Stretching Your Comfort Zone

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone“ ~Neale Donald Walsch

I recently returned from a week-long writing workshop at the Omega Institute in New York, a beautiful center created to awaken the best in a person’s spirit.

It’s located 2 hours north of NYC in the countryside set along a lake, with all the possibilities to access your creative and spiritual side: a sanctuary for meditation, a stunning yoga hall, organic meals, a wellness center for message and energy healing, dance movement classes, and a library in the shape of a lotus flower.

“Could it get any better?” I asked myself. Surrounded by people who are wanting this as well was extraordinary on many levels, and my days were full, full of sharing, opening, laughing, crying, and gratitude. It was truly one of the most amazing weeks of my life.

The writing workshop wasn’t about grammar and sentence structure, it was about writing from your heart, writing your truth, writing your story.

I’ve never focused on writing before, and had no idea it was an avenue for creativity, my creativity. So in I go, relaxed, open, and observant. We start with a 30 minute guided meditation to bring us into a creative space, and get us out of our minds. It worked, I had a profound experience, tears flowing.

If this is the start, I thought, what is to come?! Then she tells us we are to read what we wrote out loud. My heart starts to pound, in front of 20 people I don’t know? Really? Thoughts of being judged for what I wrote come in, but I read anyways. Maia, our teacher, supports, encourages, and begins feeding the flame of my creative writing with skill and finesse.

The afternoon comes, I write a piece about living to my fullest potential. When I finish reading, she says, “You write from the perspective of your body, I want you to do a dance for us at the end of the week so you feel your potential on a cellular level.”

I gulped, “Really, in here?” I question. She asks, “Do you dance?”, yes, I respond, but not perform! Was I really agreeing to this? The next morning, two other women in the class approach me and say they want to help, they have experience producing and we can put together a multi-media production with visual and audio affects.

I agree, grateful for the support. I walk into dance class next, and tell her what I am doing. Jody, the dance teacher, say’s she will help me, I can borrow her glittery scarves, music, clothes. Wow, I can’t believe this is happening!

As the days go by, a vision unfolds of what I want to do, and more insightful writings come out onto the page. I lay awake at night imagining the moves, how it will go, and how I will be in the dance, I go back to sleep.  

Days later, after rehearsing, and working out the kinks, the class comes in, excited for what is to come. I’m surprisingly calm, I smile, the music starts. The title, “The Dance of My Heart” comes onto the screen. I dance from my body, unlike I’ve never done.

My heart cries, my heart mourns, my heart picks up again, my heart awakens, my heart opens, into living with all of my heart.

The music starts slow (Fallin’ by Alicia Keys), then picks up, and finishes with a fun dance tune called, “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. (Click on the song to hear it on youtube!)

I pull everyone up to the front with me and we dance and sing with glittery scarves, no one holding back. This is what it is like to live fully, to love fully, I feel it in my body.

My peers are ecstatic, they give me hugs and tell me my dancing brought tears to their eyes. Was this possible, could I really do this? Well I can! And I did! I not only danced my possibility, but I inspired them to do the same.

My comfort zone was stretched, stretched farther than I ever imagined, and it is because someone saw the potential in me, and I said yes, despite the fear.

That is where we find our potential – not doing what we always do, but doing things that we fear, and knowing it would be good for us.

We have these opportunities every day, whether it’s speaking to a friend about something that is bothering us, trying a new class that taps into our creativity, or walking into a room of strangers and reaching out a hand of hello.

You know you are stretching your comfort zone when thinking about it makes your heart go faster, your palms sweat, or nervous butterflies fly around in your stomach. 

See beyond the box of your beliefs and fears. There is a world waiting for you, for all of you to come out! You don’t know what is possible until you try!

Thank you to my teacher Maia and fellow students, for your belief in me, support, and unconditional love! You have all helped me know what is possible. Boundless, without boundary. Love. Amazing! (The lines I danced to are below)

The Dance of My Heart

My Child’s Heart

My Child’s Heart Broken

My Closed Heart

My Closed Heart Broken Open

My Broken Heart Awakening

My Heart Opening

Living with All of My Heart

Boundless, without Boundary, Love, Amazing!


Categories: Conflict & Forgiveness

About the Author: Angela Patnode

My passion, my calling, is for you to be totally you. Through private coaching, in-depth retreats, and online group coaching programs, I help you tap into your intuition and clarify your desires and vision, I guide you to take active steps toward making your desires a reality.

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