newness that feels begins to feel great!
It’s the same thing with any change – such as meditating or eating better or living our purpose. At first, it’s going to feel a bit different to try these things, and we may shy away from doing them because of that. They won’t feel comfortable, and so we’ll think of a million reasons why we don’t have time to do them – why we shouldn’t make time to do them.
But, if we keep trying, eventually we’ll settle into these changes – eventually we’ll begin to see how wise our soul was for asking us to make these changes. And eventually we’ll do them so often that they’ll become habits and they’ll become an integral part of our life.
But for now, when we’re in this sort of wanting and yearning but not necessarily taking much action phase, let’s not even think about “eventually.” Let’s just focus on this moment. And then the next. And then the next.
Let’s just focus on doing something right now that will feed our soul and help us move toward living the life we want to be living. If that means taking a few minutes to close your eyes and breathe deeply, then do that. If it means passing up the candy and instead eating a handful of nuts, do that. If it means going to sleep an hour earlier, do that. And then do it again. And again. And again.
Pretty soon, these baby actions will turn into habits, which will turn into a solidified and habituated Change.
Our comfort zone is great. It is definitely comfy. But before you decide to stay there forever, I would ask you to check in with your soul and see if you’re staying there to avoid moving toward your dreams. If so, try moving out of it with teeny tiny baby steps and see what’s on the other side of this soft, cozy space. Because I have a feeling it’s a new space that will eventually feel even more cozy and even more comfortable and even more YOU. And that’s always a good thing.
Jodi Chapman is a bestselling author, an award-winning blogger, and a soulful community builder. She lives her life with love and faith in the driver’s seat, and she hopes to leave a trail of inspiration wherever she goes. She believes that we each have the ability to hear our soul’s whisper and create our best lives. She would love to connect with you!