As a Yoga & Pilates teacher I’m often suggesting to students to step outside of their comfort zones. We spend a lot of time doing what comes easy or natural to us. This year I will be practicing what I preach as I have many plans in which I too will be going outside of my comfort zone. Even sharing this info with readers is going outside of my comfort zone. I was thinking of this just now as I was going through children’s clothing to take with me to South Africa. I will be teaching at a Yoga retreat there next week. As part of South Africa Yoga’s community investment they support an early childhood development center www.southafricayoga.com. I had asked them if I could bring anything with me and they said they needed children’s clothing. I do not have kids myself so I drew upon my generous friends and now have a nice stash to take with me.
You may wonder what any of this has to do with going outside of your comfort zone. Well, I have never wanted children, have not spent much time around them and never really had the interest. I never even babysat as a teenager…trust me you definitely would not have wanted me around your kids when I was a kid myself, but that’s another story! I’ve just never been a kid person. For me to look forward to visiting this early childhood development center is really exciting. I actually am truly looking forward to it! I think partly it’s because I’ll be doing something completely different than “me” and anything I would normally do. For me to make lots of space in my backpack for kid’s clothes well…that’s definitely new. You see I’ve always kind of considered myself sort of a selfish person. I’m sure others would argue. Sure I have a big heart, I’m extremely compassionate, I am very kind…but I do most things for me. I exercise a lot, I read, I watch movies, I spend lots of time with my husband, I travel. I have always admired those “good” people that are compelled to volunteer locally or spend their vacation time and money working in developing countries. I remember volunteering once in high school, but it was only so I could write it on an application. I have though for the last 2 years volunteered at Yoga studios…yes of course to get free classes, but also to begin to instill the practice of Seva into my life.
I admire those of you where this comes natural, but for me it is a practice. I happen to not need any motivation to work out for hours. That comes easy to me. So I must practice being a “good” person. I know I’m not by nature a “bad” person. I don’t even like using these words “good/bad” it reminds me of labeling food…again another topic. I want to do something that’s NOT easy for me! This in part is the reason I will be attending Off the Mat Leadership Training with Seane Corn in July www.offthematintotheworld.org. I am finally at a point in my life where I want to do something for others. I feel inspired to transfer the Carri Power I have within and want to pass it on though community projects and global activism. I know the Off the Mat training will be intense. It will be interesting to see what arises during those five days, especially since I am doing the training with my sister, Lauren. In a way I am nervous, but at the same time excited by the discomfort of it all. I’m sure there will be many tears, but I hope to ultimately leave the training with a new light and direction in which to transmit all of this energy I have. I know that through teaching I already share this energy, but I’m finally ready to take it off the mat and into the world as I know there is something out there bigger than myself!