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JillianZ

Comfort Zone

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Hello! 

I have a question. ¬†Not sure if this was the best place to post it, but here goes ūüėČ

How can you tell the difference between just being out of your comfort zone vs. forcing something that just isn't meant to be?

Gratefully,

JZ 

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Hey @JillianZ,

This is a fantastic question, one that I am not sure I have a clear answer to, but I will share my reflections in any case.

It's tricky because often our fears are perceived by our own mind as intuition and our intuition can equally be ignored or overrun by the rational parts of our brain. First, I think it's important to remember that the 'best' answer isn't always available to us right away, which is beautifully reflected in a quote by Rainer Maria Rilke:

‚ÄúBe patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.‚ÄĚ

This pertains to those bigger life questions more so than the small details of our daily lives (such as, 'Should I go to that party tonight or not?'). For those smaller details and questions, I think it can be helpful just to ask ourselves, "What would make me feel most nourished/happy/whole right now?" For myself, this helps to clear out the 'should's and 'should not's from my mind.

I think it's also important to note that pushing or nudging ourselves out of our comfort zones can definitely be a way to grow, but we don't have to force things that don't feel right (nor should we). My own perception is that there is an unconscious belief in this society that we have to use force to make things happen, but maybe surrender is an equally powerful energy. 

I guess in any case, taking the time to sit and to listen to all the voices, all the inner conflict, all the bodily sensations, and all the emotions can slowly help to strengthen discernment. We can ask ourselves questions like: What does my rational mind say about option A and option B? What does my inner elder say about these options? What does my heart say? What does my body say? Slowly, I think this can help us live into the answer (as Rilke says).

I am very curious to hear other member's takes on this question!

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Hi Gillian!  Thank you so much for reaching out! That is very heart warming.  When I 1st read your email I was eager to give you an update and excited and that the idea of receiving some of your wise and useful feedback.  I wanted to update you that I am on the last leg of the teaching certification course in primordial sound meditation from the Chopra Center and am excited and proud and terrified all at the same time! I have no idea what I am going to do with this certification when completed.  Becoming a meditation teacher was never me direct intent, it was just the next opportunity I took when it came up.  I have already signed up for the Ayruveda health certification course that follows and am very interested in that personally, but again not sure how I am going to fashion these certifications into a new career.  I am a bit skeptical and extremely uncertain of how this is all going to play out for me.  But what I am aware of, is that the old me would have never even started on this journey without a direct route to the finish line and not knowing the end result.  I am just taking the next step as it comes and trusting the universe will lead me to my dharma.  Having said that, I still battle doubts and fear the unknown.  I'm just not letting it stop me!

That was my 1st response to your request for an update.  After rereading the posts above regarding comfort zone, another challenge I have been dealing with came up.  When I first posted about being out of my comfort zone vs. forcing something that isn't meant to be, I was referring to my relationship with my boyfriend.  The issue is he has 2 children and I am not the motherly nurturing type and have spent my whole life avoiding the little monsters ;)  So it is quite a struggle for me to be a part of their lives, on so many levlels.  I am ashamed to admit that I am also jealous of how good of a father he is, not having had the best relationship with my own.  We've had many discussions about it, even took a break for awhile.  We know we want to be together.  And I am willing to try and put in the effort.  And I have and I do and sometimes it is great!  But the majority of times it is a true struggle for me internally and I can keep my thoughts and opinions to myself and grin and bear it, but it is not easy and definitely not natural for me.  I have identified where my ego is involved and have acknowledged my own personal issues with the situation and have consciously chosen to let all my old beliefs go and participate willingly as a part of this family.  But my question is, having made the conscious choice to let go, how do I actually let go??  (this question applies to so much in my life) Because the negative thoughts haven't stopped I just don't listen to them anymore.  Things were good for awhile.  Slow but steady progress was being made and I felt connected.  But recently, perhaps due to the holidays or perhaps due to my boyfriend seemingly insecure as a father (there is a stepdad in the picture) and needing to do more and spend more, I have been feeling very insecure and disconnected from him and the seemingly family unit we were trying to create.  It is such a touchy subject with him and it feels like we have already talked it to death that I don't know how to bring it up anymore or approach it in a way he doesn't automatically get defensive.  The bottom line is the kids always win.  So I have been having this same internal struggle, push through the discomfort or accept what isn't meant to be?? Its like you said above, I cannot discern my intuition from my egos thoughts and old habits of self sabotage.

Thank you so much again for reaching out! Hope all is well with you and Happy New Year!

Gratefully,

Jillian

 

 

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Hello @JillianZ! It is wonderful to hear from you. First, a big congrats on your primordial sound meditation certification - and the Ayurveda studies ahead! I think that is wonderful that you are following the call to learn and evolve even though the destination is unknown. I was just talking to my partner about this the other day, how each step we take might not be 'where we end up' (well, it quite simply won't be where we end up as life keeps moving... but you know what I mean) and yet each of these steps is a part of the greater unfolding.

