I hang out in coffee shops. A lot. A cliché of the biggest kind as a writer, but a fact nonetheless. I’m also an introvert (cliché number two) and if I had my choice of seat in a coffee shop – no mean feat living in NYC – I would choose the single seat facing the window. It’s the perfect combination, set apart but able to people watch. A feeling of unity but also of safe separation. To secure further likelihood of not being disturbed, I’ll also have my headphones in, not necessarily playing music, but a signal to others that I’m unavailable. If I’m feeling particularly fragile I’ll complete the ensemble with sunglasses.
Seat for one.
That’s my comfort zone right there. Maybe a slight variation on the odd day but it’s pretty much how I am if I’m writing. And often how I am if I’m not.
Accompanying my husband on a trip out recently, I found myself out of my comfort zone. He’d gone off to do a photo shoot and I was free to roam around TriBeCa until he’d finished. But because we’d come by car, and left the house together, I hadn’t picked up my headphones. Not a tragedy in anyone’s world, I know. But I felt weird. It suddenly struck me that I’d gotten so used to blocking out sound that doing so was now a standard practice. I didn’t want to hear the subway noise or engage with street sellers. I wanted to stay cocooned.
But if I was blocking out what I didn’t want, how did I know that I wasn’t blocking out what I might want?
How could opportunity come knocking if I’d wrapped myself up in a tight little bundle with a clear sign that I didn’t want to be disturbed?
Our comfort zone is exactly what it says it is. A space where we feel protected and safe. It’s a castle we build around ourselves where we take refuge. But the fortress that safeguards us can sometimes feel claustrophobic. As we peek through the turrets and see the world outside in all it’s loud, proud technicolor, might there be a part of us that wonders, “What possibility awaits me?”
We lose out on opportunity if we always live life behind the shutters. @SkylarLiberty
(Click to Tweet!)
It’s good for us to have a haven. A sanctuary where we can switch off. But our haven better serves us if we keep it as a place we can check in and out of rather than a permanent residence.
What if we take a spoonful of courage and say yes to a more invigorating life?
Why not start small if the thought of taking a giant leap is one that feels overwhelming. Baby steps may take a little longer but they still very much count.
Here are three simple tips for experimenting with stepping into a life that invites opportunity and prompts new possibility:
1) Be receptive. Take out the headphones and remove the ‘unavailable’ sign from time to time. It’s a great way to feel more connected and less insular. This is something I’m now doing on a daily basis. Hearing snippets of conversation as I wander around is fodder for my writing and it’s often entertaining too. It also means that my next dream has more likelihood of materialising if I show the universe I’m ready to go!
2) Take one step – every day – to something you dream about manifesting. If you want to be a writer start by keeping a journal or begin a blog. If you feel inspired to travel then consider looking at volunteering within communities that can benefit from having your help whilst you also get to see new places. If you aren’t sure what you want to do then it’s ok to start with knowing what you don’t want to do. That can be your starting point. Sometimes by ruling out what’s not appealing we can gain clarity on what is.
3) Play. Let your creative spirit come up to the surface without suppressing it with ration or reason. Draw, sculpt, paint, do whatever feeds your soul. Allow yourself the artistic freedom of expression that longs to transpire. Sweep any negative doubts to one side. This is YOUR time and nobody else gets to decide what form your creations take. If it feels honest and true and authentic then go with it.
I’d love to hear feedback on these living life experiments and any others that you’ve tried. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments and share what inspires you!
Skylar Liberty Rose is a big believer in the healing power of creativity and the freedom found in living your truth. She is a writer, street photographer and yoga teacher with an emphasis on manifesting dreams through action and visualisation. Skylar is an advocate of stripping away layers of conditioning and instead discovering the person you are truly meant to be. She is inspired by souls with spirit and courageous hearts. Skylar grew up in London, and now lives with her husband in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter, FB, and her blog.