“I’m not sure one can remain safe and grow at the same time.” ~Judith Hanson Lasater
I participated in a yoga teacher webinar with Judith Hanson Lasater tonight as part of my ongoing continuing education as a yoga teacher. This particular class was about teaching beginning students, and she made the comment above in the context of encouraging students to continue to stretch beyond the comfort zones (within reason) in order to grow in their practice of yoga. However, it struck me as a very powerful truth about life in general.
Growth is always about pushing beyond that which we already are. This is inherently risky—and therefore is never safe. To grow is to risk, so I can’t stay safe and grow at the same time.
This makes perfect sense to me, and I feel the authentic truth of this statement all the way down in my gut. But I still don’t like it.
I am strongly committed to growth. I want to become the person that I am meant to be, and I believe that means continuing to grow and develop every day for the rest of my life.
I’m also strongly committed to safety, even though I don’t believe that absolute safety even exists. I have a need for feeling at least relative safety to whatever degree is possible, and stepping outside of my zone of perceived safety is a real challenge for me.
Clearly I am going to have to choose, though, since I can’t have both of these at the same time. And if I have to choose, I choose growth. It’s uncomfortable, challenging, risky, and it’s always worth it.
Obviously, I don’t totally have to give up on safety. I’ll still lock my doors and wear my seat belt. I’ll still think things through and make prudent plans whenever possible. But I need to release my grip on the pursuit of safety enough that I never let the desire for safety prevent me from taking steps toward growth.
And this just may be a key question to ask myself when I’m facing a decision: Does this keep me safe, or does it help me grow? May I always choose the option that brings the greatest growth!
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