Choosing growth over safety

“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!

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.

2 thoughts on “Choosing growth over safety

  1. Mostly, I choose what is, so I am looking less through duality–either/or. I’m beginning to think that being completely present in every moment is growth. My understanding is that every moment is free, meaning it is not free from any situation but it is a moment in which we are completely free to respond or make a response that is not conditioned or habitual.

    A most interesting post; I enjoyed it.


    • Thanks, Karen, for sharing this. I really like your perspective of “being completely present in every moment is growth.” That’s still something that I aspire to and have a long way to go to get there, so it is growth indeed! Thanks so much for the comment.

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