This week's reading in The Joy Diet is all about risk, I can't wait to read what the other book bloggers at The Next Chapter have to say about this one. Challenging would be a good word to describe it. Uncomfortable, slightly terrifying and a little exhilarating. I realize how far into my shell I've climbed with reading this chapter and how much work I need to do to pull myself out and stop being a hiding snail.
When we go through the lists of what we've come up with as desires so far, and start to think about what risks are necessary to achive those desires, author Martha Beck points out that fear masquerades as many things: "anxiety, nervousness, uneasiness, outright terror. Work your creativity until you arrive at an idea that makes you shrink away, a little or a lot. The fear shows that you have reached the border of your personal comfort zone. You're about to push that border back and claim new territory in your own life, the only way you can: by taking risks."
I love that idea, that there is more territory that is available to me to claim and inhabit and use in my life. This whatever I have right now in front of and around me is not the be-all/end-all of what is possible for me, but to get to anything else, risks must be taken.
Further on in the chapter, Beck notes that "If you really put it to the test, you'll probably find that your comfort zone is arbitrary and irrational." I've never thought of that, but it definitely checks out. I could not make a coherent case to myself for why I hesitate to make this phone call, write that email or follow through with that idea. Holding myself apart and separate to prevent possible upset or disappointment just doesn't make must rational sense anymore, and I can't explain to myself why I was even doing it in the first place. Maybe that is OK, just to know that, and maybe I can now work on doing it all a little bit differently. I'll be glad to get rid of the feeling that I've tied myself up in barbed wire.
"You must do the thing you think you cannot do. - Eleanor Roosevelt"