I believe that we all have our safe spaces. Those places in our mind and body where we feel comfortable. Part of the practice for this life is, I believe, to stretch those boundaries. This is not a challenge, not “a who can stretch furthest?" dare. Rather it is path through life of seeing if I can grow larger my potential, in what I can embrace than what I might be doing now…a path that I can chose to take if I wish to, and one that I do so while caring for my own well being - not jumping further than I feel is safe to do so.

And then those times happen when I am caught completely off guard and find myself out of my comfort zone. In such times my safe boundaries just collapse, disappear from around me, and I am left standing naked and exposed with nowhere to run to. Whether other’s see that in me, I don’t know, but for me in that moment it is a very real feeling.

Such happened to me last night. People visited, new friends. We engaged in conversation, and the ground just opened up underneath me. Nowhere to run to. I could feel the discomfort in me, I felt exposed and I had nowhere to go. I was left just being where I was - talking, listening, engaging - but that engaging was cutting through me. I wanted to get up and leave. There was discomfort in my body and mind - scratching, itching, tension. With nowhere to turn to, I was left just being present to the feelings, to the experience. Breathing, allowing the felt experience to be there, not pushing it away. Just seeing it as not personal, passing through me, real and at the same time not real, holding that paradox.

Afterwards I found a safe and comfortable place to be, like resting after a period of strenuous activity, allowing body and mind to rest and settle. And next time that challenged comfort zone will be a little more familiar, probably still uncomfortable, perhaps still scary? For all of that though I can breathe into it again, let it pass through me, and learn that little bit more from the experience. For in all those scary, uncomfortable places there is also wisdom.