What is Comfort?

We are so fortunate to actually be able to choose to be comfortable or not. Many in this world have no choice in the matter and are living very difficult lives. It’s wonderful to have comfortable furniture and a comfortable bed, but is the endgame really about having a comfortable life?

When I traveled to Portugal, I knew there would be discomfort to deal with: the overnight flight in economy, the language barrier, keeping up with the physical activities to name a few. Sophie Everard, founder of Mad to Live Retreats, mentioned quite early on in the trip that surfing was not glam, nor easy. It’s scrappy. The surfboards are heavy and need to be carted down the beach so we didn’t have to worry about crashing into other people. The water was 62º and the wetsuits needed were damp and stinky. Once we had a few drills, into the water we went, hoping to not get slammed by a wave, your board or someone else’s board.

So why do it? 

When we step outside of our comfort zone, we are usually faced with something we haven’t done before and that can be scary, or maybe, exciting. The great quote from Robert Heller says it all, “Fear is excitement without breath”. These two emotions are the flip side of each other. If we can remember this when we face our fears, and look for the excitement, progress happens.

Many people decide to deal with their clutter or disorganization when they finally can’t take the discomfort anymore. The funny thing is that they don’t realize how comfortable they were in the clutter until we start dismantling it. All of the fears come flying out. While they were living in disorder, it was familiar to them which registers in the body as comfort. When we start to spread it out and make a bigger mess of it, they are tested.

This is why having a vision they are excited by is so important in the process. It offers a beacon of hope, a path to follow, a way to see what’s been holding them back from living a life that is truly comfortable, not just the one they are used to living. It’s not a perfect ride, there are a lot of obstacles to hurdle, literally and figuratively.

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On the very last day of our retreat, I finally got out of my head long enough to stand up a few times on the board and it was thrilling! Had I gotten up the first day, maybe not as much? Sometimes when we try over and over again without giving up is when we truly feel victorious. It’s easy to try and fail. Persistence is what pumps us up so we can reach our goals.

When was the last time you were rewarded for stepping out of your comfort zone? Please share in the comments!