A Chorus of Lovely Voices · Guest Posts

Please, Make Yourself (Un)comfortable: A Guest Post by Dailyn Lewis

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Monday, June 27th @ 1:43am

I should be asleep by now.

I normally would have been asleep for hours at this time of night. But, boy, do my nerves have a hold of me right now. Keeping my eyes from becoming drowsy. I keep pacing the room, doing various yoga stretches without any deep breaths, my favorite James Taylor album plays in the background in the hopes that his sweet serenades will calm me. Instead, it’s just a soundtrack that doesn’t coincide with my current state of nervousness.

I keep running through all of these visions in my head. Visions of how tomorrow might play out.

And, quite frankly, they’re not very promising visions.

Tomorrow, I am going to do something I’ve never done before.

Something way out of my comfort zone.

Well, at least, I’m pretty sure it’s out of my comfort zone.

But, then again, that’s hard to say for sure… Seeing as I have never actually done it before.

That’s a funny thing, isn’t it? The fact that our “comfort zones” are something made up almost entirely of our imagination. Since most of the time we don’t actually know for a fact whether or not something is out of our comfort zone until we have actually done it.

Tomorrow, I am going rock climbing, and I am going to attempt a climb that is significantly larger than anything I have ever done.

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Like, 4 times larger. (Insert cheeks-flushed, wide-eyed emoji here).

I have only ever completed climbs that were around 100 feet. This is going to be 450 feet.

Let me slow that number down, just to emphasize on its largeness:

four-hundred and fifty feet of rock.

I’m not very good at climbing, and I really don’t know a lot of the procedures and etiquette. The route we are climbing is not all that challenging. In fact, I’m certain almost anyone could climb this route.

So, why haven’t I climbed this yet?

I have wanted to attempt a climb this big since I was first introduced to climbing years ago in high school. So, I ask myself again… Why haven’t I climbed this yet?

I’ll tell you why: My own imagination.

That over-imaginative mind of mine has made up it’s own idea of what my “comfort zone” is. And, apparently, a climb like this was not considered “in” that zone. I keep envisioning myself clinging to the rock and not being able to let go. Or maybe vomiting once I reach the top. Visions of having to pee halfway up the climb.

But, really, who is my imagination to say that this is not something that is comfortable to me?

I think it’s pretty safe to say that this isn’t the first time my imagination has made up ridiculous guidelines that have affected my decisions in life.

What about that time I wanted to talk to that guy that I saw at the coffee shop… And I didn’t?

What about that time I wanted to talk with my boss about an idea I had… And I didn’t?

What about that time I wanted to fly to Argentina… And I didn’t?

What about that time I wanted to write about something that inspired me… And I didn’t?

Why didn’t I? You guessed it, that theoretical comfort zone created entirely out of my theoretical fears. Maybe I would still be talking to that guy. Maybe my boss would have loved my idea and given me a promotion. Maybe Argentina would have changed my life. Maybe writing that piece would have changed someone else’s perspective.

It is important to remember that our comfort zones are only theoretical until proven.

And there is only one way to prove a theory… to get out there and try it.

I dare you to push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Whatever they may be. Go climb your own metaphorical rock. Climb all 450 feet of your rock before you consider it out of your comfort zone. Because, who knows… Maybe you were destined to become a climber. A climber of your own fears. Those fears that your mind has made up for you.

Don’t let your imagination tell you what is and isn’t in your comfort zone. Climb to the top of that rock, and when you get to the top, look down below at where you started and realize how nothing is really out of your comfort zone. That it is all in your head. And that you have full control over it.

P.S. I completed the climb the next day. Reaching the top was, by far, one of the most freeing feelings I have ever felt. And you can be sure that when I got to the top, I looked down at the river below me, spread my arms wide, and breathed in that feeling of accomplishment. The accomplishment was not climbing the wall. The accomplishment was the fact that I pushed my comfort zone aside and did exactly what I had always wanted to do with purpose and confidence.

Happy trails!

-Dai

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*****

Dailyn’s Bio:
Mountain girl. Dog lady. Picture taker.
In all of my thousands of miles traveled, I have come to find that I am undefined.
But I am actually quite okay with that.
By not giving myself a title, I keep myself open to the all of the possibilities that come my way.
I like to think that all of the titles I could give myself mash together into the complex whole that is simply…
me.
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What to say about Dai. She stole my heart the first time we spent together so many years ago at Bull Shoals Lake on the Missouri/Arkansas border. The trip was an annual, week-long event for our families that involved laughter, cliff jumping, and mounds of sun screen. Tanna (my daughter) and her friend Emily struck up an immediate friendship with Dailyn and her cousin, Jade. These four young ladies entertained the little ones, mesmerized the preteen boys, and captured every mama’s heart in camp.

Then life got crazy, jobs changed, children grew and the annual vacation came to a natural conclusion. We don’t get to see pretty Dai (or her parents!) except via e-mail, texts, or Facebook. It’s one of the instances I’m thankful for social media because the platform has allowed me to watch Dailyn grow from a fledgling doe-child into the fearless, independent woman you see on this page.

