Breakthrough Psychology and the Zone

New seasons always seem to afford the opportunity for experiencing life anew. As the new season dawns, Fall brings with it an excellent opportunity for culturing some new experiences, experiences that can help to assist us in breaking through the habit patterns that have begun to form over the Summer. As we have reviewed in previous articles, the ability to experience the zone, of being fully alive and awake to life requires regular and frequent breakthroughs. Breakthroughs are those times when we challenge ourself, attempt something new, either in a familiar area of life, such as skating, or trying something completely new. The challenge provides us with the chance to overcome our comfortableness with how things are. Comfort is not a bad thing, just that if that is all we strive for, then we will surely miss out on the preciousness of being alive.

From time to time, if we are at all interested in realizing more of our human potentialities, of 'being all that we can be' (thank you to the armed forces for that slogan!), it's essential that we expand our territory of influence, be it in sports, work, relationships (I'm not talking affairs here), all areas of life. How does one continue to expand, to become more self-actualizing, a more fully functioning individual? It is not by doing the things we have always done, or by continuing to repeat the existing habit patterns we have established, whether of recent origin or long-standing patterns. Maintaining habit patterns only tends to restrict us more and more from being fully present and alive in the moments of our lives.

Habits, such as driving a car are not bad, it is just that as the habit is established, it tends to create a window of time when we can simply drift, attention wandering usually to the thoughts we have thought over and over again (with perhaps new variations) for many, many years. While we are drifting, we are still succumbing to habit patterns. Meanwhile, we are not here, in our life, fully present to the magnificence of the moment, fully aware of all the wonder and aliveness in that moment.

Personally, it seems to me that if we are not here, now, then the sum total of those moments of not being here, not living in the quality and preciousness of each moment, means we have not, in the end, really lived. Instead, we only can say that for most of our lives, we have just made a living, but are not able to say we have lived to the fullest, realized the potential of who we are and what we are capable of. And the clock keeps ticking.

Breakthrough is that experience where we take a stand, choose to do something because it is new, because it is something we can expand into, something that opens up new possibilities for us and also redefines what being alive means to us. Those of you who participated in the Adventure Weekend know what this means.

We can never stop breaking through. That is the adventure of life, to keep expanding, trying new things, experiencing new levels of joy and freedom in what we do. To stay put, comfortable, is to begin to submit to the unconscious forces that fit our life into a slot, to live our life out of pre-established habits. Choosing between stagnation and aliveness is a day-by-day decision. So relish this time of renewal, do something new, expand yourself, do something you love or think you would love, make a new friend, donate time or money to the club, propose an event, throw a party, write a letter to the editor, carve a pumpkin, quit your job, hug someone. In other words, commit to being alive and expressing your creative potential. Here's to life!

By Doc Roberts, PhD. (Published in The Fix, Official Newsletter of the FunAddicts Skate and Skiboard Club)