Lesson 59: For best results, do something scary.

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There’s a spiritual principle that says if you want to see miracles in your life, go out of your comfort zone.

Often that can be as simple as eating dinner alone at a restaurant, meeting new people, or trying a new yoga class. As a single woman over the age of 35, these are things I do on a regular basis. If I want to experience life, I have to.

Especially as a writer, I am out alone writing in bars and restaurants all the time. At my favorite place in Cleveland, Cedar Creek Grille, Mike, the bartender now pours me an iced tea before I can even ask.

“Working from home again today?” he asks with a wink.

The corner seat at his bar has become my favorite new “office” in my hometown. For 3 hours, I can write undisturbed or distracted, with a beautiful view, and bottomless iced teas. And they have a crazy cheap happy hour – for $12 I can have a glass of wine and an amazing and generous crab cake appetizer. Beats Starbucks any day.

But I’m looking for great change in my life, so I’ve wondered: what do I need to do to get out of my comfort zone? Not much scares me. Well, flying scares me. So does no power, at midnight, home alone in a 3-story house does. But that’s because I watch WAY too much Criminal Minds…

Today was Day 2 of my trip alone to beautiful Paris, and I could not be more exhilarated. Every day, before I leave my adorable Parisian flat to face the French-speaking world down below, I am scared. Will I find my way to the Metro? How do I ask the shop keeper at the Boulangerie for a bag? Why did that nice French man try to kiss me, just 5 minutes after meeting him…? (More on that later.)

Sometimes I get lost. And then found. But at the end of each day, after I’ve accomplished each of these tasks, I could not feel more alive! Plus I’m meeting some incredible new people and learning new things. I can almost feel the neurons in my brain firing.

I’m so glad I took the chance, stepped into the unknown and spent the money to book this trip. THAT was scary for me. I’m here for a writer’s workshop, and to find places to write in this beautiful city. Which means that every day is full of a little trepidation, with a lot of beautiful payoffs. Lucky for me, that also means a whole lot of new comfort zones to break.

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