We all deserve a soft place to land.
No matter how much we want to live a fully-engaged, outside-our-comfort-zone life, the fact remains: engaging with fear is tiring. Stretching yourself every day is a lot of work, and when you’re facing your fears, you deserve to have somewhere that’s comfortable, easy, and entirely familiar to return to.
You’ve probably read the Neale Donald Walsch quote that states, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” That quote has been broadcast so widely because it resonates with many of us as a kernel of truth. And I think Walsch’s message is spot-on. I’m wildly, enthusiastically in favor of taking risks and trying new things. But we cannot sustainably live our lives always on the outside of our comfort zone. We need somewhere to calm our nervous system, somewhere that our adrenaline production can slow for a spell.
What we need is a nest. I’m thinking, right now, of baby birds, whose mothers nudge or coax them out of their nests to teach them to fly. Most baby birds don’t just fly out of the nest one day and never return. Most often, they flutter awkwardly to nearby branches or sometimes plunk clumsily to the ground. Over time, they learn to fly. They need to in order to have the best chance at survival. But as they learn, they grasp onto tree trunks between their first short, tiring flights. They return to the nest, repeatedly, until the air becomes their kingdom.
After much trial and error, the birds become competent fliers. At that point, they’re able to leave their original nest and fly off to build their own.
We, too, need a comfy spot to touch down between exhilarating flights out of our comfort zones. Somewhere to rest our tired wings, slumber, and regather our courage. We all deserve a soft place to land.