The Dual Blessing of the Comfort Zone


I have never, ever worked, studied or lived in the “comfort zone” always challenged myself to stretch, be uncomfortable, constantly work–work hard for the sake of the greater good. Such earnest effort were drilled in my spirit culturally by both parents. It was also important to me– that my life’s work had some meaningful purpose.

I wonder sometimes what impact does constantly working, continually working hard have on our health and well-being? Is it ok to rest in a comfort zone of balance from time to time?

As the white hairs proliferate on my head, I am now understanding that sometimes we need to be in a place of rest-rejuvenation and restoration in order to grow in to the amazing human being Creator purposed. I am now realizing there is a dual purpose of the comfort zone which is not afforded to many depending upon your social, economic or political status.

A very good friend of mine shared with me in a recent conversation “Brown Bear (one of my nicknames) I am tired of being an attorney or mediator/conciliator” (something she is very good at), “I feel like I want to quit my career, move up north and protest with the Native Tribes about the impact of environmental obstruction and abuse.” We both laughed and laughed as I paused and replied “gee that is what I have been doing my entire life do you suppose I can take a break?” For many people, especially people of color and some women working for societal change– making aware, protesting and leading proactive and positive change has been our life’s work. I don’t think I have ever taken a break or not volunteered to help some organization or company or ecumenical organization seek their best effort.

If you have been working hard– perhaps over working–there may be some wisdom in seeking a comfort zone that will help you rejuvenate your best gifts. I am not suggesting a comfort zone rooted in fear or immobility or contentment of the status quo.  I believe there is a ancient parable based on practice that the farmer works and harvests her vineyards and orchards for six years and rests her fields the seventh year.

While hard work is an admirable character trait–working too hard can lead to fatigue and deficiencies. I wonder what environmental or spiritual imbalances we are causing when we do not heed to the teachings of our ancestors working the land (our ourselves) too hard all for the sake of mass production and “success.”  We live in a society that pushes and produces to the extreme and yet perhaps our best work can be realized when we take the time to reflect on healthy growth for others and yes–by all means for ourselves.

Rising to excellence is also about taking time to rest so we have the energy and balance to rise, yet again— to become our best selves.

Elizabeth Asahi Rising Sun Sato, Founder Rise to Excellence

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