We are who we choose to be: NoCZ-2012

we are who we choose to beIn the No Comfort Zone Challenge for me anyhow, it seems the light is coming on. Simple actions… doing things a little differently are taking me to new places. Literally.

Last week I discovered a road that I had never seen before – but I can assure you it was there all along. I drove east and went up hills and down until I came to a dairy farm during breakfast. The girls were just chattering away, munching, laughing and having the best time. They noticed me, nodded and continued with their grain. Perhaps if I stopped by a bit later they might have more time for me…

This past week Pam and I replaced the fill valve and the other thingy in my toilet tank. If you know anything about this (which I did not) … it means the entire tank has to come off, turned upside down, the screw has to come off (righty tighty, lefty loosey) and after a few more visits to the hardware store – the entire process is reversed and put back on. Ta Da! No leaks, no spills and best of all – the toilet works fine for the final price of $35.47.

I also found myself stopping the car to get a photo or two instead of doing it ‘later’.

I found that wearing a dress this week was almost easy compared to my experiment last week.

And I am looking for new opportunities to get out of my comfort zone. I SO wanted to hand off the toilet repairs to someone else but if my friend was willing to help me then by golly, I wasn’t going to say no. In fact, now we are the neighborhood experts (not sure if that’s a good thing or not …)

Words of Wisdom from Starbear:

The Gift: If you are doing the NoCZ Challenge or not ~ Print it out if you wish. Carry it with you, put it on the fridge. Remember to be patient with and kind to yourself and others as we take Baby Steps or leap into new territory…. and remember to laugh at the water’s edge! Jumping in – the water feels great!

take a chance



It came to me in a flash …(NoCZ-2012)

Sometimes the idea comes over time and sometimes it comes in a flash. Last night it came in a flash. I was entering a building where I had a monthly board meeting. This was one of my “sure, I’ll apply for the open position on the board.” And I was accepted. The flash was I was stepping down. I can accomplish more on a subcommittee.

This is not the right fit for me. I don’t know (or care) about which category turkeys are in (they need a different category for the larger (40+ lbs.). The Royalty were crowned, someone stepped down (she took my idea) but before she did she handed over a 6 page document (explained in detail) of everything she did and suggestions on how to make it bigger, better and more attractive to the unsuspecting public. This hard-working committee of 18 (Yes, 18) is a great group of people and have a vested iYour time is limited. Dont Waste it living someone elses lifenterest in the outcome of the yearly event. I have a small part that does not include lambs, turkeys, goats, weaving, painting, blueberry muffins or the price of beef. My focus is getting a FiddleFest up and running. See where I’m coming from?

Ok, back to me. I can assist this board but not by being bored. I can work on a subcommittee – get my part done (I’ll keep you posted on this as I ramp it up) and avoid meetings that make me cringe.

  • Discomfort – admitting I shouldn’t be on this board.
  • Discomfort- having to call the President and let him know he’s losing a board member but gaining a great worker bee.
  • Discomfort – realizing that saying ‘yes’ isn’t always good.

Growth – knowing I’m doing what’s best for me.
Stretching – wondering where else I need to assert myself and say ‘No’.

It’s about honoring me, my time commitments and my desires. Simple, right?

Words of wisdom are welcome!

Standing in the Sunshine: NoCZ-2012

Good Morning,

It’s been a week of standing in the sunshine and although at times I feel exposed – I also feel more alive.

Simple steps that take me from here to there are putting a grin on my face.

  • Things that held me back were all self-induced and once I broke free – well, I see they were silly.
  • Telling others about my blog – to them it was no big deal.
  • Wearing a dress (TWO times this week) was fun.
  • Changing my domain name was long overdue.

Cecilia at Inspired Vision wrote this:

Stretching myself with my photography this week was a lot of fun. Surprisingly my photography got better the more I was willing to experiment and post less than perfect shots. Maybe life is that way too. The more we reveal ourselves, step out of our comfort zone, laugh and get excited about our efforts and foibles, the more real we become. For this coming week I will continue to experiment with photography, but for the challenge I will push another boundary in another area of my life. Check back on Mondays to see how it’s going and what new things I’m discovering through the No Comfort Zone 2012.

