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Cultivate a Better You

Moving Beyond Your ‘Safe’ Zone

Glenda Van Koot
davidji Certified Meditation Teacher
Founder of Pathways to Serenity with Glenda

There’s a place where you sit that feels comfortable and safe. It’s your ‘comfy chair’ and it helps you feel secure in the world.

I’ve got my favourite chairs and sitting spots. There’s a chair in the room where I teach and meditate each morning. There’s another in the living room – my hubby in his chair on one side of a table and me on the other. Like the lovely couple in the movie Up, it’s nice and it feels good. But staying in that ‘comfy chair’ in your life, that’s not so good.

There have been times when I took giant leaps out of my ‘comfy chair’. I started university studies in 1975 and graduated on the Deans List 29 years later in 2004. I did it when I had the idea to purchase a business, and although it didn’t end as envisioned, I learned many lessons and it set me on this path. Meditation was my salvation.

But the leap doesn’t have to be so big; there are subtler ways to get out of that chair. I’ve always been someone who struggled with small talk and doing things on my own. When I went to my Masters of Wisdom and Meditation Teacher training, I spent a lot of time in the first few days with my fellow teacher Sarah. We grew to know each other through the months of study and flew to California together. One day she said she hoped it was okay, but she’d been invited to join a few classmates for lunch and wanted to get to know them better; it would be good for us to mingle with the others a bit more.

In my life I was so accustomed to following the crowd and not really thinking about what I would do if it wasn’t there, I didn’t quite know what to do or how to spend that break. So I started to walk and it was beautiful! I followed the sidewalk and bridge that was just above the ocean and then sat on a bench taking in everything that lay before me. I came back from that walk feeling I had truly conquered something within myself – and I was proud of it! I could be by myself and just do whatever and I had survived!

I’ve thanked Sarah multiple times for that day. I likened it to a mama bird pushing a baby bird from the nest – encouraging it to try its wings and venture out into the world. Her gentle nudge has helped me do many things on my own, easily getting up and out of my comfy chair.

It helped me travel to a qigong retreat in Costa Rica without knowing anyone. I was turning 60 a few months later and requested a single room as a challenge to myself. Could I be on my own without always needing to be where someone else was? It was enlightening to say the least and I enjoyed it!

But…. you have to take the first step. What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? If it really is something that you want, put your hands on the arms and push yourself up out of that chair!

Maybe you’re lucky and have a Sarah in your life who unexpectedly gives you the nudge that you didn’t know you needed until it happened. Do it for yourself; a gift to both you and the world around you. Because when we transform ourselves, when we find our peace, the ripple effect is un-stoppable.

Glenda Van Koot is a certified davidji meditation teacher and the founder of Moonset Meditation. She lives in Bobcaygeon, Ontario, Canada. Visit her website at

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