Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

What Comfort Zone?

9 Comments

I played in the studio last night. Experimented with colour and design, letting myself simply wander through fields of possibility with no clear intent to ‘create a piece of art’, but rather, to be immersed in the simple joy of being present in the creative process.

It was awesome!

So awesome in fact, that, when I woke up at 3am it’s because somewhere in my dreams I remembered that in giving myself permission to play, I had missed our Home Owner’s Association AGM last night. Ooops. It was in my calendar. I just didn’t look at my calendar and neither did C.C. who was suffering from an infected tooth and had spent most of the day in bed after going to the dentist! (I’m also giving myself full marks because I didn’t wake C.C. up to tell him we’d missed the meeting!) 🙂

For me, it’s a sign that as I enter my final five days of ‘formal’ work, I am either a) getting so relaxed I’m not even bothering to look at my calendar, or, b)  am so stressed I am not remembering to check my calendar.

I’m opting for A. Especially as I had a massage before coming home and was feeling all loose and fluid like a wet noodle.

My decision last night to ‘create without any expectation of outcome other than to have fun’ was therapeutic.

As I wind down at work, I am also unwinding some of the psychological knots that are the inevitable outcome of being in a high-stress role and environment. Most of the knots are founded in my ego’s desire to feel important, or to be appreciated and the critter’s nattering that I’m not.

In my post playful state, I smile and reply, “Who cares?”

I know that throughout my career, and in particular, throughout these last 13 years of having worked in the homeless-serving sector, I have done my best, given my all to create an environment for everyone to seek possibility, be their true selves and contribute their best. No matter my position, I have made decisions that worked well. Some that did not. I have created change that had significant positive impact and some that continue to evolve to find their impact.

In my final role of Interim Executive Director I was given the gift of leadership that allowed me to grow and stretch and learn and discover things about myself I never knew. As I leave the formal workforce, it is a gift to have had the opportunity to leave on such a high note.

What could be better than that?

And still, the critter hisses his silliness. Silly guy. Doesn’t he realize I am okay just the way I am, exactly where I am? Doesn’t he know that I am completely aware that his concerns are simply the lesser/fearful part of me wanting to protect me from stepping even further out of my comfort zone?

Which is why I have created a new motto for myself… What Comfort Zone?

I like it.

It’s short and to the point. A perfect reminder to my critter and my creative to get comfortable in a world of no limits, no walls, no comfort zones, no barriers. I am kicking up my heels and kicking down the walls to set myself free to play in the field of possibilities that exists when I let go of taking myself so seriously I think what I do in the world is what matters most.

It’s not.

What matters most is how I am in this world.

Now please, don’t get me wrong. I feel incredibly blessed and grateful for the creative gifts I’ve been given. But, if I create with ego-centric expectations that the world owes me something because of my creations, I am undermining the more of what I want to create in the world — beauty, joy, hope, laughter, grace, kindness, Love.

Ultimately, it’s not about the things we create, it’s about the joy we bring and find in every creative moment and encounter. The kindness and grace we share. The love and laughter we set free. It’s about being authentic and true to ourselves and creating space for others to be their true selves too.

We can create a world of beauty, joy, kindness and Love.

It begins with each of us choosing to live true to the kind of world we want to create and letting go of the idea that it’s our creations that matter most.

And as to missing the AGM, I can’t change missing it. Ultimately, my forgetfulness was a reflection of my realization deep within me that I needed to find my lightness of being so I can step outside my comfort zone and stop taking myself so seriously in the world around me.

 

Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

9 thoughts on “What Comfort Zone?

  1. Enjoying your new life is not bad, it’s a great new thing to embrace.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just this morning a friend told me she will no longer apologize for things she failed to do or remember. In stead she will consciously be grateful for those times that someone waited for her or went ahead without her. She vowed to say “Thank you for waiting for me” in stead of “Sorry I’m late” or “Thank you for loving me enough to accept me as I am” instead of “Sorry for being a hot mess”. So now people come into contact with her in a sense of gratitude instead of regret, positive feelings instead of negative, and happier all around instead of resentment for things not done. Sometimes I think our “business-self” is so overpowering that we fail to feel/see our “creative-self” as just as important. You did the right thing last night; you obviously needed to create…that was right activity for you at the time. If your Homeowners Association missed you last night, that was nice that they missed you but they probably got along just fine without you. What will they do when you really, truly embrace your retirement and start traveling more? They’ll just put on their big girl pants and get along with the business at hand.
    Love the painting. You should make that one into a greeting card.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I soooo appreciate your comments and perspective. It’s funny, when I first wrote about it, I also said I’d apologize to my neighbours, and then I realized, what an empty apology that would be because I truly did not regret missing the meeting! I love your friend’s attitude and her reframing of apology to empowerment. Love it! And thanks for the kudos re the painting — I am enjoying playing with my alcohol inks immensely! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I only suggested the card idea because I have an artist friend in Saugatuck, MI that turns his favorite pieces into postcards and greeting cards to help pay for space by having low cost, grab-n-go impulse pieces to sell at shows and in his gallery. James has found it to be quite beneficial to his bottom line.

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