Academy Apprentice/Audit Blogs Arts comfort zones creativity discomfort Elephant Academy embrace discomfort Enlightened Society Games innovation mindfulness velvet rut

How to say “Screw It” to the Velvet Rut you’ve been Living In.

How to say "Screw It" to the Velvet Rut you've been Living In.

Musicians in the early 1990s started describing Austin, the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World,” as a “velvet rut.”

In a city populated with music lovers, seats have been straightforward to fill and exhibits fast to promote out. Gifted musicians loved dependable reputation, success, and revenue with out having to work too arduous to maintain it.

However in a world the place something you do is lauded, there’s little motivation or want to push boundaries and take dangers. If it ain’t broke, don’t repair it, proper? Musicians would land in Austin and uncover a world the place it was all the time summertime, and the livin’ was all the time straightforward.

Thus the velvet rut. It’s cozy. It’s cozy. And it’s awfully arduous to escape.

This doesn’t sound all that dangerous on the floor. Take into consideration our historic hunter-gatherer ancestors out of the blue strolling into a spot the place eating places have been on each nook. Not having to scrounge and scrabble about for survival sounds an terrible lot like what we’re all striving for.

However let’s take a step again and take into consideration what’s misplaced once we cease having to work for our good points.

With no issues introduced, no options have to be looked for. There isn’t a want for divergent considering, new approaches, or innovations. Innovation is misplaced—an extraneous limb not wanted for an evolutionary benefit. And with no innovation, creativity turns into out of date.

This fact performs out in the bodily world, too. It’s solely by pushing our boundaries—operating a bit of quicker, climbing somewhat longer, making an attempt a brand new stunt on a skateboard, or a brand new spin on ice skates—that our muscle tissues will develop and our endurance and skills enhance.

The dangerous information is that our brains are additionally wired for a slight stress response to the unknown. Our consolation zones—these velvet ditches of pleasure—are protected. Outdoors them, who is aware of what risks lurk?

So we reside our lives suspended on this rigidity between the recognized and unknown, in a position and unable, stagnation and innovation.

One is snug, however the different is the solely means ahead.

This is the reason Eleanor Roosevelt stated, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” As a result of, because it seems, these a**holes who all the time avow that progress solely occurs outdoors our consolation zones have been proper all alongside.

However man, that sucks. Life is tough sufficient as it’s. Now we have now to willingly surrender the elements which are snug, straightforward, and profitable?

Properly, sure. Typically.

We now have to roll away from bed daily, regardless of how cozy we’re, to get down to the enterprise of dwelling. However we don’t have to throw out the mattress.

My husband has an uncanny degree of what I name “get-by-ed-ness.” He’s a social chameleon—in a position to adapt to any state of affairs, to converse with anybody, and consider artistic options to something.

He was additionally a refugee as a toddler. His whole childhood was problem.

He needs our youngsters to develop up with what he calls “the hunger,” this drive to survive and adapt and obtain success regardless of adversity. And whereas I agree, we’ve received to work out a means to accomplish that with out turning into refugees.

So, perhaps the band does have to depart the velvet rut to reignite their artistic spark, to problem themselves to develop and evolve. And perhaps it’s additionally okay to make it a day journey (every week or two tops). Perhaps it’s okay to stability problem with just a little consolation and slightly ease.

The hot button is to not hunker down and keep.

Shut your eyes and really feel round your life. Do you ever really feel caught? Do you consider your snug life, your lovely household, your pretty accolades and accomplishments that you simply’ve achieved over the years and nonetheless really feel dissatisfied?

It might simply be an indication of your unconscious clamoring for newness. For problem. For discomfort. And even for worry. And that’s okay. That’s what we’re made for.

We will problem ourselves to get just a little uncomfortable. Just a little burdened. Just a little scared. Do one thing new. One thing that’s onerous. One thing we now have to work at. One thing that may, finally, give us a spark of inspiration.

It might be as straightforward as writing in a brand new café as an alternative of the consolation of the plush purple chair at house (*cough-me proper now-cough*). It might be beginning that aspect hustle we’ve been mulling over. Or signing up for a race. Climbing a brand new mountain. Studying a brand new talent. Going for a better place at work. Taking over yoga. And even shifting throughout the world.

