Today’s post was written by guest blogger, Sue Ludwig. Sue is the President and Founder of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists. She is also a consultant to neonatal intensive care units around the country, a national speaker, and a published poet. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.
“I’d love to go to one of Christine’s retreats if I were the kind of person who went to retreats.”
That’s what I said to myself two years ago when I began reading Christine’s blog.
I loved the way she wrote with such insight, wisdom and humor. I began to learn there was a different way to view the world. It was a breath of fresh air.
A retreat seemed so cool. But so scary! After all, I’d always been an observer – standing back and watching any new activity before joining in. I had to be perfect or at least good at something before I tried it.
PLUS, I had so many great reasons why “That’s just not me.”
– I didn’t deserve to take time out entirely for myself.
– I had a family and a job. I couldn’t just run off to do something like that. How could they possibly make it without me?
– I travel frequently for work, but I’m compensated for that. Leaving town for a retreat was a whole different animal. I had no one to invoice!
– What if these women were really different from me and I didn’t fit in?
In spite of all these “rational” thoughts, I finally went to my husband and said something completely un-empowered like, “I would sort of love to go to this thing in Asheville. It sounds really cool, but I’m not sure how you’d feel about it….”
He stopped me and said, “Why are you asking me? You look excited about it. Go.”
I went to the retreat. I purposely went alone. I wanted to be pushed out of my comfort zone. I had no idea what was in store for me. But I think my soul knew there was more to my life, and it told me that this experience was going to help me live bigger and deeper than I had before.
And it couldn’t have been more right.
In retrospect, one of the biggest victories about that retreat is that I actually went. I quit waiting on the outside of the loop due to fear of the unknown, or waiting for the nonexistent perfect time to leave my family. No one anointed me worthy or deserving. I’ve traveled alone for business countless times. But this was different. I had a feeling of adventure, excitement and autonomy I hadn’t felt before. Just making the decision to go caused a huge shift!
Here are a few things I’ve learned from that experience:
• Inaction is still a decision.
• Making one small step in a new or exciting direction can change how you feel about yourself. Today.
• Investing in yourself and your happiness is not selfish. And the ripple effect is amazing.
• Getting out of your comfort zone makes you awake. You’ll no longer sleep walk through your life.
• There’s no use in complaining about the results in your life if you’re not actively involved in changing the formula that got you there.
• Investing your time and/or money in a coach or mentor, or being part of a group that refuses to see you as anything but your best self is priceless.
• Life gives you endless opportunities to start over. It only takes one small step forward, one new and better thought to feel the shift.
This Sunday I returned from the final 2009 in-person Platinum Mastermind Coaching weekend with Christine. It was filled with her unique presence, guidance and knowledge as well as the forward thinking, wholly supportive energy of the women in this group.
This group is something I never would’ve imagined for myself. Especially if I hadn’t taken one small step out of my comfort zone to go to that first retreat.
So, as I ride the wave of changes I’ve created in my life, here’s what I want to say to anyone out there who’s standing on the edge of making a decision or taking a chance…
Step forward into a place that feels scary, new, and exciting. That’s how you know you’re moving, growing. That’s how you know you’re alive.
Your soul has no use for your comfort zone.