The act of letting go and stepping away from our view of ourselves is liberating. A freedom descends and possibilities are opened. Have you noticed this too?

Outside this blog there are many challenges going on. Two that caught my attention are 52 Books in 52 Weeks and A River of Stones. A River of Stones asks us to notice something everyday and write it down. Nice and simple. 52 Books helps us set a reading goal and follow it.

Now I’m looking for the Monthly Hiking Challenge and the Laugh Till it Hurts Challenge … if you know where they are, let me know!

If you’re doing this challenge, leave a comment and I’ll link your blog to my page.

If you don’t have a blog, leave comments here so we can follow your progress and challenges! Hope you’re having fun along the way!

What makes you come alive?

dont ask what the world needs. ask what makes you come alive

What are those things that makes you come alive?

I adore spending one day a week with my grandson.

I look forward to letting myself be 3 years old again except this time I get to plan the activities. This week was a visit to a regional airport and a car wash. Last week was the library and playground. Trains, planes and trucks bring him happiness. It seems the most basic things thrill us!

I find that when I am writing in my blog I lose track of time. I sit down and perhaps an hour or more is gone before I realize it. I adore reading what others are doing in the No Comfort Zone 2012 Challenge, too. Whether they are making pie, parellel parking, sitting quietly in silence, wearing dresses to work or just learning a new word each day – I am enthalled with the steps we are taking. Baby steps, leaps, baby steps, lunges, baby steps.

Each step takes us closer to the authentic us. The alive and passionate us. The person we look forward to spending our time with!

Passion is what makes us smile.

What are you passionate about?



Candle Lighter Award Reaches Critical Mass

Candle lighter award imageA heartfelt thanks is sent to Jackie at A Heart Whispers for nominating me for the Candle Lighter’s Award. It was originally created by Kate Kresse as a tribute to writers who offer hope and light in the course of their writing. This award is received with warmth and appreciation and I will gladly pass it on!

I am meeting so many amazing people who are blazing new territory and writing about their experiences. Our stories are coming alive as we put a little bit more of ourselves out there. It’s scary and yet with each bold action, post or poem by one, we all gain momentum.

Long ago, I read about The Hundredth Monkey. It is a phenomenon about monkeys who learned to wash their potatoes before eating them. It happened slowly but once the number reached 100 the added energy burst through some magical wall and the entire population followed suit. Most important of all was across the seas on other islands and mainlands this was also happening. The underlying belief is when a certain critical number achieves awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.

The critical mass is working in our favor too. Slowly we are writing from the heart. We are showcasing our talents. We are expressing our desires. We are surrendering to sadness. We are becoming more alive.

I believe we are united in ways I can’t even conceive. Does this make any sense to you?

Related articles

Tweaking away the comfort…

Over a year ago, I purchased the domain name ‘margekatherine.com’ and then let it sit. Today I activated it and if you look at the URLl in the address bar you’ll see that change. No more mkmercurio.wordpress.com – Hello margekatherine.com.

All links to mkmercurio.wordpress.com will come directly to margekatherine.com.

So, why wait a year?  Why not activate the account back then? It’s like buying a beautiful dress and hanging it in the back of the closet with the price tag still on it.  Why even bother if I’m not going to wear it?

This no comfort zone thing is helping me strip away the armor that I hold close for protection. Slowly I am standing tall – writing publicly, changing my style of clothing, using a new URL. Scary, slow, simple and the end result is support from you, strength from within and a sweet sense of serenity.

Baby steps until they get too easy and comfortable then huge leaps over boulders… up cliffs … and across ravines!

What have you been up to in the NoCZ-2012 Challenge?

I hope you enjoy this lovely list of reminders: This is your life, Do what you love and do it often!

This is your life