The challenges of clicking outside our comfort zone

Stay out?

Did you know the Internet comes complete with invisible barriers, gates, chain link fences, and padlocks?

Did you know that–usually–after the first buzz of Internet excitability, interest and exploration wears off–we usually settle into a comfortable routine of visiting a limited number of sites?

Just like in off-line life, we limit ourselves.  We limit where we shop.  We limit with whom we chat.  We limit our friendships.  We limit where we read our news and information. 

We’re only one person, after all!  We don’t have time to visit 1,000,000,000 new sites.  We’re an overloaded information-heavy society.  Too many choices usually ends up shutting us down rather than opening us up.  So we settle on A, B and C and toss out X, Y and Z.

Nothing wrong with this, is there?

Of course not!  Nothing wrong at all. 

I have been pondering this lately.  About the way we humans choose to walk on certain paths in the forest over and over and over again.  We’ll find the easiest path and follow it to our death.  The path with the least brambles, weeds, impenetrable underbrush and prickly bushes.

We do this all the time.  Even the deer do this!  We become so predictable we know where we’ll buy our groceries, where we’ll walk (sometimes with six different variations, if we’re unusually expansive), where we’ll drive, where we’ll eat lunch, what we’ll eat.

When I first discovered the Internet, I played around.  Then settled down.  Found a cool spiritual website called Gaia.com (formerly known as Zaadz.com…now closed in its original inception but operating in another incarnation.)  That became the primary focus of my Internet world for about two years. 

When someone mentioned they were blogging at WordPress or Blogger or Blogspot…it did not compute.  Even though it was one click away, it seemed as far away as the moon.  It seemed like foreign territory.  It seemed too challenging to click outside my comfort zone.

What is it about the grooves in our brains that keep us in comfortable zones?  Sure enough, those comfort zones sometimes helps us navigate easier.  With less choice we can actually settle deeper in those comfort zones and learn more.

Yet sometimes it feels imperative to dive into the unknown areas.  Navigate on the pathless path, even though the underbrush might scratch our cheeks.  Think of the new things off the beaten path!  You might glimpse a rabbit scrambling for cover, or an exotic woodland plant.  You might see something you’ve never seen before.

Freedom!

I must start shopping for a camera lens soon.  Shopping, itself, is often outside of my comfort zone.  Some folks can zip between Internet shopping sites with glee.  Not me.  I can zip between spiritual websites easier than shopping sites.

It’s time to make that wild & crazy new click out of my comfort zone.  It’s not on the other side of the planet.  One doesn’t need to travel all day by airplane to visit Canon.com or KEH.com.

By the way…speaking of new clicks…you guys are not going to believe this!  I have started a third blog.  Yes.  A third blog.  Please do not faint. It’s my morning meditation blog.  It’s only a click away. 

This one deals with spirituality:  awareness and non-duality.  A totally different kind of blog than most of you are used to seeing here at Lake Superior Spirit.   If you’re interested in this topic, go ahead.  Click your mouse.  One click.  That’s all.  Turn it Around.  (And if you’re not interested, that’s OK, too…I am writing this one mostly for myself…anyone else who visits will just be an added gift.)

If not this brand new baby blog, how about clicking on something else absolutely different today?  Pursue an interest you’ve put on the back-burner.  Re-kindle a passion to learn something new.  Click where you’ve never clicked before!  (Makes us feel kind of good to expand our world beyond that usual path, doesn’t it?)

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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20 Responses to The challenges of clicking outside our comfort zone

  1. holessence says:

    Kathy – Your photo, “A little bit of this, a little bit of that” is astonishing. Is the exactly-half black side from fire, or?

    Because of the research that I do I’m a clicking maniac — I go to new places and return to old places all the time. I clicked on your “Turn It Around” link already today and found a blessing there.

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, Laurie, a fire burned through an area last year. It was quite sad to see all the trees and leaves incinerated. The exactly half-burned, half-unburned tree looked amazing to me.

      So you are a clicking maniac? My goodness! I would believe it. Do you have any ruts, Laurie? lol! You don’t have to answer that… Thanks for the blessings you share wherever you travel.

  2. P.j. grath says:

    For a dive into the random, just try clicking “next blog” from wherever you are and see what turns up. I’ve found some gems that way, as well as a few I left in a hurry.

