Playing it safe means you aren’t finding that edge in life that makes you the best version of yourself. But if adding one more thing to your list to take action on or try harder at seems overwhelming, rest assured, finding your edge doesn’t always mean you have to add to your to-do list.
Your “edge” is that place of slight uncomfortableness that pushes you to be just a little bit better without causing injury or suffering. It’s the place where growth and transformation begin to happen.
Exploring the Depths of Who You Are
When your version of playing it safe is to keep busy all the time, here’s how to better yourself without adding to your to-do list.
Stop living in scarcity and instead trust the process of life and begin to flow with your time, energy and focus all the time instead of letting the fear that if you slowed down, or said “no” to something, something terribly bad would happen.
To you it might feel “safe” to keep doing all the things, to keep staying busy.
But…when you’re on a self-understanding journey and using your rhythms – your body’s, nature’s, and the cosmos – that “edge” likely needs to look a little different than what you initially think of when you think of finding an edge in something.
Between Trying Too Hard and Complacency
Think of a vertical spectrum or axis or even a horizontal line diving 2 planes, where upward or above that line is doing just a bit more, refining, hardening, enhancing focus in a visible, outward way; and where downward is going in the opposite direction, but not in a negative way…not going so far as to be apathetic or complacent or not doing at all, but instead, in a way that explores the depths of something in a way that involves compassion. It means using intention to tune inward instead.
When your version of playing it safe is to keep busy all the time, you can indeed better yourself without adding to your to-do list.
How This Relates to Yoga
In yoga, I talk about your edge being the place you push yourself to that creates slight discomfort–enough for growth to happen, but now so much that it creates pain or injury. If you can have the conversation with yourself that it’s uncomfortable, it’s likely not pain that’s going to cause injury.
Finding that edge has to happen if you want progress to occur, and if you’re practicing yoga, you likely want some sort of forward change to happen in your life.
Finding Your Edge in the Physical
Physical – heightened awareness or intention towards something-could choose 1 thing to be more intentional about
- Fatigued arms or legs
- Breath pace
- Stretching just a tiny bit farther than what you typically do
- Strength – If mobility or flexibility comes easily then strength may be your edge
- Breath to connect with your muscles to soften into a posture just a bit more than usual
- Focusing on a mantra or breath count instead of letting your mind wander
- Begin to learn a yoga practice that you take ownership of instead of having someone else lead you through it.
- Doing a yoga session for the first time
- Pain vs. Discomfort
- Underfunctioning just a bit on the mat
Your Emotional/Spiritual Edge
What about your emotional/spiritual edge–this can look like so many things, and when you’re on a self-understanding journey, at some point you start to seek out things that take you out of your comfort zone and bring you to your edge. That means, you don’t shy away from discomfort…in fact, you likely face a LOT of discomfort when you start to get deep enough in peeling back your layers.
- Getting counseling
- Investing in coaching for yourself
- Exploring your relationship with money
- Exploring your faith
- Working on your marriage
- Starting a yoga practice–the simple act of doing so begins to shine light on areas of your life that need attention
- Exploring your relationship with “should-ing” on yourself or other beliefs that you come across that seem to be keeping you stuck.
- Asking self: “What would make me the most uncomfortable in life?”
- Examining judgements of others–they are a mirror for you
- Understanding what your body and it’s rhythms are communicating with you
- Journaling…stream of consciousness writing brings things out
It’s not always upward and outward
The point is, your edge doesn’t have to be harder, faster, stronger, tougher, it can indeed be exploring the depths of what makes you, you.
Doing things the way you’ve always done them is safe. It’s comfortable, familiar. So what if your edge looked like just making 1 small change that gets you a little uncomfortable? That pushed you beyond what is “safe” for you?
Not just about discovering how to push yourself to better in an upward or outward way or in a physical way, although making minor physical changes can helpful in enhancing awareness because it ultimately will bring out mental-emotional-spiritual changes that need to happen as well. Remember, your body and mind are one and not separate as we have been led to believe, so what happens in one is a direct reflection of what is going on in the other.
So, where does the challenge lie for you?
Your Inner Edge
What if your challenge or edge is in being soft or doing less rather than doing more and hardening yourself?
Not just exploring the outward or how to push harder and do just a little more, but to consider also the inward, emotional, softer side that challenges you to do less, to sink deeper within.
Your Edge is Iterative
You find your edge, work through it, then have to find a new one going even deeper in your understanding of self. In your awakening of self or spirit.
But when you try too hard or go over your edge, the changes won’t happen, you’ll be stuck. And when you don’t try at all or find any sort of an edge, you’ll also be stuck. Stuck in complacency.
There’s this fine balance between something becoming effortless when intention is still attached to it , and effortless when complacency sets in–and that’s part of what makes up your “edge” in any given thing.
It’s about finding the balance between effortless action with intention and inaction or complacency. That sweet spot.
If a warrior mentality, or perfectionism, or a super self-disciplined approach to the physical in work, life or your health is what you naturally gravitate towards, consider this your nudge to explore what your edge could look like from a different vantage point. From one that explores depth, expansion inward, rather than height and expansion outward.
To know where you are in your Energetic Rhythms Cycle, download the Daily Rhythms Tracker.
Join the Energetic Rhythms for Intentional Living community here.
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