▪️COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE

Her own choices.

I was proud of her, my friend that is. She’s not shrinking back from the discomfort. Instead, she’s systematically put one foot in front of the other to get to this place, a place she had no idea would be laid before her. I can relate to this kind of uncomfortable. It’s been a decade since I laid my career aside to be more available to my family. I’ll admit, for me, this has been the most painful sacrifice I’ve ever made.

When we start a new season of life, or embark on a journey, or respond to the unexpected, we often begin with one hard choice. Once that choice is made, there will be a succession of choices behind it, that for the most part reinforce that first choice. It’s more like tipping the first domino in a sequence than facing a series of crossroads. Once you make that first choice of right or left, most of the choices behind it are almost already made, that’s what makes her so courageous, she’s allowing herself to be led down the path of her own choices.

We don’t just get where we want to be by making one huge choice, we get there by making one small first choice to get outside our comfort zone, then we keep heading down that path. Choosing our own path takes courage.

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You could say that what is unknown awaits us outside of our comfort zones, it’s our choice to discover it, or leave it unknown. It’s not easy to transition back into the workforce when you’ve laid that down for a long season, it’s even more difficult when you’re 40+. I admire her, she is courageous.

Having made both the transition out of and transition back into the workforce, on multiple occasions, I can speak from some experience to the exhaustion she will face, the insecurity that’s heading her way, and the emotionally fragile state she will find herself moodily swinging in and out of, because I’ve been there myself. But even still, with all this she is still courageous, not shrinking back, but making the choice on the path she’s created for herself. She’s heading into her great unknown, and for that I applaud her.

If you’re in a season of role transition, I applaud you too. Taking the risk to leave the comforts of your known to explore what’s out there for you is courageous.

▪️COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE

He is awake.

He’s on the cusp of 18, fills the size of a doorway, and calls me his “little mommy.” His mere existence has ushered in some unexpected excitement to our home, recently. He’s abiding in anticipation, and bringing others along for the ride.

Just two months ago we had no idea this was possible. It was never a dream, or a goal, or a plan. Actually, it’s quite the opposite of what we anticipated. School has always been a bumpy road for this guy. With an August birthday everything always seemed to come late for him. Late to read. Late to settle down to school work. Late to care. I’ve been looking forward to his graduation for more than a decade. You might say I’ve been in labor for years.

However, just as labor produces pain – it also yields new life, and that is exactly where we are headed. New life. We’ve taken a 180 degree turn heading in a new direction, and it all started with a baby step of courage from my firstborn.

We were told that the new Head Football Coach would be a great addition to our school. We were misinformed, great doesn’t even begin to describe what his presence has brought into this community. We haven’t had the best of experiences with football over the years, nevertheless our son continues to come out and play each spring for a short season. He immediately took to our new coach.

I was proud that he took a baby step of courage and asked to play a new position this season. He’s all of 6’5″ at 240 lbs and his request was to play Tight End. He wanted to try something new, it was outside of his comfort zone. And that is where courage is found, in the space between where you are and what might ever be, in the unknown. He is awake.

Now we find ourselves just weeks into a journey of unknown, unexpected, and unbelievable. The dismay I once held wondering where he would launch to after high school is over, has been displaced with hope. That is why we leave our comfort zone…hope. Finding hope takes courage.

After a strong showing in the new position, coupled with his extraordinary size, we’ve found ourselves in the fast current of college football scholarships. We’re all learning to navigate these uncharted waters. Sure we’ll get splashed in the face a bit along the way, we know it will be worth it, everything that requires courage is worth it.

What baby step can you take outside of your comfort zone?

You owe yourself to do it, be strong and courageous,

▪️COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE

Yoga experience or not, I was in

She had sent me a text mid February extending an invitation to an all day retreat at her home. A Yoga retreat. She lives not far from my home on a beautiful oasis that marries the uncommon combination of equestrian life nestled beneath an umbrella of palm trees. I wanted to be spoiled, but a full Saturday I did not have to give. This is the season of life that I should have my Saturdays to myself again – right now however, my life has taken an unexpected detour. My response was intentionally honest and needy.

