I used to say “I love a challenge!”. A friend of mine suggested that I be careful what I wish for. True words, those.
The fact is that I can rarely resist a challenge. I’ve gotten myself into all kinds of trouble stepping into challenges. (Let me be clear that by challenges I don’t just mean can I climb that mountain, run that race, more like can I move my friend before her mother comes home and kills us both.)
This year I’ve committed to a challenge that is good for me. It will serve and support my purpose of helping others to improve the quality of their lives by reconnecting to their bodies through awareness and movement in order to heal body mind, heart and spirit.
I’m calling it the Soma Ranch 28-Day Challenge. It is the brain child of Nia trainer and entrepreneur Helen Terry. For more information from Helen on the 28-Day Challenge and her fabulous Soma Ranch, please visit http://www.somaranch.com.
It goes like this:
Pick one or two changes you want to make in your life. If they’re big changes, break them down into small steps so that the process doesn’t become overwhelming. This is a one day at a time proposition.
Adding in my part:
It’s not about accomplishing your goals in 28 days. It’s about setting up the environment and developing the good habits that will foster accomplishing your goals. This 28 days is a nest building time. Every day you’ll practice something small that will move you forward. No busy work here. One of my favorite suggestions in terms of self-development is from a book called The Slight Edge written by Jeff Olsen and it is to read 10 pages of a GOOD book every day. Unless your goal is to be a novelist, this suggestion doesn’t mean read a good novel, it means read 10 pages of a work that will grow you – teach you something that will move you forward towards your goal.
Here’s a big part of this (as far as I’m concerned it’s huge)
Read your 10 pages (or whatever small step you just finished) and then sit for a moment and congratulate yourself for your accomplishment. I’M TOTALLY SERIOUS! Give yourself some love. Breathe it in. Let in settle into your bones. Not pride, love.
Ok, time’s up!
To move through daily:
1. a Nia/5Rhythms/focused improvisational class
2. to write rich content daily – even if it’s just a couple of words and whether or not I post it
3. to gradually reduce the amount of sugar in my diet
4. and yes, read 10 pages of a good book. My good book is An Unspoken Voice – How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores to Goodness by Peter A. Levine, PhD
Here’s my clincher:
5. to speak about what I do and my purpose
I’m a Nia teacher, so moving is not too tough. With developing Movement Alchemy I’ve gotten away from my daily personal practice so #1 brings me back. For #2 I love to write, this is a way to fine tune my discipline. #3 is because I am addicted to sugar. I feel lousy when I eat it in amounts I do around the holidays and I know that I have to create change in very small increments around this so that I will feel better. #4 is easy, in theory. There are few things I love to do as much as I love to read, but with my schedule I can actually go a few days without reading, so this is a reminder.
#5 is the spider, the bogey man in the closet, my Mount Everest – makes me nauseous just thinking about it. Small steps. Write it down. Say it to myself. Say it to my children. Say it to my close friends. Say it to my other friends ;> Say it to my classes. Rinse and repeat. By the end of 28 days my challenge is to have created a comfort level – of some sort – that gives me a foundation for speaking confidently about what I do.
Need some ideas?
2. Dance for No Reason!
3. Challenge yourself to Complain Less and Keep a Tab.
4. Keep a What I’ve Done Today Journal!
Helen encourages a running commentary on this process and I do the same. Comment on Helen’s site, comment here, comment on Fb if you like. Don’t keep this to yourself. Make it public – commit out loud. To keep it to yourself keeps you from being accountable and I know for myself that I never accomplish anything that way. It also prevents you from receiving support.
Besides, you never know when and how your experience may be of help to someone else with a similar challenge.
Happy Day 1!