“Existence wants you to be you.” ~ Osho
There is something both scary and liberating about stepping out of your comfort zone.
Stepping into the unknown (no matter how much you’re prepared) always brings with it some surprise. There will always be something that you might not be able to plan for or preempt. Well, that’s why it’s not your comfort zone!
However, once you do step out and find ways to start navigating those uncertain, unplanned for moments, something in you starts shifting.
And before you know it, you have transformed in ways that even you don’t understand. You grow into your own shift and transformation and then settle down.
Once that becomes your new comfort zone, your higher self is already ready to nudge you for the next round.
As I write this, I am able to see how far I’ve come in my own journey. While I know there are so many more milestones to reach and savor, this piece is about savoring this one.
I have always loved traveling. As a wanderer and explorer at heart, I love to explore new places. But traveling alone—being on my own—was a big no. Of course, good company is always welcome and needed. However, I was afraid of traveling solo—being with myself. I would always wonder, “What will I do alone?” “How will I pass my time?” “What if I get bored?” along with other challenges that I always struggled with.
Before I knew it, I had already traveled with myself a few times. In the last year, I have traveled with myself a couple of times for various reasons and it all led to one thing: my growth.
I have become more self-aware of what works and what doesn’t work for me. I am able to choose the experiences that I want for myself. I have spent time being lazy, eating, sleeping, and doing absolutely nothing without feeling guilty. This, for me, is huge because I have always been a workaholic, and I’m trying to break away from that bit by bit. I’m letting more “me time” become a part of my life.
While all that has been great, there have been some scary moments too. When you come closer to your self, you also become aware of what’s not working at a deeper level—the things that demand a fundamental shift in your way of being and relating to your own self. Those moments are difficult because your mind automatically wants to shield you from that existential discomfort by pulling you back. It’s only when you’re able to resist that pull, listen to your higher self, and step out even a little that you’re ready to transform.
“I learned to be with myself rather than avoiding myself with limiting habits; I started to be aware of my feelings more, rather than numb them.” ~ Judith Wright
My solo travels began with an agenda of “doing” something and slowly led me to “being” closer to who I am and want to be. The work is in progress, and for that I am glad!
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ Carl Jung
And here’s why I think that every individual could benefit from traveling on their own—without any agenda:
1. You learn to conquer the fear of being alone and lonely. As you begin to spend time with yourself, you allow yourself the discomfort of going through those difficult moments that tell you that you can’t be on your own. You understand that you can be with yourself, and that doesn’t mean being alone or lonely. It just means being with yourself.
2. You become more self-aware. As you spend time with yourself, you learn to listen to and observe your own mental chatter. You become more attuned to your own emotions and you become comfortable. Most of us simply want the chatter to stop, the emotions to go away. We want to keep ourselves busy with things so that we don’t have to look within because we’re afraid that we’ll only find demons waiting to gobble us up. And that time that you give to yourself makes you realise that there are no demons. There are only unheard, unseen, unmet, unfulfilled parts of you waiting to reunite with you. You just need to embrace them with open arms.
3. You become more confident about handling different kinds of scenarios.
4. Spending this time with yourself gives you a chance to switch off from your to-do lists and assess your life’s values, priorities, and vision. Your higher self shows up with this self-reflection mirror that you cannot ignore.
5. You let go of old baggage without even realizing. Some parts of you just lighten up.
6. You become friends with your emotions. You learn to sit with them and comfort yourself till they pass. Once that happens, you know something has shifted.
7. You feel realigned and reintegrated in ways that only you understand—because being away from your home enables you to test your limits, move out of your comfort zone, conquer your fears, and create a new zone.
Nobody knows you better than you; no one can. We are leading our lives based on our own inner wisdom.
“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.” ~ Ramana Maharshi
We need to be able to tune into it more. We need to become our own best friends.
While we all have our inner critic showing up from time to time, we do have an inner cheerleader as well, and we need to give that a chance to cheer for us even more.
Too often, we end up boxing ourselves in and that doesn’t work. Does it?
“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” ~ May Sarton