Sep 17, 2015

There was a time when I loved rap music. NOT. In fact, usually when I hear it, the back of my neck instantly tenses as I strain to understand the lyrics. Sort of like I’m trying to decipher a foreign language. And yes, I know something about this. As a high school student learning to become more fluent in Spanish, I was fortunate to earn a scholarship to a university in Mexico. In order to have a more comprehensive understanding of the language, I lived with a Mexican family for a few weeks and also was paired up with a native speaker for 2 hours a day for conversational Spanish. My conversant partner was an energetic, fun, young woman who spoke so quickly that I had to work very, very hard to understand her. It was an awesomely uncomfortable stretch for me.

Guess what? After 3 weeks, I could actually understand her. I had become more fluent as a result of our agonizing, entertaining hours together. I am so grateful that I stayed with it.

How have you stretched yourself lately? Can you allow yourself to be with the discomfort of new terrain, uncharted waters? What’s a practice which would move you out of your comfort zone and toward something you’ve not dared reach for? Commit. Stretch. Commit again. Stretch. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.