I am sorry to hear that you are struggling to gain clarity around your relationship. This sounds quite difficult - and so is your question:

On 1/9/2021 at 5:46 PM, JillianZ said:

But my question is, having made the conscious choice to let go, how do I actually let go??

This is where I think grace comes in. We can practice 'letting go' or 'surrendering', but it's not something that the mind can 'do'. I think because true surrender comes from somewhere much deeper than the mind.

That said, I will share with you a moment I had in the midst of a very painful situation some years ago. I was experiencing much jealousy, hurt, and sadness due to a situation I was involved in... and one evening, as I took to my yoga mat in the dark with nothing but a candle lit, something in me just 'gave it up'. I naturally surrendered the predicament to the universe - not because I planned to, it simply happened. I couldn't do it all on my own anymore. I knew I wouldn't be able to rationally figure it out.

The next day, something big shifted - both within me and in the person I was in a relationship with (and naturally then in the relationship itself). So while I can't say that this is 'how to let go' because there isn't a guidebook for it, I would say that taking time to yourself in some kind of self-designed ritual can be helpful. Ground deep into the earth, welcome in the emotions, welcome in any paradoxes that exist, and ask for support from the unknown - from the mystery.

How does that idea feel to you?

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Thank you so much for sharing your personal experiences with me.  I do believe I know what you are describing.  There have been times where I feel something inside me shift or release and things become clear and I see things differently and feel lighter and hopeful and inspired....for awhile.  I have had many "Aha!" moments when everything makes sense and I feel I have it all figured out.  I feel like I can let go and move on and do things differently and better and never look back!   But especially in this particular circumstance things are great for awhile and then for no seemingly legitimate reason these thoughts come back with a vengeance, almost as if they will not stop until the relationship is destroyed, even though I do not believe that is what I truly want.  But at the same time they've got to be coming from somewhere for some reason...  And that is where I am driving myself crazy trying to figure it out in the level of the mind.  I have never been very in tune with my heart or true feelings or emotions and have always led my way with my had which has been sad but lonely.  I have been so guarded to others and the outside world I don't even know hoe to let myself in, not truly, not all the way.

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Thank you for sharing all of this Jillian. I struggle with these things too from time to time - recurring thoughts that want to be dealt with but are difficult to decipher. It reminds me of the quote by Rainer Maria Rilke which goes:

‚ÄúBe patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.‚ÄĚ

This to me includes a call to open up to the uncertainty and the lack of clarity - to 'live the questions now'. Easier said than done for sure, but mindfulness practice can certainly be of support here. Mindfulness can help us to face the general uncertainty of life while also helping us to remain present with what is here right now. Even amidst our discomfort, can we find acceptance here or an underpinning peace?

In terms of moving into the heart space, I think there are many ways to do that and we each have our own path to take. Psychotherapy, soul-based work, mindfulness and meditation practices for emotions, inner child work, shadow work, somatic practices... I think it's a matter of exploration and sensing into what calls us. What works for us or what opens us up in one moment might be different from the next. 

Do you have a personal practice at the moment? Or any mindfulness/meditation practices that resonate with you?

 

 

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Thanks again Gillian for sharing that great quote.  I truly like the idea of living the questions.  I've always been a fan of fully experiencing and embracing life- the good, the bad, and the ugly.  And as of recently, (and something positive I can personally attribute to the pandemic) is my new found ability to embrace and lean into the unknown and trusting that everything will be ok- even if I don't know how or when.  I am not yet completely unwavering in this belief, but it is something I wouldn't have even consider before.  And I know that I want that acceptance and surrender in my relationship.  I have consciously made the choice to be in it- good, bad, and ugly.  But the negative thoughts are still there.  I literally feel like there is a monster inside of me that will not go away until I give him want he wants and end my relationship.  And as soon as I do, he will look at me and laugh and say "Ha!Ha! look what I made you do, you fool".  But then I think to myself, is this monster really my intuition telling me this truly isn't right.  And I am the one making it appear as a monster because I want the relationship to be right???  How can I be this out of touch from my true feelings and detached from my own heart that I can't tell what is real or right vs. wrong?

To answer your question, my only current practices at this time are my daily meditations and journaling. ¬†I have previously contemplated hypnosis. ¬†I ¬†believe I¬†made a post¬†asking¬†for any insight¬†on the topic awhile back. ¬†But I never really looked into it until earlier today when I put an inquiry in to someone I came across in one¬†of those round about cosmic¬†ways ūüėČ

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I don't think it is necessarily a sign that you are out of touch if you are struggling to decipher between 'right' and 'wrong'. As I think about it now, unless we are in an abusive relationship of any sort, I don't know that there is typically a clear 'right' or 'wrong'. Different decisions simply offer different opportunities, lessons, and experiences.

Have you tried having some kind of dialogue with this 'monster' energy you perceive? You might try approaching it from the side of you that is grounded, wise, loving, and curious, exploring without judgment what it wants or is trying to say. 

That's great that you have a meditation and journaling practice. Both are wonderful. Journaling has been a tool for me for many, many years, long before I even knew what meditation was.

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