Dailyn blogs at BlessedBlossomLove and works for an amazing nonprofit organization called Outdoor Mindset. You must check them out! Here’s their story:

  • In 2010, thirteen individuals came together inspired by a mutual friend’s determination to make something positive come from a recent diagnosis of a brain tumor. Everyone shared a link to a neurological challenge (brain tumors, aneurysms, epilepsy, etc.). Their experiences ranged from personal diagnosis to supporting diagnosed family members and friends. The group also shared a passion for the outdoors, an unyielding enthusiasm for life, and a drive to overcome the hardship of a diagnosis and focus on quality of life. These commonalities inspired the idea of Outdoor Mindset (OM). Now, the ongoing connections made by OM broaden the story.
  • Our community is available for anyone that shares our passion for the outdoors and has been affected by a neurological challenge (including diagnosed individuals and their supporters). Common neurological challenges include: Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Brain Tumors, Parkinson’s, ALS, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, and more.

Thank you to Miss Dailyn for providing such a rich and inspiring look at the moments that scare us. I feel like a proud mama featuring her today. Please give her some sugar in the comments, and visit her at her blog. I know you’ll love this wild child as much as I do. xo

48 thoughts on “Please, Make Yourself (Un)comfortable: A Guest Post by Dailyn Lewis

      1. Careful Dai – Ned was recently voted the sexiest blogger on the interwebs – you should see him in a thong!

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      2. Hi Mama! I take it this post means you’re returning from your internet break? Welcome back. Great return post with Dai – very on topic for your audience. **Waves Back Wildly

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Excellent topic and writing Dai – thank you very much for your post. I have to confess that I rarely plan to move outside my comfort zone – but life sometimes throws those unplanned events in my path. I’m pretty good at leveraging such opportunities. It is rare that I don’t jump in with both feet. In the last job I had we called it crisis management – see an opportunity, grab on with both arms and hold tight – it may be your only way out. Ha! I guess it was more survival than planning.

    Great post Dai – thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights.

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    1. Thanks, Paul! It is really hard to leave your comfort zone sometimes. And when you do, it can either be awesome and inspiring, or just straight-up terrifying. I guess we’ll never know ’till we try it, eh? (:

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoyed this very much. It’s never too late to expand your horizons and wander — or plunge — into unknown territory. You KNOW what is possible and what is not — and what IS possible is bigger than you think!

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  3. Fantastic! Yes, we do tend to put imaginary limits in front of us, don’t we? So thrilled you busted right through yours. As I read, I thought about what self imposed limits I have that are holding me back. One thing I used to tell myself was that I could never home school my son, as much as he begged me to. Well, today I home school my son. Beautiful post!

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    1. That’s amazing! I was homeschooled 6th grade all the way through high school, and I say with certainty that it is one of the best decisions I (as well as my parents) have ever made. Keep on keepin’ on! And thank you! (:

      Liked by 1 person

  4. BRAVO! I have lots of ideas about where I’m comfortable and where I’m not. Thing is, they don’t always match up with other people’s expectations of what I should consider comfortable or not, so I try to keep those ones quiet 😉

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  5. And each time you do something outside your comfort zone, you do in fact accept and love a little more of yourself, see the truth of what you are inside, and then give to others from that place.
    Well done Dailyn, finding our hearts can be a very fearful thing, but in doing it we break those shackles and free the beauty inside 🙂
    Next time I see a glow half way up a mountain somewhere, I’ll know who it is 😀

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  6. If I weren’t terrified of heights, this would be a lot of fun, I think. I don’t know because the heights things is a big issue for me but I love, LOVE that you conquered this and shared. Brilliant and beautiful and the song by Kenny wraps it all up perfectly!

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    1. I’m scared of heights, too T. Seeing Dai hooked to the mountain made my mama heart tremble a bit.
      But, I’m guessing that you have done something that may have petrified someone else, right? It’s all about perspective, and why I have the coolest friends 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, Kisma! We all have our “things”, right? I think it’s great that you know with certainty that heights is not your thing. Like Michelle said, you’ve probably done something that was way outside of others’ comfort zone. (:

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved it, too. In fact, I received so many off line comments yesterday about people getting outside their comfort zones. See what you did, Dai?? You inspired the masses.
      Thanks for stopping in, Mark. Always love seeing you here 🙂

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      1. Oh, seriously?! I am so so flattered. And I am incredibly inspired by their inspiration! It’s like inspiration inception… Haha. But seriously, I am so honored and giddy and smiling from ear to ear.

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  7. How very, very true. Those walls that close us inside our comfort zone were made with our own hands. Each time we try or learn something new those walls inch outward. Sometimes that which we think scares us the most ends up being one of the things we love the most.

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  8. Fantastic point and composing Dai – much thanks for your post. I need to admit that I seldom plan to move outside my customary range of familiarity – yet life in some cases tosses those spontaneous occasions in my path.Great post Dai – a debt of gratitude is in order for sharing your considerations and bits of knowledge.

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  9. We all need to get out of our “comfort zone” sometimes. It is difficult to do because of the unknown. I don’t do it very often, but I do try to do new things… experience life from a different angle and push myself just a little further when I take on something new. Congrats on such a wonderful feat!! 🙂

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