Growing up my grandparents ate sardines on saltines and I thought it was the grossest thing ever. It was a hatred founded on sight. Never tried one, was never willing. Sardines were way outside my comfort zone.
Personal comfort zones serve as a form of self-protection and there are things that will always be outside these lines in the sand for good and relevant reasons. From my perspective, the issues happen if there is no reason for protection and that discomfort or aversion is unfounded. It is then that rather than protect us are zone of comfort begins to hinder us and hem us in.
Through my personal practice I have learned that the only way to expand my zone of comfort is to push through my discomfort and do it anyway. That is how I fell in love with chanting, discovered the power of breath-work, and most recently found a way to teach my joyful song. FYI: Usually, I talk about this right before I make my students super uncomfortable and push them to do the practice anyway.
I have to fess that I am not a Vegetarian. I was for a long time and now I am not. I am however a mindful eater. I try for organic and sustainable. I read about food trends, participate in an international food club and when I cook it is with intention. My longstanding favorite ingredient is love.
Recently, I heard about sardines from several different perspectives. Chefs love them and even the Wall Street Journal had an article about the best way to offer canned versions up. They are super nutrient rich. In addition turns out that they are not only one of the most sustainable fish resources they are also cheap.
So I bought a can of sardines. They sat in my cupboard for two weeks taunting me.
Finally, I simply made myself do it. Discomfort and all, I opened the can and ate a sardine straight out. No mustard, no sauce, no hiding. It was freaking delicious. I now love sardines.