Go out on a limb

Everyone knows that anything worth doing requires you to do something hard first.  To get a college degree, you have to move away from home and start a new life as an adult.  To have ever-lasting love you need to put your heart on the line knowing that it might not work.  To have an awesome body, you have to train harder than everyone else even when no one is looking.

Everyone knows that the really valuable fruit is at the top of the tree, out on a limb.  The only way to get it is to step out of your comfort zone, and take a risk that might not pay off. It requires you to try before you know that you'll be successful. Everyone knows this, but how often do we practice it?

It's easy to get stuck in the ruts of life, and just go through the motions. Another day, get dressed the same way, do the same stuff, come home the same way, eat the same thing, and go to bed to do it the same way again. Even after past successes (degrees, relationships, jobs) we create new comfort zones, and new patterns that make us feel well....comfortable. So how do we break the cycle and improve? How do we get all that delicious fruit out on the limbs, the great jobs, great friends, great bank accounts, and great lives?

I've been thinking a lot about this recently, and reading lots of books, some silly and some great. I've started meditating over the past year, and I've really enjoyed my experiences. But I've gotten into a rut again and fallen into a new pattern and a new comfort zone. So a few weeks ago I decided to break out of it, and do something that makes me very uncomfortable. In fact, I haven't told many people about it (until now of course). I'm going on a 7 hour silent meditation retreat.

This will be me pretending I don't have to pee...

This will be me pretending I don't have to pee...

This is VERY MUCH outside of my comfort zone. I don't meditate in front of people, and this event will have 75 participants, likely experienced and possibly weird. I've never done it for more than 30 minutes, and I'm pretty sure an hour is just the first installment before many more hours of being stuck inside my own head. I'm scared and nervous, and excited. I might hate every second of it. My back is going to hurt from sitting in a fake peaceful pose for hours, and there's even a part of me that thinks I might just go crazy. But that's why I'm doing it. I've decided that meditation is important to me, and I need to learn more about it from those with more experience. It's exactly why people seek out me and my colleagues when they want to get into great shape. We know way more than they do, and we teach them, but it takes guts to make that phone call. In honor of these people, I'm going out a limb too.

If you read a news story that says 'Local man runs naked and crazy through the streets', you'll know what happened. But there's another possibility. You might see me with the faint smile of a man who knows what the fruit tastes like, way out there on a limb.