No Comfort Zone Update – September 2012

Hello everyone,

It’s been too long since I offered an update on the NO Comfort Zone activities I’ve been up so I will now try to recall and share them with you.

NO Comfort Zone 2012 Challenge iconJune was totally out of my comfort zone as I was asked to be editor of a monthly newsletter. In addition to editing words, writing stories and cropping photos – it was also an online collaboration with the media team. Lots of discomfort, lessons learned, new paths suggested, errors, and a handful of successes.

July I coordinated a Fiddle contest and over 40 musicians signed up to play their fiddle, back up others, sing, dance and have a great day. For me, it was about organizations, tallies, awards, photos and some deep breaths. Fun and challenging!

In August, I was back in the classroom at the community college learning Adobe InDesign. I have the product but do not know how to use it. My instructor used it when it was called Quark so I know I’m in good hands. The assignments keep me on the edge of my seat and totally focused when I’m in the classroom. At home, I take the edited articles that I receive monthly and create my own newsletter. This is the best way to learn!

OH yes, a bit more ‘NO Comfort Zone” experiences in September when I hiked with a handful of people who I never met before. I met them through a local Meet Up group and we hiked into the beautiful and colorful Rocky Mountains. It was one of those amazing days when the cool mountain air added to the flavor of the day.  It was a day filled with aspens and evergreens and blue skies and cold lakes. It was an autumn day that I longed to experience.

And September moves on. Other ways to get out of my comfort zone – job hunting, challenging class assignments, clearing out furniture and more. I promise to be better at sharing the MORE part with you.

It’s a year of growth, fun, memories and lots of discomfort. And it’s all good!

Related Stories:

No-comfort Zone Week Ending Sept. 16 2012 (

This Live Simply, Dream Big, Be Grateful, Give Love, Laugh Lots imagepost from Mirth and Motivation is a great reminder that all those things we seek will eventually turn up!

Mirth and Motivation

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Gautama Buddha

All of us—even the darkest and unluckiest of us—get seven particular moments, those brief, unexpected times when the stars do more than align; they communally redirect their light expressly to illuminate the value of our wee, earthly existence. Leigh Newman

Today, I was reading an article on that was so inspiring I had to share it with you. The piece, The 7 Gifts from the Universe That Everybody Gets, is written by Leigh Newman and shares a remarkable insight, that, sooner or later, each of us gets to enjoy seven moments of glory we all get—no matter what, no matter who. We don’t experience them all at once, just randomly. As I reviewed each one, I could think of examples in my life that fit them exactly. The more I considered…

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January Challenges Pave the Way (NoCZ-12)

This past week I wondered what it was I could do to get out of my comfort zone. I loved sitting quietly in the early hours of the mornings and I enjoyed getting outside for 30 minutes each day. But I was still unsure what to do for this week. Then I decided to do something really outside my zone and to be present in the moment. I wanted to do one thing at a time and be totally focused while doing it.

I began by driving to work in silence. No NPR, no upbeat music, no audiobook and especially no cell phone calls. I tried this on Wednesday and two times I reached for the phone and caught myself before I made the call.

At work I was determined to work on one task only. Now, the trouble is my pc has 3 monitor screens. Yes,  I feel like pilot sometimes so you can imagine the difficulty of staying on one task only. It’s as if I have a seafood buffet in front of me and I’m only allowed to eat one item.

Ok, so I focused on opening one program. Only.

Checking my email. Only.

Then there was a request in the mail to make some edits, so another program and file were opened.

Then the phone rang. I turned my attention to the issue on the phone but then I needed to open another file to assist the caller. By now, all 3 monitors were fully occupied with programs, files, documents and images.

It was very hard and I was unsuccessful.

That evening after hearing about the death of my friend, everything went out the window. I’ve learned that when I’m in crisis mode, I forget things. Like people’s names. And what I was doing. And who I was talking to.

So, after this phone call, my focus became very clear. No plans in my head. No phone calls, no multi-tasking. Nothing …except what was immediately in front of me mattered.

What I ended up doing instead was soaking in a hot tub and giving me permission to think and remember. I finally reached that space where I was totally in the moment.

It’s as if all those mini-challenges I set in January were preparing me for this time and place.

A new week is beginning and I am still thinking about my upcoming no comfort zone challenge. IN the meantime, thanks for reading, commenting, visiting my QR code and sending love my way.

Growth, Freedom and Fresh Air (NoCZ-12)

What I love most about the No Comfort Zone Challenge is the week long duration. Each week I begin with something different and if I like what I did last week I find a way to incorporate into my life. And if I don’t like it, well, it’s only a week, right?

You cant start the next chapter of your life if you kee re-reading the last one ...

I had no idea that spending time in my basement away from my regular routine would lead to hot baths, quiet mornings and a more organized basement!

Last week, I challenged myself to read a book out of my comfort zone and … and boy oh boy did I pick a doozy.  The nonfiction book called The Imperial Life in the Emerald City is an expose about the misadventures of the US occupation in Iraq after Saddam’s fall. As I read, my heart dropped and my disgust grew. The arrogance and deceit were evident everywhere you looked. My heart hurt to read it. So, good-bye book… I gave it a good try (6+ Chapters) but the leadership, greed and disregard for the citizens was too demoralizing.

A second book I have open and am reading is called The Happiness Project and it’s a study about …yes, you got it right — Happiness. Talk about two sides of a coin! Whew…

This week will be 30 minutes walking per day – outside. NO treadmill, track or elliptical machine. Out in the fresh air under the sky I love so much. I’ll let you know how it goes.

What do you plan to do?

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!