Spiritual Baby Steps

"Doing" spirituality in the real world

Archive for the tag “humor”

Practicing Self Compassion…

There is a reason they call it a “practice”!!!

I may have mentioned before that I am participating in Leo Babauta’s Sea Change Program, where ever month there is a small behavior change that you commit to incorporating into your life. For the month of May, this tiny habit that we are attempting to incorporate is self compassion. Seems like an easy enough endeavor… but I’m here to tell ya… it’s trickier than you might at first imagine!

What I’ve noticed is that, despite my initial compassionate, loving words to myself, I immediately follow said compassion with a smidge of negative chatter that is like adding a “yeah, but” to my attempts at self-healing. I yelled (spoke sternly is probably more accurate, but it might as well have been yelling with the tone and the eye rolling that accompanied) at my son the entire drive to school this morning. I was very irritated because he made me re-tie his shoes 3 times due to the laces not being the correct amount of “tight.” I was explaining (do you like how I’ve relabeled the yelling to explaining now?!) how he needs to take responsibility for being on time to school and that, at the ripe old age of 9, he really shouldn’t need me to be tying his shoes… let alone insisting that I retie his shoes numerous times in one morning.

When I finally dropped him at school, he slammed the door and never looked back. I can only imagine what was going through his head. I’m pretty sure it was not along the lines of, “thank goodness I have such a great Mom who helps me understand the error of my ways.” In the great irony of a good day, I realize that the very thing I told my son he needed to do, which was to take responsibility for himself (from my viewpoint, this meant getting out the door on time), he was actually doing (from his viewpoint, making sure that his shoes were tied in a way that worked for him). Funny… that whole irony thing.

Anyway… back to self compassion. After a bit of verbal self-abuse, I did manage to remember the habit for the month. I congratulated myself for having the presence of mind to remember that beating myself up over the events of the morning was not actually going to rewrite the events of the morning for the better. Instead, I took a moment to acknowledge how difficult it is to be a Mom who is trying to balance consciousness and reality! I am, in fact, very thankful for this month’s sea change habit of self compassion. I think it is an easily overlooked habit that can have the potential to hugely impact our lives for the better. After spending numerous moments today offering myself compassion, I have to say that it feels pretty good to be loved… even if, and maybe especially if, it is by my very own self.

Wishing you gobs of love and self compassion!    ~Rashel

What’s Your Story?

We all have stories. Stories are what we believe to be true and what we tell others about our lives. Rumi says… “Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” I find it interesting that he does not say, “unfold your own story,” or even, “unfold your own truth,” but “unfold your own myth.”

I was listening to an NPR podcast the other day and they were interviewing Tony Robbins. He mentioned something about stories that really struck me. He revealed that he was beaten as a child. Apparently he shared that truth with some kids when he was doing a talk in order that they might relate to him… to understand that even if you have a troubled youth, you can still turn your life around. The point he was making on the podcast was that he had consciously chosen not to perpetuate that story… that he worked hard to create a new story that he had shared with the world. Until that time, and only for the very specific purpose of relating to those kids, he had chosen not to share that story of himself and his life and to share and communicate a new story… one of empowerment and strength rather than victim hood and struggle.

Sometimes I think we get very caught up in what’s “true.” Reality, if you will. But what that realization illuminated for me is that we can choose to focus on other parts of our lives that are just as true and real without perpetuating the parts of our story that do not foster our own growth and development as a human being. Now, I am not advocating for a life of lies. I am not implying that everyone should wake up tomorrow pretending that their past is non-existent and acting as if the sky is green. I’m simply saying that we all have choices. Choice about what to share… what to focus on.. what to pay attention to on a daily basis. In any given day, there are as many, if not more, positive occurrences as negative… so why in the world do we feel so inclined, when asked how we’re doing, to list the 2-5 things that have gone wrong in the day? I know it’s not just me who does this because I walk around hearing of everyone’s issues on a regular basis. I’m not complaining, mind you… I’m just recognizing that we are very much hard-wired to focus on our negative story instead of perpetuating the positive aspects of our day and lives. I’d say we can’t help it… but that might be seen as taking on a bit of victim mentality, no?

