July 2016 By Shivi Verma Life becomes playful when you see it as a journey from one comfort zone to another, says Shivi Verma I am a lazy person by nature. For me work is the interval between two periods of lounging and doing nothing. And the harder I work, the more legitimacy I earn to enjoy my me-times, doing nothing. I could never relate to the idiom ‘leave your comfort zone’ as a parameter to achieve success in the conventional sense. I heard about it for the first time from the mouth of a neighbour at the age of 19, who said that he was unable to rise in life because of living in his comfort zone. Very soon, he accepted a placement in a remote area to get that promotion which had been eluding him for a long time. From that moment I began to see life as a thorny road strewn with rocks and pebbles. And the more I believed in it, the harder my life became. I remember getting my first posting in a place where I had to work on borrowed time and computers. I did not have a place to sit. In an office full of Hindi news reporters, I also did not have any senior or experienced colleague from my own department who could give me leads or some guidance on how to get news. On top of it, my salary was so meagre that I used to walk to most assignments in order to save money. I was unhappy both emotionally and circumstantially. In order to cope I began focussing on what made me internally happy, and this eased my trial to some extent. I also began to strongly project what I wanted, and in a couple of years actually made it there. This experience made me realise that instead of leaving one’s physical comfort zone, one had to only find one’s mental comfort zone. A physically uncomfortable situation does not necessarily translate to success or happiness, if the mind too is uncomfortable over there. But the same uncomfortable place can become very satisfying if the nagging mind is silenced. And to silence the nagging mind, I realised that one had to be true to one’s inner calling, which we normally shy away from because of our fears. After this I began to realise that life was a journey from one comfort zone to another. If a situation, no matter how physically comfortable or uncomfortable, was unable to give me mental peace, I would introspect and find what I needed to do to get to the level of mental comfort. More often than not, this exercise pushed me to do something that stretched my abilities, but added to my mental peace. Like addressing a large gathering of lawyers and farmers, because it was the need of the hour even though I was not an experienced orator, or doing a full-time job in Mumbai, even though I feared peak-hour traffic, because the inner voice said so. These acts gave me a deep sense of peace. After all in nature everything flowed smoothly. A farmer toiling hard in his fields does it not only because farming is his source of livelihood, but also because when he obeys his natural instinct of tilling the land, no matter how physically tired he gets, he experiences a deep sense of joy, release and relief. The water he gulps afterwards, sitting under a tree’s shade, is as much a sign of his contentment as it is of quenching his thirst. Instead of leaving one’s physical comfort zone, one had to only find one’s mental comfort zone Inner peace and calmness are the barometers to know if you are on the right track. Work done in such a way becomes less effortful and more joyful. And when work starts giving you joy, when Monday mornings give you a boost, instead of the blues, you are flowing with the effortlessness of life and nature. With no inner conflict, my me-times are blissful. I revel in my beingness, and my laziness. About the author : Deputy Editor with Life Positive, Shivi Verma is a devotee who found all her answers in loving God passionately.
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