Recently I have been explaining to various classes of students my intention to get them out of their comfort zones by having numbers of them stand up, walk away from their desks to find someone whom they are not so familiar with and interview that person. My goal in all of this, including having them present what they have learned about that person is to assist them to expand themselves by pushing or nudging them as I would have instructors do unto me if I were in their shoes. A slight problem that I’ve noticed though with this is that I don’t so often do unto and for myself as I sometimes do for others and as I would certainly have others do unto and for me.
Thankfully though, I do sometimes trick myself into getting out of my comfort zones as I did the other day when I invited myself and some others to a friend’s home in Puli, Nantou, Taiwan for a barbecue. After, I had done that and my friend had agreed, I thought to myself, I don’t wanna do that. It would require either me drinking non-alcohol beer or spending the night in a guest house and the last time I did that (stayed in that guest house), I got HongKong feet - as it’s called in Taiwan. In the states, we refer to it as athlete’s foot, but I guess it’s just a form of bacterial (correction - fungal) growth in the cracks of the feet that’s gotta be cleaned and cared for. Either way, it’s not pleasant, yet there are number of ways of dealing with it WITHOUT POISONING THE BODY WITH ANTI-BACTERIAL (correction - antifungal) CHEMICALS.
The easiest way being to rub one’s urine into the cracks of the foot thereby neutralizing the destructive bacteria. Washing it with a high ph solution of sodium bicarbonate and water will also usually solve the problem. BTW, sodium bicarbonate, the good stuff is one of those wonders that, when used correctly, is able to assist in relieving and solving so many physical ailments. It’s also good for washing clothes, brushing teeth (with coconut oil) and household cleaning.
Anyway, by not thinking it through and inviting myself and others to my friend’s home for a barbecue, I left myself, the expert at backing out of engagements, with no, shall I say, forgivable way out. Thus, I went and even though I was the only friend to show up, I enjoyed myself at the barbecue in the company of my friend and his partner. Additionally, I spent the night at at that same guest house, met some interesting people, found it to be quite pleasant and (being sure to wear slippers into the bathroom and shower) I avoided picking up any unwanted bacteria = no bacterial infections on the feet, all of which I wouldn’t have accomplished had I not gotten myself away from my little home away from home and out of my comfort zone. This leaves me wondering: how often and where else am I not doing unto and for myself that which I am willing to do unto and for others as a doing aligned with living the word, care?
Where else am I not caring enough for myself to push myself out of my comfort zones? Dare I count the ways? No, instead I simply forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to hide in my comfort zones instead of pushing myself to get out and connect with new people. Furthermore, when and as I find myself leaning towards staying home in the "safety" of my comfort zone, I commit to push through the uncertainty (which is actually a fear of leaving the zone) so to get out of my zone, meet some new people and perhaps even have some fun. I see a spark that is starting to glow. Perhaps it is time to fan and ignite it. After all, the spark is me as an opportunity.