Sitting in a café, all alone, trying hard not to look like a serial killer, I do what I think I do best. While for some it may not seem like a big deal, to pick up a laptop and start punching the keyboard by the window of a neighbourhood café, in my head, I just climbed Mt. Everest. I’ve been so busy in the humdrum of life, that I never realised how deep into my comfort zone I went, and how long I’ve stayed there. Being on my own in a common space with nobody to talk to, simply enjoying my coffee and writing, isn’t something I normally do. Besides, I always seem to have company, if not a living human, at least a mobile that I bury myself into every five minutes. I like to be surrounded by company, to do things in the comforts of my own space, to not stand out much. So when I decided to spend a little time with myself, getting out of my comfort zone, I took the first step towards feeling awkward and uncomfortable, I took the first step towards being comfortable with myself.
And it made me think, how often do we spend time with ourselves, how often do we look within?
Life tends to do that to us! We get so busy following a pattern, be it going to work, planning periodic vacations, or unwinding on the weekends, that we tend to stick to a fixed path, without even realizing it. How often do we try breaking the rut? Not because we’ve had enough, not because we’ve reached a breaking point, not because some YouTube guru asked us to, but simply because.
With people and technology crowding our minds, mobiles pinging every five minutes, social media demanding our addictive attention, our minds are always running, and so are we. We have friends to catch up with, Netflix series to binge watch, instagram stories to post, virtual friends to stalk. Technology has turned us into digital zombies. Our hands reach out to the phone even before we wake up fully, our children cannot eat without a screen to look at, we pull out our phones from our pockets as soon as we get into the lift. We no more give attention to the fact, that amidst all of this hullabaloo, we are here not just to exist, but to live. That we aren’t just social beings, we are human beings as well. We don’t always have to run behind a target, look a certain way, be a certain way, socialise a certain way. Sometimes, it’s alright not to do things, it’s alright not to follow the norm. It’s alright to just be.
Amidst all of this, where do we have the time to check in with ourselves? Where do we have the time to sit still, and listen to our hearts and not our minds? Have we got so busy getting in touch with everyone around us, that we’ve forgotten to get in touch with ourselves? Have we really got so far from our own selves, that it now takes an hour of meditation, or a ten day retreat to delve deep within?
What if we could all be a part of the rat race, yet retain our individuality? If we could all be in touch with everyone else, but more importantly, could stay in touch with our own selves?
You don’t have to renounce the world, be a travelling hippie, retire and settle in a remote island or throw away your phones. May be, just may be, all you need to do, to look within, to get out of your comfort zone, to cherish your own company, is to climb your own Mount Everest.