Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
I’m writing in the airport this morning. I overslept and not just because of the old spring forward thing.
I overslept because last night I stepped outside of my comfort zone to do something I would not have done before.
Before I kiss the sky, (and yes, that is a hint) let me tell you about the first part of a truly remarkable day.
In the morning, I spoke to a group of incredibly bright young folks at Towson University in Baltimore. Early on a Saturday morning, 400 youngins as my mother would have called them came together to learn ways to become better leaders and better folks. I met a student who could barely speak. He’d lost his voice and the room was filled with the kind of music students listen to. He told me that he dreamed of creating a model that will enable people to see with their heart. He spoke passionately about ending the isms of the world and I sat rapt as this 6ft something man/child told me his idea for change. I could barely hear and he could barely speak but the connection of truth cut through the noise and to my heart. I met so many beautiful people, including the University President, who also understood where she needed to be at that moment in time.
My morning ended with a ride to the airport with a young woman who coordinates spring-break trips which enable students to volunteer wherever needed. She spoke about sleeping on the floor in the basement of a church in D.C while working with the homeless and how after she did, life became beautiful.
I left Baltimore truly knowing that our future was not the gloom and doom that has been predicted because if there are at least a few students like these on every campus in America, we zoomers (boomers with zip) will all be just fine.
Then last night I flew to Atlanta. I’ve been wanting to hear the musician Keb Mo since I first heard him many years ago. I learned that he’d be in Atlanta and immediately got a ticket to go. Then I found out that he was playing at something called The Jimmi Hendrix Experience http://www.jimihendrix.com/us/homewhere top rockers , blues guitarist and all the folks who loved Hendrix came to experience and be a part Jimmi’s work. I grew up listening to gospel music, so I had no idea what I was in for.
I rarely go to large concerts. What most people don’t know about me is the fact that while I can speak to crowds of thousands, I have a very difficult time standing in them.
I decided to step way out of my comfort zone and when I did, I was rewarded with more joy then I can explain.
Bo Diddly, Billy Cox, Jonny Lang, Robert Randolph, Jeanette Monet and of course Keb Mo, were just a few of the performers. I had no idea that my evening would have been this packed with so many amazing stars. I chair danced with the other zoomers until we couldn’t take it any longer and had to stand to feel the music even more. I sat next to a man who had brought his daughter and behind me there was a father and toddler with matching mo-hawks.
It was loud and beautiful and I saw the world that the Towson student had spoken of earlier that day.
Against the desire of my heart, I left early hoping to get up in time to write and catch the early flight home; at least I got to the airport in time. So I’m sitting at my gate writing to you about the dreams of a man who would have been 70 and of one who is still just a kid.
Excuse me while I kiss the sky.
Step out of the routine and into the Experience of Life.
Be you, Be well, Be New
Bertice Berry, PhD