Draw Me Like One of Your American Couples
Welcome back to Into the Forests I Go, a place to learn more about my rich life as an American - as a human - living in the small country of Lithuania. I mean, once you add in the Jewish layers, uncovering ancestral roots, and springtime camping adventures, it's almost enough to want to write a book. Almost.
Have you ever done something JUST to get out of your comfort zone? To see how your heart and nervous system would handle it? Maybe you were looking for a healthy challenge, push, or motivator - maybe you're an adrenaline junkie. (Note: I'm not an adrenaline junkie. Adrenaline - yes. Junkie - no. Alright, good talk.) Whether you moved around the world or walked into a coffee shop to meet a potential new friend, we all do it sometimes. It takes vulnerability to put yourself out there.
And I really tested my limits with it a couple days ago by posing with The Scientist as a nude model for an acquaintance's life drawing class.
Now, listen: I've been the one sketching in various drawing classes, I've been surrounded by inspiring artists and models and musicians, and I've been to transcendent performance art-happening-visual art fusions. I'm immersed in it on the daily just by being an artist and a feeler.
But I'd never been on the other side of the line.
And given that we both moved around the world, you should know this was not The Scientist's first rodeo on the other side of the line. So, with his own comfort level satiated, I decided to view this as a healthy challenge, something we did together.
How did I do?
Well, in the last week or two of getting out of my comfort zone, you may be surprised to learn that this session was lower on the list of Nervous System Regulators. Sure, I was nervous about figuring out creative poses and holding them, but - maybe this is due to my counterpart being there - I wasn't as shocked and awed by the nudity. Uncomfortable, yes - but safe.
So I just went about my days, hoping it would be as transformative an experience as I imagined. My main goal was to be present and not disassociate from my body.
And I was fine, all up until fifteen minutes before I got there. I felt myself having a small anxiety attack - overwhelm, white heat, but nothing close to panic or dread. Just intense discomfort.
But then I walked in the door and knew I was meeting a new me by entering this threshold. I would be new by the end of this experience - and I was. I felt so proud of myself, reborn, happy to share myself in such a vulnerable way with my person by my side.
Actual footage of me leaping out of my comfort zone.
It reminded me a lot of our wedding - all eyes on us, but we're completely present in the moment and with each other. If only my ancestors could see me now!
I'm sharing this story to say: if there's something - big or small - you've been considering that you know will be a healthy challenge for your personal growth, DO IT!
The reward on the other side will be immense.
And you may find yourself curious and willing to do it again, like me.
I'll be gone next week due to travels, but I'd love to hear your own stories of challenging yourself in a healthy way. How are you getting out of your own comfort zone and into your growth zone in healthy ways in this season of life?
And as per usual, feel free to subscribe at the bottom of this page to receive a bi-weekly email from me on whatever's on my heart that day! And as always, I'll see you next time here at Into the Forests I Go - iki pasimatymo - see you soon!