What is your story? How do you feel when you tell your story? Does your story focus on the amazing, wonderful events that have shaped your life… or does you get caught up in the negative, difficult details? Do share your story!

Love and light!  ~Rashel

Acceptance in Action

I often think about acceptance. I really believe this is a misunderstood concept. I know I’ve blogged about acceptance before… the importance of it… the value in it… how hard it can be to master! It came up for me again the other day. I was half-way through a yoga class and began to notice my own self judgment. In a room full of yogi’s in training and full length mirrors… ones mind does tend to wander toward comparison. How in the world is that girl getting her arm to go straight up right now? Am I the only one in the room using blocks today? Why is this still so challenging after years of yoga classes?

What came up for me is how natural it is to think that judgment and criticism will lead to change. Why else would we do it? If I honestly believed that all of the negative self chatter would keep me stuck… would I really continue it time after time? I think there is a part of us that believes if we truly accept… if we let go of self judgment and criticism… that we will sink into a state of laziness, carelessness or general malaise. And on this point, I think we’re wrong.

I took some time to practice acceptance right there in that yoga studio What would it feel like to honor my achy knee… my tight shoulders… my protruding belly? Could I allow myself to be fully present in that moment? Appreciating the act of showing up on the mat… despite being exhausted and sporting a to-do list a mile long. Could I invoke a paradigm shift in that moment… moving from a place of self denigration to self acceptance? And more importantly, if I did… what would it mean for my commitment to yoga… to exercising… to my general health?

You see, I think the issue with acceptance is that we think it’s not possible to both accept and act. I would like to argue that it is. I realized as I stood in that yoga class, hand on block, reaching ever so fervently toward the sky, that accepting my limitations in that moment did not make me want to quit. Actually, if anything, I felt free. Free to just be… to exist in that moment without shame or judgment.

It felt good. And while I’d like to say it transferred immediately and directly to all areas of my life… alas… it has proven to be akin to many other transformational experiences I’ve had… profound and difficult to consistently implement! But it has made me think twice about how we encourage change… in both ourselves and others. If acceptance and change can successfully go hand-in-hand… perhaps we can do away with judgment and criticism altogether, no? It might not come easy, but I believe it’s worth the effort to give it a try. For ourselves… and those we interact with every day!

Love and laughter to you!  ~Rashel

 

Behavior Change 101

So… it’s been about 3 weeks since I started blogging again! I happen to be playing around with behavior change lately and one thing I’m realizing is that consistency is key! It’s a lot harder to stick to something that happens inconsistently than it is to stick to one small thing every day or every week around the same time. With the blogging, when I leave it up to chance… it doesn’t seem to happen. I’m realizing this is pretty true of most habits – they have to be consistent to stick.

I’m starting a week-long program with BJ Fogg, a behavior change researcher from Stanford University. I’ve gone through the week-long program once, so this will be my second go-round. There are a few important components to his method and they seem to work pretty well… Let me share the highlights.

First of all, you pick three things you want to add to your routine. (BJ’s model does not address habits you want to quit — stay tuned for more on that in a future blog). One of the most critical realizations of this model’s success is starting small. The idea is not to pick your ultimate end-state behavior, but rather to pick a very small starter step toward your desired state. An action that seems almost ridiculously easy and that you are really certain you can do! (This part of the process cannot be emphasized enough!) The difference between exercising for 30 minutes vs. putting on your sneakers. It’s that small!

The second step is to identify an anchor. Basically, you pick something that you already do consistently every day, and link your new action to that established behavior. Anything you do consistently every day can work, such as waking up, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, etc. One of my anchors is taking my morning medicine… something I do every day without fail.

The last piece of the model includes celebration. Now, I’m going to be honest here… I’ve always struggled with rewarding myself for good behavior. I’ll admit that there have been more than one occasion where I set up a reward for myself if I did xyz… and then rewarded myself anyway, even when I failed! Once I got it in my head that I wanted xyz… well… come on! This celebration thing is a little different though. Basically, after you do your very small starter step toward your ultimate goal, you do some kind of little celebration. Whether it’s a self-congratulatory, “woo hoo” or a pat on the back. It seems silly, but it makes so much sense when you think about it. This is my take on it… you’re picking an action step that is ridiculously easy. Putting on your shoes in the morning, or flossing one tooth (one of BJ Fogg’s favorite examples), does not lend itself to celebration. The reality is, It’s a very small step that in-and-of-itself does not necessarily lead you to feel triumphant. That’s where the celebratory trickery comes in (my term, not BJ’s!). When you give yourself an “atta girl” or “woo hoo” after completing that small step, your brain begins to associate success and accomplishment and generally good feelings with that action. That’s a plus!

