When talking about going beyond our comfort zones, we often refer to an intellectual way of doing so: to challenge ourselves in ways that require our brains to learn new things.
But in this case, I want to talk about physical comfort.
To go beyond your physical comfort zone is to arrive at a point in which being physically uncomfortable becomes, paradoxically, comfortably enough.
This past July I went for four days to a horse ride in the Mongolian steppe. I spent the night inside a nomad family’s yurt, slept on the floor, didn’t take a shower at all, and ate the same food every day. I was in constant pain from the beginning of my trip.
And yet, every day was a reminder of how well it felt to spend time in nature and how little we humans need to survive.
Yes, the nomads have a hard life. They don’t get to live many years. But being in Mongolia also made me wonder why in the West do we want to live for so long (I think this should be a choice, but this is another topic).
And why do we want to have so many possessions that require us to have bigger houses when a yurt might be enough?
Maybe living like the nomads is extreme, but I think living like rich people do it is extreme too.
I’ve always liked having few things (and I still think I have too much), but after being in Mongolia, I am more committed than ever to possess even less.
I’ve learned that is uncomfortable to live like the Mongolian nomads, but now I know that I can do it.
Now I am aware that any other physical discomfort or lack of material things I might experience won’t be comparable to my Mongolian experience.
That if I even got to enjoy that precarity, then I can live with fewer things than with what in the West we tend to think we need.
I learned that I could find comfort in the discomfort.
Even in the discomfort after falling off a horse.
But this is also another story 😉