Once upon a time, I was a comfort addict, too.
Whenever I would read anything that said, “Ditch your comfort and follow your passion!” I would recoil in horror. What the hell kind of life is that? Constantly freaking out, rushing from place to place, stressing out all the time? Sure, it might be exciting, even fun, but I need my nice quiet evenings curled up in front of the computer playing adventure games and watching Midsomer Murders with Kyeli.
Giving up those nice quiet evenings – even for a wild crazy meaningful life – terrified me.
When I first heard of the book Book Yourself Solid, I thought “That sounds terrible! Phone ringing off the hook, always busy, stressing out about not having enough time, calendar so full of work work work that I have no ease, no comfort, no spaciousness.”
So I gingerly dipped my toes into the river of passion, never diving in. Sometimes wading, but never enough to get soaked, never venturing too far from the solid dry land of comfort.
Until one day I saw a dolphin bobbing up and down in the middle of the rushing river. I didn’t even think twice. I dove out to swim with the dolphin – into the center, into the rapids, swimming as if my life depended on it. Three days I swam with the dolphin. I slept, I ate, I did the little things that needed to get done – but my heart was always in the river with the dolphin.
On the fourth day, it was time for the dolphin to return to her pod. I came back to the shore, dripping wet from head to toe to cute pink underwear. I returned to my solid routines, my comfort, my videogames and Netflix… and I realized something that would change my life forever.
I hadn’t missed it at all.
Comfort is good! Comfort is important. It’s an important part of a healthy diet. But if it’s all you ever eat, your heart is not being fully nourished.
Comfort is a solid foundation on which you can build a cathedral of passion.
Is your foundation just sitting there empty? Have you built yourself a little Comfort Hut™ on top of it instead of a cathedral?
Do you find yourself clinging to comfort? Do you say to yourself, “I don’t want to do those wild crazy things because I value comfort, stability, and ease”? Or maybe your name for comfort is “spending time with my family” or “a steady paycheck” or “a stable home for my children”.
My dolphin was a short, intense project that took all my time and attention for three days. It was a project that required me to spend hours every day connecting with my heart, giving generously, being of service, reading super-sweet thank-you notes from grateful customers, and making ridiculous butt-tons of money.
What’s your dolphin?
I’m not telling you to leave your comfort behind. It’s awesome to have a solid home base for you to return to between adventures.
But don’t close the door.
Venture out from your Comfort Hut™ once in a while and dip your toes into the mighty river of passion. Take comfort knowing that you get to pick, that you can return to your hut any time you wish.
Go wading. Try something new. Try something a little uncomfortable, knowing that it’s only temporary, only an experiment.
And when you see your dolphin, for heaven’s sake don’t let her swim away.