#70: Stop Playing it Safe…Find Your Edge

Mar 9, 2023 | Podcast

Flowing with your time, energy and focus even when unexpected things come up, doesn’t just mean floating through life and letting life happen to you. On the contrary, it means intentionally becoming aware of those places that make you slightly uncomfortable then learning to adapt to them without going too far.

This episode is brought to you by the Daily Rhythms Tracker – in order to know where your edge is in life, you first have to become aware of where you are. And to do that, tracking is essential.  Grab your Daily Rhythms Tracker here.

Remember That Time

Bring to mind a time in your life when you’ve injured yourself. You could easily do this with any momentus event in your life that you wish perhaps would have gone differently, but for today I’m going to use the example of an injury.

Recall the instant you injured yourself. What were you doing? Go back to that very moment.

Notice what it is you see–the colors, if there were other people around, the time of year, and anything else you can see about that time.

Notice what you hear–what sounds stand out to you, were there voices, mechanical sounds, sounds of an athletic field, nature sounds.

Then notice what it is you are feeling in that moment. Remember what your intentions were in that instant; were you feeling excited, competitive, driven, frustrated, resentful–what is it that you were feeling?

Then consider in your mind the “should” that enters your mind now because of that injury.

Back up to that moment of the “should” that now comes to your mind when you think about that injury…it’s likely about “6 feet” back metaphorically from that moment of injury?

What are you “should-ing” on yourself for or about when it comes to that injury?

What could life have looked like if you instead had stopped where you mind now places that “should”? Without dwelling on that “should,” because as you might recall, one of my favorite things to say is “you shouldn’t should on yourself,” just bring it to mind.

That, my friends, is your “edge.”

What is Your “Edge?”

Your “edge”, as I call it when I’m teaching yoga, might be to keep bettering yourself by being harder, stronger, faster, better. Your edge is that place that pushes you out of your comfort zone, but not so much that it creates suffering.

Going Beyond Your Edge

Sometimes it takes going over your edge to dramatically change the course of things, and that’s totally necessary at times. You’ll know when life is calling for those times. But that’s likely not how you want your day-to-day to go. Think if you were constantly injuring yourself then having to slow all the way down to do the recovery work and rebuild before you could get back to full strength or mobility? That would get old real quick.

It’s like living in a state of constantly pushing yourself to burnout then having to recover, then burnout, then recover, and so forth. You might be living in this space right now in your life. And you might even be getting a bit tired of it.

So when you’re pushing harder and doing more it may not seem like you’re living in scarcity because you’re doing so much, but in all actuality, when you live in this place of over-functioning or powering through no matter what or with the “no pain, no gain” mentality, in a way you’re living with a scarcity mentality. Not feeling like or believing, rather, that there’s ever enough. You’re doing the things that keep you comfortable mentally and emotionally, even if it comes from a place of physical discomfort. And that’s actually not a terrible thing–sometimes it takes a bit of recovery and processing before you dive deeper into yourself mentally/emotionally/spiritually.

But it might also be creating suffering in your life–keeping you from owning your power in thought and action. And keeping you stuck in the battle of feeling like there isn’t ever enough…time, energy, focus or whatever it is that haunts you.

There is the case to argue that extreme scarcity could be used as a means of identifying your edge so that you can truly discover your full potential and appreciate the abilities you do have. Think: Lost (show) or Monks living on a Tibetan mountainside who have completely isolated themselves from all society in order to awaken to a higher spiritual consciousness.

That if you stripped everything back and gave everything up, you’d truly be able to find your full potential mentally, physically, emotionally. But that’s super extreme. And is that living in the reality of the day-in-and day-out? And would that be enjoyable or contribute to the harmony of the connectedness of all things?

What if your edge wasn’t about doing more, or proving that you can do hard things outwardly?

Finding Your Edge as an Over-functioner

As I mentioned above, sometimes it’s totally necessary to go beyond your edge, to get even more uncomfortable than anything you’d ever consider doing by choice, because it’s in those instances of scarcity that big healing has to happen. And in those instances, we often come back even stronger and better than we ever could have imagined. It’s also in those instances where we are given the chance to expand gratitude and faith in our lives. To lean not on our own resources, but to trust in the process of life.

If you listen to this podcast you likely have a tendency to over-function just a bit…doing things because you want to make sure they’re done right, or because it’s just faster if you do them, because if you don’t do them no one else will, or maybe because a little part of you just wants to prove that you can do something. It could be that it’s just in your nature to be a warrior…it is for me, as I’ve shared with you in other episodes.

And because I’m like this, I also have a natural draw to better myself. You might have realized this about yourself too. It’s not a bad thing! Important to learn to be content in this moment with who we are, AND at the same time you can still desire to transform and change.

That contentment is the “Happiness” part of this podcast:). And the harmony means you are seeking to find the balance in the rhythm of giving and receiving. It’s celebrating both strength and weakness. And understanding that it’s a continual process to find that harmony. And to do that, you have to find your edge in whatever area you want to be more intentional in.

Which means you likely have to get out of your comfort zone. Your edge isn’t about being comfortable; it’s about being slightly uncomfortable and learning to live with that.

Next week we’ll talk about what that might look like without adding to your “to-do” list.


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