As you know if you’ve been following me I'm traveling around the world to write a book and experience true life by design. It’s been amazing. It’s brought on so much gratitude and heart opening and love. But, it’s also been a huge ongoing lesson in stepping out of my comfort zone. Right now, I live outside my comfort zone.
This past week we’ve arrived in Guatemala, which will be our home base until January 2018. Since my husband already speaks Spanish and I would love to learn it, and since this will be our home for a significant amount of time I decided to sign myself up for Spanish school… 4 hours a day, for three weeks. On top of that, we also decided to live with a Guatemalan family for three weeks so we can be truly submerged in all things Espanol.
Now, let’s talk about comfort zones.
As someone who has been obsessed with personal development for the majority of her life, I am pretty comfortable being uncomfortable. You can't develop personally unless you’re willing surrender your ideas about what is and what isn't, and put faith in things outside your current perceptions. Give me lots of meditation practices to do, I’m on it. Tell me to change my limiting beliefs, I know exactly where to start. Put me in a cramped bus in Africa with only standing room, no problem. Put a chicken on my lap and five screaming kids around me, I'll laugh. If, to get to the next level, I need leap into the unknown, I can do it, it won’t always be easy but I can do it. I dig adversity and I know to grow you have to face it.
However, there is one thing that still makes me super uncomfortable and brings up oodles of resistance and excuses, and that is a situation where I can’t say what I want to the people around me. Sure, it’s OK if I'm checking into a hotel and the desk clerk doesn’t speak English, in this case it's pretty obvious what needs to happen, give me a key and a room number. I don't mind too much trying to explain to a taxi driver in a foreign country where I need to get to. Pull out a map and point usually works fine. But to not be able to communicate with the people I see day after day because I don't know how to ask questions or tell them they look nice, or that I enjoy the food they cooked for me, gets me all sorts of bothered and frustrated.
So… as you can imagine attending these Spanish classes and living with a family that speaks only Spanish has been something that has the potential to get me really, really uncomfortable. And when I get uncomfortable to this extent, I tend to make excuses as to why it’s 'too hard.' I watch myself starting to develop a shitty attitude toward the whole experience because it becomes everything else’s fault that I don’t feel good.
I think we’ve all experienced this phenomenon, right?
It goes like this: We’re upset because things aren’t going the way we would like them to, so we project that out onto the situation and blame the people, the place, or just the whole situation itself for the way we feel.
But the truth is, we are responsible for the way we feel in any situation. We get to decide how to react to ANY situation that comes our way. We are not victims of this world. We are creative and powerful beings of star dust that get to decide if we will place our loyalty in LOVE or FEAR, during each and every moment.
So when we are truly struggling to keep our creative power in mind, when the situation is so far outside our comfort zone that our normal methods of bringing ourselves back to the truth don’t work, I’ve come up with 5 things we can do, right this moment, to shift our attitude from one of negativity to one of positivity.
1. Change your perspective.
I mean literally change the way you are observing the world. Lay on the ground, get a horizontal perspective. Do a handstand against the wall, see the situation upside down. Do a summersault, see the world turning. Spin around in circles until you fall over, see the world spinning. Just do it. It works!
2. Take a power pose.
In the same way that our thoughts can change our physical body, the position of our physical body can change our thoughts. So if you’re feeling all closed off and salty, stand in a pose that opens you up and makes you feel connected for 5 mins. One of my favorites is seated on the ground with arms and face open toward the sky, receiving. You could also stand with feet wider than hip distance apart, hands on hips and a big fat smile on your face.
3. Go outside.
If you’re feeling like everything is too hard and everything is just not fair, just go take a walk around the block. Get outside. Even better yet, take your shoes off and let your feet touch the earth. Everything seems a lot less hopeless and frustrating with the sun on your face, earth under your feet, and the wind in your hair.
4. Just Breathe.
Take 10 deep breaths. Like really, really deep breaths. In through the nose, filling up the lungs from the bottom to the top, and out through the mouth. This may sound like an overused one, but that’s only because it actually works. When we breathe deeply and our diaphragm presses into our intestines this signals to our brain that nothing is wrong and that it is safe to go into the parasympathetic nervous system response (rest and digest). Which means we can think more clearly and more lovingly.
5. Recite or write down three things you are grateful for
Gratitude is the gateway drug to joy. It's a prerequisite of a happy life. When we bring attention to what we are grateful for it immediately changes our outlook.
If none of the above work for you and you’re still feeling like your attitude is sucky just stop doing what you’re doing and come back to it later. If you’re all crabby your style is most definitely cramped and you’re not doing your best work, being nice, or bringing good vibes to whatever it is you're working on experience. It’s perfectly acceptable to go take a breather. Change what you’re doing. Watch some Game of Thrones. Eat some dark chocolate. The key is ENJOY what you take a break doing. Don’t take a break and then feel guilty for taking a break. Come back to your frustrating work after you’re feeling less up the wall.
Leave a comment and let me know if you tried any of these are what you experienced..