Here’s an example from my first week… 1) check the to-do list on my phone immediately after taking my morning medicine, 2) send a text or email to a friend after I bring up my email in the morning, and 3) do one round of EFT (emotional freedom technique) after I journal at night. The first two habits stuck… and in fact, checking my to-do list in the morning has proven very effective in making me feel more organized and less stressed about what’s not getting done at home. The last one, the EFT after journaling, was not successful. I don’t always journal at the same time each night and often I’m exhausted by the time I’m jotting down my final thoughts. It just wasn’t a good anchor for this particular task. Good learning.

I’ve started another round this week and I’ve brought the EFT forward with some changes to my anchor. This time, I’m going to do a round of EFT after I turn on the shower in the morning. I’m not sure what I normally do as I wait for the water to get hot… but it’s probably not very productive! I’ve also decided that I’ll do 2 squats when I first sit down in the morning (I have a spot where I always sit down first thing in the morning (use your imagination)… so this seemed like an anchor that might work.  And finally, I’m going to take 3 deep breaths after I take my evening medicine. (Questioning that one, since my evening medicine time varies like my evening journaling, but we’ll see how it goes).

So… that’s basically the gist of it. Pick a ridiculously small first step toward an ultimate goal, have it follow an anchor that you’re already doing every day, and celebrate shamelessly upon completion of ridiculously small step!  Voila.  I’ll let you know how it goes for me. I encourage you to try it out for yourself!!  Learn more at BJ’s tiny habits site… http://www.tinyhabits.com/

Love and laughter to you!  ~Rashel

Deprivation 101

I’ve just started reading a book about self-care. The first chapter talks about deprivation. It’s interesting because on one hand, I recognize the abundance in my life and could easily convince myself that I am deprived of nothing… or at least, nothing that is truly necessary for living a complete and happy life. On the other hand, when I was tasked with the exercise of completing the sentence, “I feel deprived of…” the list was longer than you could possibly imagine for someone who just said they have everything they need for a happy life! Wait… is that what I said?

Deprivation is interesting. On some level, it seems to be just a matter of not having what you want. I feel deprived of sleep. I feel deprived of alone time. I feel deprived of time with my girlfriends. I feel deprived of periods of rejuvenation. I feel deprived of regular exercise. I feel deprived of time for daily yoga and meditation. As you can see, I am sooooo deprived! I guess it’s true what they say about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs… once one level is satisfied, you just move on to the next!

As I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about deprivation, the areas where I feel deprived and what I could possibly do about it, one thing has become perfectly clear to me. At some core level, I am fully responsible and completely accountable for every bit of deprivation that I feel. If I am deprived of time, it is about how I use my time. If I feel deprived of sleep, it is that I am not choosing to go to bed at a certain time each night. If I am deprived of regular exercise, I am not choosing to make that activity a priority in my life. Yes… as much as I would like to blame the world for my complete and utter abundance of deprivation… the fact remains that at the end of the day, I believe it is I who am completely and totally responsible for each and every bit of deprivation that I experience.

The other thing that has come to my attention as I’ve been observing this deprivation stuff, is this: I’ve come to realize that the biggest deprivation that I inflict upon myself is that of not being enough. I do not acknowledge and appreciate that I am enough… in any given moment, what I have brought to the table, whether the table is set or not, whether the tablecloth is dirty or clean, is enough! The seeking is not necessary. The proving of oneself is not necessary. The people pleasing and constant drive to be more… not necessary.

I guess on some unconscious level, I’ve always believed that if I accepted myself as “enough,” I would stop trying to be more. I would stop striving to be a better person… to leave a legacy… to make a difference. Here’s what I’m coming to believe now… depriving yourself of being enough takes energy away from being all that you can be. Accept yourself exactly as you are… and make room for abundance to flow! No more energy alloted to needing to be more… do more… have more. All the energy now gets focused on being your best self – whatever that looks like.

