Comfort or Courage

What's your next courageous move?

I watched this sea gull for ten minutes before taking this picture. It nibbled at something growing on the rock until a wave came in. The gull assessed the wave to determine whether it needed to adjust wing or foot position to avoid getting wet. The wave went back out and lunch continued until the next wave. It never flew away or up to a higher, drier rock. The nourishment it wanted required the gull to face the waves with courage.

Do you tend to stay on the higher rocks to remain safe and protected? Or do you like to venture into new territory ready to learn and grow from the experience? As Brene Brown suggests, they can't happen simultaneously. But as the ocean ebbs and flows, I think there are times in which retreat into comfort can protect and recharge us. The danger is getting stuck there.

I enlarged the word choose because we often forget that we have that power. Are we mindlessly responding to our environment - getting stuck in or pushed to a place we don't want to be? Or are we consciously making choices to both care for and challenge ourselves? Mindfulness isn't just about sitting on a mat quietly and breathing. It's about becoming more aware of the stories we tell ourselves and our needs being ignored. That's what empowers us to choose courage.

Over the years of teaching juggling and other skills, I've learned some strategies to help make the process of stepping outside the comfort zone more accessible and fun for others. I also challenge myself to practice what I promote from learning new business skills to taking improv and stand-up comedy classes. With the right approach, these steps have not only create growth, but have also provided me a more fulfilling way to recharge and replenish well-being rather than mindlessly retreating toward comfort. What's your next courageous move?