Here is a definition of "Comfort Zone" by Carolyn Gregoire of the Huffington Post: It's a "behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk"
A painter I invited to speak to my class, Angela Lillico explained how she thrived on doing three different styles of art. That it made life and creativity much more exciting and interesting. That it actually made her a better artist in general, each style feeding into the other.
After I began teaching halftime I began to realize I would not be able to spend as much time working on my clay as I'd had before. My mind was now buzzing with planning classes and teaching. And, since I was teaching how to paint plus spending one day as an "artist in residence" why not, I thought, do what my students are doing and begin working on painting projects of my own.
During Halloween my grandson dressed up as a banana. He just loved the outfit and wore it for a few days before Halloween everywhere he went. During this time we had gone out for coffee with my son, his wife and and our 3 year old grandson, the banana. I took a photo of him and his father from the back as we left the restaurant that evening.
I loved the photo and what it seemed to say to me. There are a lot of children who do not have a father to reassure them as they walk down a dark street at night. Holding hands, not even having to say anything, but the fathers presence, hand in hand, alone speaking volumes. I began to think of how much boys are missing if they grow up in a single parent home without a father. Simple things, little things, big things, and even things we never think of, like this aspect of overcoming fears just by being there, holding the child's hand.
A picture came to mind. What if they were approaching a scary home when trick or treating? What would a first time experience be to a three year old child? What would that child see? Would he see what the father sees? Not really...He sees something different. He might see the house not as an opportunity for candy but a living thing with a scary face, showing it's teeth like those pumpkins, the whole scene lit up in scary colorful lighting he's never seen before in the darkness.
I grabbed some paper and colored pencils and did the rough you see above. I'm hooked. I've now begun to paint, following my own teaching instructions to my art class, ha ha...working along with them preparing for the art show coming up December 17 at the St. Aidan's Christmas program at Calvary Temple. (More details on that to come later.)
Am I taking a risk? Yup. Am I increasing my stress level? Sure, but you know, it's a good stress. I'm feeling good about it and will keep going. At my advanced age, I need to take a risk once in a while! Move out of my comfort zone a bit now and then. Maybe that's why I feel so young these days!
"Living with fear stops us taking risks,
and if I don't go out on the branch,
you're never going to get the best fruit."
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/taking_risks.html#VuvBlMrE4QfD2JJT.99