4 Shvat 5781 / Sunday, January 17, 2021 | Torah Reading: Bo
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On The Edge    

On The Edge

Have you seen those cute little growth diagrams showing the one circle labeled “comfort zone” and inside that circle is a smiley face that represents you…


Have you seen those cute little growth diagrams showing the one circle labeled “comfort zone” and inside that circle is a smiley face that represents you? The concept is that everything inside this circle is familiar and safe – a space where you feel comfortable. The challenge is, if you want to grow, that can only happen outside that happy little circle. Growth happens in a scary zone called the “discomfort zone”.


I don’t know about you but that name alone is enough to make me want to stay happily bouncing around in my comfort zone. I’m safe. I’m happy. Everything is hunky dory. Everything that is, except for this nagging feeling that I’m not supposed to stay in this space forever. If we’re going to accomplish our missions in life, that thing that Hashem sent us down here specifically to do because He decided the world needed us in it, I’ve discovered that that mission is rarely hanging out with us in our happy little comfort zone.


Let me tell you, I’ve stood at the edge of my comfort zone with my binoculars and peered out into the discomfort zone and guess what? I still couldn’t see my mission. So I gathered up my emuna and said a bunch of “Am I really supposed to go ‘out there’” prayers and tiptoed into this discomfort zone. After a brief exploration I high-tailed it back to my comfort zone. But the interesting thing was, my comfort zone suddenly grew a little.


I like to think that I’m pretty adventurous, but really this discomfort zone business makes me… uncomfortable. It’s literally taken me years of tiptoeing out, running back and then trying again to grow my comfort zone enough that I can now see my mission on the horizon. Let me tell you, I’ve asked Hashem more than once “You want me to go way out there?!” The answer is always “Yes, have faith, take another step forward.”


Hashem has blessed me with the privilege of writing for Breslev Israel and sharing emuna thoughts with this audience for over 3 years now. But did you know, it took me almost a year after I requested the submission guidelines before I made my first submission? Yep, I stood for a year at the edge of my comfort zone asking Hashem – “Do you really want me to share openly about my life?” Something that at that time, was definitely outside my comfort zone. The answer was yes… and I’m glad it was. It grew my comfort zone.


Recently, I’ve learned that the next way my comfort zone needs to grow is I need to step into the discomfort zone and begin sharing emuna with the world at large. In mediums and platforms that know me but do not know my spiritual path and in arenas that don’t know me at all.


It’s taken months for me to start stepping into this newest discomfort zone, not years this time, so I’ve made progress. I started by posting a link to one of my articles on Breslev Israel on my LinkedIn profile. It was so scary to press “publish” as a wide range of negative thoughts ran through my mind…. Basically I was afraid of what people would think.


Guess what? By the next morning I had received more positive private messages to that post than I have on any other of my posts on that platform. The responses were from people in business and life that, until now, I had kept completely separate from my emuna work.


Rabbi Arush tells us, if we’ve been blessed to receive the gift of the awareness of emuna then it’s our duty to share it. As he states in the Universal Garden of Emuna “If you have read this book and have become enlightened in the way of emuna, you are fortunate in having earned the potential in being a full partner in the rectification of the world, in teaching emuna and in bringing your fellow countrymen close to the Creator, helping them live happier and more meaningful lives.”


Won’t you join me? Step up to the edge of your comfort zone and speak words of emuna to those you encounter. Give emuna books and CDs. Do what your heart is called on to do, even if it is out there beyond your comfort zone. The growth you’ll experience and the difference you can make in another person’s life is totally worth it.



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Jennifer invites you to participate in a regularly held on-line study group that reviews the garden series books of Rabbi Arush. You can contact her at jenniferjwoodward@gmail.com to be added to the weekly newsletter for dates and times.

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