It’s such a cliché. Life begins on the other side of your comfort zone. We all know it’s true, but we roll our eyes just a little when we hear it. Why is that? One word – Fear. In order to justify this concept, we must be open to do something we are fearful of.
Almost exactly one year ago, I had an experience that would forever change my world. It changed not only who I am as a person, but it literally changed my journey, both personally and professionally.
Finding the courage to step outside your comfort zone opens up doors. However, even when we know how powerful it can be, it’s human nature to let fear rule what we do, what we say (or don’t say), how we think, how we treat others, how we treat ourselves…and the list goes on.
One year ago, I attended a conference in Newport Beach, CA. I showed up at this conference in burnout mode. One of my friends had attended the prior year and asked me to go. Not really paying attention to what the conference was all about (frankly all I heard was “California”), I hopped on Travelocity and booked my plane ticket for a much needed vacation. I needed to get away and recharge and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The conference was called The Bliss Project. My thought process… Why not? Who doesn’t need more bliss in their life?
As the conference got closer and I began to hear more about it, anxiety (fear of the unknown) kicked in and I began to doubt it all. Yikes – we all know when that happens, what kicks in (only if we let it) is our itty bitty shitty committee that lives inside our head.
Much to my surprise, as I walked into the opening ceremony, in a room filled with women, it immediately began to sink in. This was something very different and really special. The energy in the room was over the top. This conference was put on by Lori Harder and every word she and Danette May spoke onstage was music to my ears and set my soul on fire.
What I know now, is that I had walked into a room filled with 200 women whos only purpose was to wrap love and support around each other. We were from all different walks of life. From many countries. All shapes and sizes. Yet, we all held one thing in common. The intention of love and support. We all had individual hopes and dreams and we were there to support each other in attaining those hopes and dreams.
It was unreal and unlike anything I had ever been involved in. There was no judgment, no competition, no expectation, no negativity anywhere in the air.
As the weekend continued, I found myself eating and tasting the most amazing healthy foods. I’ve been eating clean and healthy ever since the conference (mostly). I found myself practicing yoga and learning how to meditate. I’ve practiced both regularly ever since. I found myself getting to know so many people…in an intimate way and on a deep level. I listened to the stories that make people who they are. And, to this day, I stay connected to them daily and we offer mutual love, acceptance and support in reaching our goals and dreams.
I laughed. I cried. And I thought……a lot….deep and hard….you know…soul searching thought.
As the weekend concluded, I found myself wanting more. I found myself needing to play bigger, be better. A yearning to help others.
I realized just how much my life had changed for the better because of the hard inner work I was doing over time. If I could change as much as I had over the course of a couple years, others could, too. And I wanted to be a part of helping others “get there”.
Signing up for that retreat was way outside my comfort zone. Because I did, it changed my life. I had no idea this kind of space existed. I had no idea how much this kind of space could allow women to come together in love and support and how powerful it could be.
It opened my eyes, it opened my mind and it opened my heart to the possibility that I could create this health, self-love and happiness in my own day to day. Since that weekend one year ago, I’ve been to 2 additional similar events and I’m on my way back to a 2nd Bliss Project conference next week.
This experience had such an impact on me. My inner soul was screaming and I was being called to be into this space as a teacher. I don’t know what that fully means yet, but in the meantime I will continue to work on me to be better today than I was yesterday. Better tomorrow than today and so on. Fear holds us back in so many unhealthy ways. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It all starts with self-love and the confidence to chase whatever it is that sets your soul on fire. What sets me on fire is that if I can do it, anyone can do it. If I can create a path for it, I can help others create a path to it.
Life begins when you step outside your comfort zone. The key…find the courage to overcome your fear and like Nike says “Just Do It!” every opportunity you get. Sometimes we don’t know or understand the lesson until long after it is done. Be the initiator of your own success. It’s really amazing what can come from it. All you have to do is take that first step. Cliché or not, life does begin outside your comfort zone. I’m living proof.
Love and Light,