“Be careful. Don’t get to close to the edge or you will be swept over.” An affirmation in my unconscious that only recently revealed itself, allowing me to re-examine its value and its role in guiding me through my life journey.
Indeed, I once did venture too close to the edge of a waterfall only to be swept over, held down by the force of the water only to resurface when I surrendered to its force, and thus, was able to use the river’s bottom floor to push myself up to the surface. A memory I have occasionally recalled, often feeling both the fear and the relief. A memory that I now realize had embedded itself in my unconscious, shaping how I have dealt with an edge.
Edge: “the line or point where something begins or ends. A border. A brink or verge. An advantage.” (Websters) Sometimes tangible and sometimes not. Ever present. A guide.
My experience with the waterfall’s physical edge manifested as an intangible edge, shaping over time my perspectives and actions. My very knowledgeable and wise yoga teacher is teaching me a new concept of edge, raising my awareness to the myriad of edges present in my life and how to honor them, work with them, and learn from them. An edge is the place where slight discomfort presents. Pushing past this point leads you to struggle, resulting in residual pain of some kind. My teacher has encouraged me to learn how to “stay with the edge”: acknowledging it and honoring it while I breathe consciously. Doing so, increases the likelihood that I will move it.
We all have a comfort zone within which we live our life. Bounded by its border, its edge, our comfort zone shapes our decisions and actions. Our comfort zone has physical attributes, as well as mental, emotional and spiritual ones. Each attribute has its own edge, and each is interrelated to another.
I often work with my clients to define their comfort zone so that they can own, value and honor it, while most importantly, suspending judgment of it. Most often, they discover that they have been living in the center of their comfort zone, avoiding the discomfort of going too close to the edge: literally, and figuratively. Most describe their life as good, and by ordinary standards, they are right.
As I have reflected on my story, I have realized the benefits of my experience in keeping me safe: making me very aware of both tangible and intangible edges and going only so close; carefully assessing situations and usually putting someone or something between me and the edge. It has shaped my comfort zone.
I have also realized its limitations, and how at times it has kept me from stretching, growing, and experiencing all that life has to offer. I decided to reframe my affirmation, consciously practicing and saying it so that with time it embeds itself into my unconscious.
“Be mindful. Know where my edge is. Honor it.
To me, this affirmation takes my story, integrates my recently learned concept of edge, and thus, leverages the story’s guiding power. Yes, I will experience discomfort as I do when I take our new scooter for a ride…an actual physical experience of going to my edge which is helping me to fully experience my new concept of edge, challenging myself, knowing my limit, stretching it at times, and perhaps most importantly, trusting I will be okay. Ultimately, my comfort zone will shift, my edge will move.
Experience it. Let it teach and guide me.
In so doing, I will be able to move it.”
Identify and list the known edges in your life.
Are there aspects of them that are keeping you stuck? Holding you back?
What can you do differently to manage your edges, working with them, and allowing them to help your continued growth?
About Extra Ordinary Living
Janet began her coaching journey in January of 2004, leaving behind a satisfying career as a healthcare executive. Working first under the company name, Tiberius Enterprises, in January of 2007, Janet adopted the company name, Extra Ordinary Living, symbolizing her desire to work with people who defy the law of average and want to live extraordinary lives, consistently adding the extra to the ordinary. Her by-line embracing sustainable change is reflective of two intentions. First is to have the changes a client makes have long term positive implications. Second is to live a life that respects the importance of sustaining our planet’s lives for generations to follow.
As an Executive Coach, Janet’s intention is to assist service professionals and organizations to maximize their return on human capital….managing human behaviors for optimal outcomes. Janet has repeatedly found that an individual’s professional and personal satisfaction and happiness is often limited by their very own “human capital.” She loves working with people to identify and own their natural tendencies, abilities and talents; to recognize their limitations, and apply all in creating the life they have historically only dreamed about. As a professional coach, Janet is trained to listen, to observe and to customize her approach to match her client’s needs. She provides tools, support, structure and accountability to help her clients unleash their full potential and optimize results.
Having a coach herself for over four years, Janet has found the best thing about coaching is that it is all about you, the client, and what you want. A coach may share her opinion, and give you advice; however, it is all up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. A coach suspends judgment, and supports you in your decisions.
With the coaching philosophy as her foundation, Janet is also an inspirational Professional Speaker. She has spoken at local, state and national conferences, providing the plenary session as well as more structured workshops. Her goal is to impart useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to assist her audiences in living extra ordinary lives. Janet always customizes her content to match her audience.
Interested in learning more? Please contact Janet by phone at 540-342-3040, email, email@example.com, or visit the website, www.4extraordinaryliving.com.
Janet Crawford MHA, MBA Professional Certified Coach
Extra Ordinary Living is written for aspiring individuals looking for new perspectives and ideas for living life differently by finding the Extra in the Ordinary.
"The comfort zone takes our greatest aspirations and turns them into excuses for not bothering to aspire."
– Peter McWilliams
"The edge is a magical and scary place where your consciousness is raised and growth occurs."
– Janet Crawford
Sustainable Living Tip:
Waiting for the train to pass; the fast-food pick-up window line to move ahead; the accident on I-81 to clear up…..typical examples of where we simply sit in our car, idling our time while the car’s engine idles away.
In our world of go-go-go, hurry-hurry-hurry, do-do-do, having the opportunity to idle can be good for our health. Time to sit back, relax, breathe and realize there is not a thing you can do to hurry up the wait. All you can do is make the most of the moment which is truly what living optimally is all about. Idling is good for your soul.
It is not good for your car. If your car engine will be idling for more than 10 seconds, turn it OFF! An idling car creates twice the emissions of a car in motion; wastes fuel and thus, money…idling 15 minutes per day can cost you up to $100 annually in wasted gas; is linked to increases in asthma, allergies and other respiratory diseases; and is bad for the health of your engine.
Idling for the soul increases your reserve, nurtures the planet. Idling your car depletes its reserve, and is toxic to the planet.
Perhaps one of the simplest tips to follow. Please join me and ask others to do the same.
And if you remember being told idling is better than turning on and off the car: that was the old days.
EOL Upcoming Events:
Back by popular demand,
To YES Living Retreat!
When: 6:30 to 9:00 pm September 26, 2008
9:00 to 3:30 pm September 27, 2008
Where: The Tiberius House
1328 2nd St. SW
Roanoke VA 24016
What: Time of personal discovery to identify ways to have that YES feeling every day, several times a day. YES, the feeling that resonates from the tip of your toes to the top of your head, that causes you to pause and celebrate and then propels you forward.
Join us. Space is limited so reserve yours by emailing me, firstname.lastname@example.org
More information: www.2YESliving.com
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In the spirit of To YES living, Janet and Joanne will be hostess in g a monthly gathering of Living in the New Earth where we will explore how to apply the concepts in Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth. If you live in the Roanoke area and want to join us, the details follow:
When: First Friday of every month. Next meeting is AUGUST 1, 2008. We will not meet on July 4.
Where: Daily Grind – West Village on 419
Cost: Free, unless you purchase a delicious lunch or cup of coffee
Come as often as you want.