Thursday, May 19, 2011

Comfort is NOT the Point or Why I Insist on Busting through Fears

I am not here to be comfortable.

I know; it sounds crazy. I love comfort. I love good food and good wine and calm schedules and pretty clothes and soft beds.

And I have a whole lot of that in my privileged life.

That is not the kind of comfort I am talking about.

I am not here to be comfortable in my spiritual life.

I am here to be challenged.

One of the new ways I practice challenge in my life is to be on the lookout for Fear Busting Opportunities. As I have written about, fear is now my guide.

When I sense a fear, I contemplate the growth the could come with facing it head on. Walking with it, instead of around it.

I fear leaving the house and going to a workshop, so I do it and that changes me on some elemental level.

Recently, I was looking at someone's photos of some very exotic travel. (The place is not important.)

Though I loved the photos, every fear bell in my body was going off. Red flags were popping up and in and around and through me. My heart started to race a bit. Anxiety flooded my system.

And then I got even more anxious because I realized what all of this meant: I am called by fear to travel. Somewhere out of my comfort zone. By myself. (With a group maybe for security reasons but not with Marcy, not with anyone who knows "me." The idea is to leave behind preconceived notions of self and see what happens.)

So I am finally filling out my passport paperwork.  And I am researching possibility though it scares the crap out of me every time I watch a video and click on a new link to a new place.

Where would you go if you could go anywhere?  I am officially open to suggestions.


tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

Fear = false expectations appearing real or face everything and rejoice.

As for travel suggestions ~ Rome ... Florence ... or the Greek Island of Chios.

Tess Giles Marshall said...

You really are blossoming, you know that?
Suggestions? So many but a lot of them are based on me being in England and therefore wanting to go over in your direction some more. For example I'd love to spend time in Alaska.
You'd love some of the European cities - Barcelona is particularly beautiful I think, and Paris of course.
Trekking through Nepal or Mongolia is something I want to do one day. Iceland, Finland, Greenland, all those Nordic 'lands' all appeal to me.
Conversely I've no wish to go anywhere hot - India and Africa don't appeal to me at all although I know people who love both destinations.
Ooh, this is exciting and scary for you, I can see. Let us know what you decide.

Renae C said...

I faced down this fear last year, although not alone. I traveled to Europe for the first time, leaving precious cargo here. I'd never had a passport before. Now I am scheduled to go BY MYSELF next February to a conference, and I'm not afraid at all. Push through. It's worth every painful moment, and there were a few, to get to the freedom on the other side.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Tess! I adore Paris. And Barcelona came to mind just yesterday. At first, I was thinking somewhere truly out of my comfort zone -- like the Far East -- but now I am not totally sure what the point of that would, I get so much out of going to sacred (to me) sites, and the Far East is full of sacred to others sites, if that makes sense. :)

Lisa said...


Great post!

I'm letting fear be my teacher this week for sure.

As for travel?...Greece, The Amalfi coast in Italy, Machu Picchu, Egypt, Nepal, back to the redwoods in California....ahhhhhhh :)

Abbey of the Arts said...

Christine, I am just this week writing a reflection on "the spiritual practice of being uncomfortable" and how dances at our edges of risk widens our capacity to be present. I adore travel and even after landing alone in Vienna last Christmas with an embolism and three days in the hospital, I would go alone again in a heartbeat, and probably will (taking many proper precautions for my body of course).

Vienna and Paris are my two favorite European cities and Ireland is the most beautiful landscape. I recommend picking one place to sink into rather than jumping from city to city. Really experience the place so your courage has a chance to catch up with you. :-)

Louise said...

India! Just pick one town and spend a month there (I would avoid the big Indian cities). I recommend Rishikesh (north of Delhi). It's small and peaceful and the spiritual energy will blow your socks off. You will fall in love with Ma Ganga and returned completely transformed, guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

Nepal!!!! It busted through my friend's preconcieved notions of himself really well. Wherever you go bring a parasite cleanse--- like paragone.. (u can get it at the co-op I think) it will prevent any parasitic misshaps.

Also--- PERU!!! beeauttiful... visiting the natives there would be really transformative I bet. though they are struggling due to american companies destroying their land, and missionaries destroying their belief system and sacred connection to nature.

Graciel said...

I am proud of you for even considering travel. Let your gut lead you. For a first adventure, you may wish to consider going where English is readily spoken.

On my list? Back to Northern Germany to commune with the wind and the sheep. Scandinavia. Prague. The Yukon.

Press on, Brave Woman...