“I don’t have a Saturday to give, please let me know when you host your next retreat.” I texted her. Not but a day or so later I watched in envy when her pics from the day showed up on my Facebook feed. I knew I had missed out.

That was until recently, when she invited me to a morning of Yoga at our local beach. Yoga experience or not, I was in.

The day was windy, unlike the weather just two days earlier on my regular morning beach walk. It’s a perfect illustration of the unpredictable nature of life.

To a novice Yogi (I googled it, it’s a word) getting it all wrong within the privacy of someone’s personal compound is one level of getting uncomfortable, to do it on a public beach, would undeniably require some courage.

You know me well enough by now, I’m committed to cultivating more courage, therefore it wasn’t even a decision to make. This was an everyday ordinary moment to put my commitment into practice.

Being flexible requires courage.

The more comfortable we become with being uncomfortable, the more flexible we will be. Flexibility reveals a certain inner storehouse of courage.

Fear governs our desire for control, it builds an invisible cage around our life and traps us in a belief that what we know is all there is to be known. This is a dangerous mindset, the reality is we know very little and have control over even less.

I am 43 and here is the expansive list of what I truly have control over; my thoughts, my attitude, and maybe my calorie intake for the day. Meanwhile, no sarcasm necessary, there is a list of what I cannot control; my schedule, how much love my husband shows me today, the choices my teenagers will make, if we will all eat a meal together today, if I will ever be a grandmother, who my kids will marry, if they marry, if I will see any of that come to pass, and so on…you get the point.

Flexible people live with an awareness that each day holds a bit of the unexpected; which leads me back to my morning of Yoga at the beach. I came for Yoga (and personal discomfort) and left with something completely unexpected.

It must have been a solid five minutes into deep breathing, aligning my heartbeat to the roll of the ocean, and cleaning my mind of all its mental sticky notes, when it happened.

God spoke.

Today I choose to end the story here for you with this bit of encouragement; practice this attribute as often as possible – make it not just a habit but a sacrament. If the all knowing, all creating, all loving God goes before us then we can expect to encounter Him as we stretch our life into the great unknown.

Be strong and courageous,

▪️COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE

The discomfort preceded the destiny.

It’s been 4 years since my trip to India. Although my everyday life seems as distant as the geography is, my memories tend to keep this experience top of mind. You can image that the combination of being fully present to each moment I experienced and the sensory overload of an unfamiliar culture serve to preserve these memories like a travel journal of sorts.

HOT that might be the first word I would use when describing India. There we sat side by side forming a row across the stage glued to the plastic seating provided, we must have looked like a tribe of vagabond Westerners to the women we were facing. The mix of heat and immobility resulted in legs that were suctioned together, sweat dripping from everywhere, and I swore I could wring this amount of perspiration from my bra.

To me everything in India is riddled with irony, including the HOT chai tea we were served during the conference break that afternoon. I managed to get the recipe and have made it a few times over the years. Delish. Oddly enough we were there to teach, this notion was especially ironic.

Our “fearless” leader, who was really theirs, was speaking. Not knowing if the story she was telling was true or a magnificent oral tale of Eastern decent I found myself hanging on her every word.

This message was for me.

She told us a story of what eagles do to realize their full potential – the discomfort they endure to reach their maximum life span. She with great detail, and some hilarious facial expressions, illustrated the process they go through to live beyond the age of 40. Their life span could be 80+ years, the choice was theirs.

She narrated how they would find a place to hide, a cave of sorts, high up in the mountains, a place where they could be safe in their vulnerability. It would be in this place where they would painstakingly pluck out some of their heaviest feathers, in order to lighten their plumage.

They use their hard and mangled beaks to pull out their talons one by one, for newer sharper talons to grow in. And at the final stage would crack their beaks agains the hard stone until the old came away and a more youthful beak could grow back in its place. All the while they faced near starvation in the process. Discomfort would be a slight to depict the pain of this molting.

I was 39 at the time.

I struggled with feelings of unfulfillment. I just didn’t feel like I was living my full potential. I had allowed life to push me around to the point that I wasn’t really sure who I was, what I was made for, and where I was going.

