Over 4 years ago I left my job because I knew that working in retail was no longer for me and I wanted to ‘find myself’ as clichéd as this sounds. With the help of my best friend I learned to live on a small budget and go without the luxuries many people may enjoy in this world. It was a big risk to take, but it was a strong feeling. I needed to do this.
Of course it was extremely challenging to leave the conventional way of living, having a job, having a regular income, fitting in, belonging, within the constraints society demands, but I did it, even though I often questioned my decision and often judged myself for acting recklessly, and ‘Yes’, others judged me too. It took a long time to accept that my decision was right for me, because it went against the grain of what society says you must do.
During those 4 years, life took care of me financially, with unexpected abundance coming my way, and when I needed it, often at the 11th hour. It was a journey of trust in uncertainty and the unknown.
I walked a lot in nature, alone. I barely saw another soul during those 4 years and those friends I did have at the time matched the journey I was on. Most of them only wanting to meet up once a month or once every 2 months, and some I saw once every 6 months. A surreal enforced solitude.
Going without luxuries was a gift at the time. When you have just enough to eat and pay rent and little else, you begin to value every drop of abundance that comes your way, and it’s something that has never left me. Embracing ‘poor’ has been such a blessing. Embracing ‘alone’ has gifted me comfort in my own company and an appreciation of another’s company.
This year (2014) I hit a low point after publishing my first book ‘When Everyone Shines But You’. As the book was unearthed from my 4 year solitude retreat, the publishing of the book brought about a feeling of anti-climax, probably similar to post-natal depression a pregnant woman may feel after giving birth to her baby. During this low point, a strong powerful urge for change came through me. It was time to re-enter the world and leave my comfort zone behind.
Some may feel I should have done this sooner, but I’m a big believer in perfect timing. This change needed to take place when I was ready and when I had garnered all I could from solitude.
Moving Out Of The Comfort Zone
Moving out of the comfort zone is just as it says, not comfortable, but essential. Anyone that says change is easy is lying. For me, moving out involved sudden spontaneity, doing something I had not tried before, like Laughter Yoga, embracing new friendship with a stranger, starting a course at my local college and generally discovering more fun in my life, more joy.
Change was no longer a stranger to me. I was walking straight into it.
This change began a new way of looking at myself. My world began to open up into the new.
Comfort zones can keep us in ruts; they can keep us stuck, but they can also have their purpose in a hibernation period where we go within and ready ourselves for change.