Expanding Your Comfort Zone

Regardless of tough economic times, there are as many reasons to feel good about the future as there are reasons to fear it. You have a choice about whether to use your imagination to worry and contract or to focus on creating an expansive future. I've often said that worry is a misuse of the imagination. The mind conjures up every possible negative outcome and obsesses endlessly about them. Worry and anticipation about the future, like nostalgia and regret about the past, keep the mind obsessing, which results in living a life from the neck up. If you live “in your head” you may have a tendency to get caught in the illusion of “someday I’ll.” “Someday I’ll finally be free. Someday I’ll be able to get my life in order. Someday, when things change, I’ll be able to relax and do what I like.” Granted there are some situations in life which cause you to have to put your dreams and aspirations on hold. If you are parenting young children or care-giving for a disabled or elderly person, it is all you can do to keep up with what the present situation demands. While these examples may not relate to you personally, some people actually sign on for more and more responsibility to insure that they don’t actually ever manage to have free time. There are many reasons for this. Staying busy can serve as a strategy to feel important, to avoid personal reflection, to prevent experiencing “negative” feelings, and to keep from having to tend to other responsibilities. On the other hand, some people keep themselves genuinely busy because they choose to be inordinately responsible for one big or many smaller areas of their lives.

Sometimes, when you are caught in a pattern, whether conditions change or not, you remain the same. Whether you are a depressant who can always find reasons to justify a negative outlook on life or a “doer” who can always find an excuse to stay in a manic lifestyle, obsessive thinking in one direction or the other is generally the cause. As long as the mind generates its ceaseless tirade of fearful opinions, judgments, and drives, you will miss the opportunity to take control of your life.