Thursday, October 16, 2014

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone! by Mara Horowitz

Mara Horowitz
South Africa
I came to Taiwan in January 2011, excited to embark on this first step in my life-long envisioned travels around the world. Taiwan was merely a stepping-stone, a means to an end, a way to make money before setting off to explore the world.  I wanted to gain an understanding of where I began and society ended. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and leap into the unknown.

I was reminded about this a few days ago while chatting to a friendly traveller.  He loves to explore and is constantly going somewhere. I asked him why he likes to move around so much and he replied, “Because I like to get out of my comfort zone.” At first when I heard his response I was taken aback as I thought, “Yes! Me too! I also like to do that, yet here I am, still in Taiwan, four years down the line with no plans to leave!”

Yet on reflection, I remembered writing to a good friend after my initial arrival in Taiwan and saying how even though everything was different, in essence, it was all the same because I was still the same. It was still me looking at life. Still me focusing on the aspects of life that piqued my interest and that I thought were important. 

Leaving South Africa and moving across the world never really took me out of my comfort zone.  The me-ness of me that seeks out comfort just came with me.  There may have been challenges to overcome and differences to accept but it was still always me forging out a reality and an existence that made me comfortable. 

I stayed in Taiwan to learn more about my mind with Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche. This is a decision which has whipped me out of my comfort zone at times speedily enough to make my head spin. Rinpoche helps me to achieve that growth that I originally hungered for by showing me what it is that I do that creates the habitual sameness of comfort wherever I may be. With Rinpoche, I can leap and fly far from my supposed comfort zone even though physically I may not have even left the room. 

Studying with Rinpoche has brought me that true sense of travel that I sought. A bit of distance from all the intangible aspects that mold the way I think and feel.

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