We may give our brains a scary, uncomfortable, fantastic deal with, and tiptoe out of that velvet rut we’ve been dwelling in. We don’t have to depart it for good—I’m not throwing my youngsters out of the home in the identify of studying adversity. I’d simply cease making an attempt to garden mow life’s obstacles for them.

Small forays out of our consolation zone, out of the rut, will flip our brains on, encourage us, awaken our creativity, broaden our horizons, and enrich our life.

As John Shedd famously tells us, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”


window.fbAsyncInit = perform()
appId : ‘920662958027189’,
cookie : true,
xfbml : true,
model : ‘v2.9’



(perform(d, s, id)
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); = id;
js.src = “”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
(doc, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)



// if(typeof mixpanel != ‘undefined’)
// $(‘.modal-login-form type enter.user_login’).focus(perform()
// mixpanel.monitor(“Login Email focus”, “Form ID”: $(‘.modal-login-form type’).attr(‘class’));
// )
// $(‘.modal-login-form type enter.user_pass’).focus(perform()
// mixpanel.monitor(“Login Password focus”, “Form ID”: $(‘.modal-login-form type’).attr(‘class’));
// )

$(‘.fb-login’).click on(perform(e)

$(‘.ej-login-container-wrapper .disabled-overlay’).present();
var MPEventTitle = ‘Fb Login’;
var MPProperties = ;
MPProperties.technique = “Facebook”;
var publication = $(this).dad or mum().discover(‘type enter[identify=”newsletter”]:checked’).size ? 1 : zero;

var formWrapper = $(this).mum or dad();‘#login_error’).take away();

var redirecting = false;
var redirect = typeof $(this).attr(‘data-redirect’) != ‘undefined’ ? $(this).attr(‘data-redirect’) : ‘/2018/11/how-to-say-screw-it-to-the-velvet-rut-youve-been-living-in/’;
MPProperties.FacebookResponse = response.standing;
if (response.standing === ‘related’)
FB.api(‘/me’, fields: ‘e mail’ ,
if(typeof meResponse.error != ‘undefined’)
MPProperties.userLookup = “Undefined Error”;
$(‘.ej-login-container-wrapper .disabled-overlay’).disguise();

We’re having hassle connecting to Fb. There’s nothing you are able to do. Fb is having issues. We apologize on their behalf. In the meantime, be happy to join utilizing your e-mail handle under.

else if(typeof meResponse.e-mail != ‘undefined’)
var user_source = $(‘enter[identify=”user_source”]’, formWrapper).val();
if($(‘type’, formWrapper).attr(‘class’))
user_source = $(‘type’, formWrapper).attr(‘class’);

var distinct_id = “”;
if(typeof mixpanel != ‘undefined’)
distinct_id = mixpanel.get_distinct_id();

var knowledge =
motion: ‘create_user_from_fb’,
e mail: meResponse.e-mail,
mp_distinct_id: distinct_id,
user_source: user_source,
publication: publication,
user_source: user_source,
technique: ‘Fb’,

technique: ‘POST’,
url: ‘’,
knowledge: knowledge,
timeout: 13000,
success: perform(ajaxResponse)
if(ajaxResponse != “fail”)
redirecting = true;
window.location.href = redirect;
MPProperties.userLookup = “New User Creation Failed”;
$(‘.ej-login-container-wrapper .disabled-overlay’).disguise();

error: perform(e)
if(typeof mixpanel != ‘undefined’)
mixpanel.monitor(‘Login Timeout’, “Login Type”: “Facebook”);


Oops, one thing acquired tousled on our finish. Please reload the web page and provides it one other shot, or attempt logging in right here.


MPProperties.userLookup = “Could not authenticate”;
$(‘.ej-login-container-wrapper .disabled-overlay’).cover();

Couldn’t authenticate you by way of Fb. Please attempt once more, or use your e-mail tackle as an alternative to create an account.



Couldn’t authenticate you by way of Fb. Please attempt once more, or use your e mail tackle as an alternative to create an account.


if(typeof mixpanel != ‘undefined’)
mixpanel.monitor(MPEventTitle, MPProperties);

scope: ‘public_profile,e-mail’
(perform(d, s, id)
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); = id;
js.src = “//”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
(doc, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));