  3. Susan D says:

    Really liking the No Man’s Land photo today – it’s starkly beautiful. I’m wandering there at present … new realizations on the way to new perspectives. Transitions – hourly, daily, monthly … Welcoming being uncomfortable – the thorn in the side that will either stay or go … growing into acceptance or spurring new possibilities.

    Love that your sharing your new morning mediation blog with us! Thank you! You’re brave and wonder-full. I have already drunk of your words there and they refreshed!

    I do click around on the Internet … dip into those whose beliefs are not in line with mine … need to read and observe “objectively” … not always able to accomplish that. But it stretches me.

    Thanks for listening to me at lunch today. It went too quickly. Hope your evening is delightful!!

    • Susan D says:

      “you’re” sharing … eek..

      • Kathy says:

        If anyone here ever wants me to change a typo, they can email or put it in a box in the comments and I will delete both the typo and the coment. The miracles of editing possibilities!

    • Kathy says:

      Welcoming being uncomfortable is a “big one”, Susan. I can do that sometimes…not always. Yes, I was a little nervous sharing that new blog here because it’s not a mainstream topic of general interest. It makes me happy thinking of you dipping into beliefs that are not in line with yours, stretching. So many people will not do that, preferring to stay in the safety zone. It was nice to see you at lunch, by the way. And I am still doing dishes after Book Club!

      • Cindy Lou says:

        Seems to me, Miss Kathy, that you’ve done an awful lot of stretching beyond your comfort zone in the last two years…..asking people to take their picture (remember when that was so hard?), going out into nature one your own, talking to perfect strangers to get their story, sharing your life’s journey (the good and the bad) with us. You’ve practically leapt out of that zone! 🙂

        • Kathy says:

          You are so right. I just need a few more areas to stretch. Yoga is reminding me that it’s good to stretch! (And, note…I couldn’t ask the grandma for her photo. Had a relapse.)

  4. Val Erde says:

    I’ve never stopped finding new things, Kathy. I have rather the opposite problem of not being able to stay on one site long enough. When it comes to catching up with my fave blogs I frequently force myself to stay on just the one for a length of time before I go on elsewhere, because for me the internet is like a virtual type of roget’s thesaurus – and if you’ve ever used that book you’ll know how difficult it is not to get distracted by other words, definitions, paragraphs and pages. That’s what I’m like online. In real life, though… I’m pretty much as you describe!
    😉

    Have looked at your new baby blog… will revisit again.
    🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Val, maybe I’m the only one who stays in Internet ruts! One of my friends says she experiences this exactly as you do. She gets distracted and finds herself in six different Internet continents as the hours and hours go by. I’m not like that…hmmm….wonder why? And wonder about the difference between “real life” and the “Internet” in this regard.

  5. Carol says:

    Wlhen you’re shopping for your lens, check out Pricegrabber. Broadway Photo. Get a photography magazine and check out their ads. I do this, and half the time end up back at Amazon, but I feel much better if I’ve compared prices several places. Or just Google your lens and click away beyond your heart’s content. Just be sure to read reviews – there will always be some negative, but the negative should not overwhelm the positive.

    And you probably already knew all of this anyway, didn’t you?

    • Kathy says:

      Oh good, thank you! Some more ideas for shopping. (I am still putting off this. This is so challenging for me! I would rather be doing anything than shopping. Even though it’s shopping for something I like and want.)

      And no–I didn’t know all of this–will do just as you suggest! Some time. Soon. lol…

      • Cindy Lou says:

        I’m so totally with you on the shopping…whether it’s shopping in Cyberspace or in a 4-walled room. Johnny told me to go ahead and do some late back-to-school shopping and I haven’t done it yet! Must’ve missed inheriting that “shopping, like to buy shoes and purses” gene!

  6. Robin says:

    The last few years have been so full of out-of-my-comfort-zone experiences that it will be nice to settle down and get into a groove or rut for a little while. Not too much of a rut, though, as that would not be good.

    I’m looking forward to exploring your new blog when I get home (traveling right now). 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Hope you enjoy your traveling, Robin. You’ve got me thinking about comfort zones from a new angle. I think perhaps this blog was birthed, not because I don’t settle into some comfort zones and enjoy them, but from the knowing that there are some comfort zones which no longer feel authentic and true. Those are the ones I want to release gracefully now.

  7. Cindy Lou says:

    Much food for thought here – maybe it’s a ‘comfort zone’ thing that’s keeping me from my appointed assignment from you?!? Hmmm…..

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