Taking the plunge to start up my own Arts Therapy practice just about takes the cake for me. I had 10 comfortable years of growing and working in a stable marketing career. For a period over the last few years, this came paired with an aweful lot of study, very little time off and many sleepless nights. I was on the train and as it neared the final station, it meant actually doing something tangible about my dreams of supporting people through therapeutic arts. And alas - PAPERNOOK was born.
Some people talk about that familiar, old, worn down spot in their lounge room chair. Perhaps too, this has become your ethereal place to hang out of late?
If I am honest, it was that comfortable worn in spot behind my office computer doing the same old.
So let’s talk vulnerability and “what-if’s”. Yep, that little-big guy called fear.
Exploring this concept using a therapeutic arts-based approach, I discovered that this wanted to show up as my ‘Comfort Zone Tower’. It’s a feeling of having something that I’d actually love so far up in the sky that it’s almost removed, scary and quietly unobtainable. Yet, I'm aware that I do have choices. Do I be risky and climb? Or do I decide to stay where I am? If I did climb, at what point would I start to sense this was ‘right’ and good for me?
Then there’s always the prospect that I might fall and fail. Splat! Ouch (err).
By taking myself through this mini-process, to first visualise and then secondly, consider what it is that I might need if I was going to conquer Comfort Towers, I find I’m able to settle on the idea of some ropes suspended from the top as a harness. A safety net in case I slip on the climb up.
But then I ask: who is holding these ropes tight? Is there someone else? Does there even need to be someone else? What emerged was the recognition that the ropes would be secured and tied off; a small reminder that actually, I’ve got myself. It feels ‘ok enough’ now to give this a go.
Invitation: when was the last time you really asked yourself how you are going in this area? What does your comfort zone look like, sound like, or have qualities of? Have you gotten cosy hanging out in your comfort zone to a point where it is stopping you from getting out and really living a life aligned to your values, hopes and goals?
If you’re already hustling, then great. But if not, or that hustle has become a little monotonous, then perhaps it’s ok to reflect on what you might need to step out and be brave.
Have that conversation. Apply for that course. Meet someone new. Take a plunge towards that something meaningful and scary – but equally rewarding for your soul.
Be kind and go gently.
Words by Jasmine