I was aching for purpose.

She implored her audience. “Do the hard work, you’re meant to be eagles.”

I wasn’t the only Westerner who was opened mouthed at the way she was addressing her girls, excuse me, I mean female leaders. She caught all of us off guard.

“Why are you acting like chickens just pecking around in the garbage?”

All I could think was, try selling tickets to hear that at your next women’s conference or retreat. But she was right, if we’re not out there enduring the discomfort to reach our maximum potential – we’re chickens.

I don’t know about you but I would rather be an eagle than a chicken. And my biggest take away from her talk was understanding this principle.

The discomfort preceded the destiny. And it takes courage to believe in yourself. Believing you’re an eagle not a chicken is half the battle.


This is especially true when you’re an adult. There are not many people offering to tell you how awesome you are and how much untapped potential you have. You’ve got to push yourself outside of your own comfort zone…and keep on pushing.

Friends, that’s what this community is about…pushing one another along as we all go through the painful process of reaching our full potential.

Eagles or chickens? Cast your vote.

Who’s ready to do the hard work with me?

▪️COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE

First we borrow, then we posses…

I pulled into the parking lot about 11 minutes early.  Just enough time to slowly walk through the lobby, notice the gallery of artwork, and wait a bit for the elevator doors to open.  There it was the ding announcing the elevator’s arrival, the doors opened and invited me to enter the vault like interior.  I took the few short steps in, turned around and pressed the button for the second floor.

Why does time seem to stand still when we are uncomfortable?  Seconds of waiting for the inevitable discomfort can stretch as if days.

It was long enough for me to notice the padded walls and the cardboard taped down to protect the marble tiled floor.  “They must be moving furniture or boxes or something” I thought.  Anything to keep me from thinking about what may come next.

As the doors heaved apart I reluctantly put one foot and then another in the direction of my destination.

Suddenly, there I was, seen, there would be no turning back.  They greeted me with smiles and handshakes, and sign in sheets, and agenda – it was all a bit overwhelming.

There is an extraordinary amount of protocol to participate in this group.

Protocol is not my strong suit – I’m casual, laid back, informal – I lack pedigree.  While I’ve spent years scoffing at such ceremony – I now revere it.   I respect the effort.  In all honesty, it takes a level of self control and discipline to be ceremonial that I have yet to possess.

Maybe this will get absorbed into my soul?

I have metaphorically jumped into the deep end – will I sink or swim?  These are the feelings of a girl getting outside of her comfort zone.  But I want the BIGGER vision I have for myself and my life – and for that I must be stretched, transformed, and become a BIGGER me.

The hour was intense.  It required me to graciously receive the encouragement extended by those who were veterans of the endeavor.

I borrowed their courage to endure.  First we borrow, then we posses.

Wanna know what it was that I did?  Have any guesses?

I attended a Toastmasters Club meeting – my intention is to join.  Not familiar with the Club?  In a nut shell, it’s an intense hour of practicing the art of extemporaneous public speaking.  Sounds like stressful fun right? Ha! Even so, I already have week #2 under my belt.  Which was a bit more intense than week #1. 😳

Here’s the thing… I had just enough courage to email the club for info and make myself get to the meeting.  Not enough to get me through the meeting or attend again or join shall I dare.  But enough to start.

I used their encouragement to supply me during the hour.  And wouldn’t you know… as I rode that same padded elevator back down to the first floor… there it was.

New courage.

A fresh supply deposited in my spirit.  Enough to put a slight bounce in my step and have the audacity to commit for a second week as a visitor.

Attribute #1: COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE – Get outside of your comfort zone, make trying ‘new’ things a habit.

This attribute of courage stretches you – makes you BIGGER than you currently are. The courage to try new things increases your ability and your capacity.

What about you?  Did you brainstorm ways that you could get outside of your comfort zone?  If so, would you share with the rest of us?  We wanna hear from you.

That’s this week’s conversation starter.

Now it’s your turn – share your ideas 💡 in the comments and let’s support one another in the attribute of COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE.

Until next week my friends…be strong and courageous.