Where do you deprive yourself of being enough? How can you find ways to accept what is and turn your energy toward living fully in your current state? Love and laughter to you on this amazing journey!!  ~Rashel

Opportunities… everywhere!

One thing I’m realizing as I meander through this thing called life… there sure are a lot of opportunities for growth! My family and I went away this weekend. On our trip, we visited Calaveras Big Trees state park. It was very cool. When we started on the hike to see the trees, and we purchased the guide to tell us what, specifically, we were looking at – my daughter started to push back. Not much on school these days, and fully noting that not only is it Summer… but we are on vacation for crying out loud – she stated boldly to the group that she would NOT be learning anything on this fun walk we were taking. Apparently to her… learning is a task to be avoided.

Well, I kinda know how she feels. Learning can definitely seem like a chore. Except when it’s not, of course! We had a great time walking through the Big Trees… and we learned a few things in the process. Quite the opposite of a painful lecture, it was quite fun and enjoyable.

I’m starting to believe that life is funny about learning and growth. I think we make it much more difficult than it needs to be. Sit in a room. Study the facts. Memorize the basics. How much more impactful the tangible experience of life! But this is how we learn that learning should go. We are offered opportunity to learn and grow day-in and day-out — learn this new approach to dieting… learn this ancient relaxation technique… learn this… learn that… learn it all online without ever leaving your house! I will confess that I am a serious learning and growth advocate. I love to learn new things. I am constantly buying and signing up for programs that teach this that and the other new program, technique or process to grow, evolve and gain higher consciousness and healing.

But I keep coming back to the fact that learning is not knowing… and knowing is not being. When I consider my daily interactions, I realize that there are a multitude of opportunities to learn and grow right in front of my eyes. Instead of searching for the magic formula for healing – I could be actively processing what is right in front of me. According to Debbie Ford‘s shadow work, everything that comes into our awareness is a mirror of ourselves. WOW… talk about opportunity for growth! That’s like… you just totally pushed my buttons… what does that tell me about myself? Instead of focusing on your issues (and I’m not saying you don’t have any!), my opportunity is to push away the other and look squarely at what my mirror is telling me about myself. If you’re in my experience, you’re mirroring something for me… so thank you!!!

I invite you… just for today… to open yourself up to life lessons. What is life trying to teach you today… whether it is the opportunity to experience the majesty of Big Trees – or the chance to see how someone pushing your buttons tells you more about yourself than you ever wanted to know… invite it all in… just for today!

And I wish you many opportunities for learning and growth!! Don’t forget to pack your sense of humor for the trip!

Love and laughter… Rashel

Are We Having Fun Yet?

So much of what I read about being happy and getting what you want out of life has to do with perspective. Be happy with what you have and only then can you get more. Well… if I was happy with what I had, would I even want more? I mean… in principle, I get it. If you’re walking around miserable and complaining about your life… you’re not exactly in a state of good vibrations that would welcome positivity and prosperity! And really, I know I have tons… I mean massive amounts… to be thankful for. I should be just walking around in a state of awe at how outrageously lucky I am and how much I have to be grateful for… but for some reason, I’m not.

Why is that? I don’t think I’m an ungrateful person. If I stop to think about it, I would never admit to being anything less than abundant! Amazing family, friends, community, job… I could go on and on. But the reality is, that’s not what I spend the majority of my day focusing on. I think about what needs to get done. What’s bothering me and how I might be able to fix it. How I do more than everyone else in the world… well – maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration – but I do spend a lot of time thinking about how much needs to be done and how much of it I do! lol

I was just cleaning the house this morning and thinking to myself… well, this is NOT fun! I don’t really want to be cleaning. But I don’t work on Monday so this is my payment for not working full-time. Like so many things in everyday life, this is just one of those things that needs to get done – and currently, I don’t have enough money to pay for someone else to do it. So, as I was wiping away, I wondered – how do I shift to a positive place when I’m doing something that’s no fun? (and it was toilets, people… so I had to think long and hard!)

I tried the gratitude process. I stopped for a moment to appreciate having a toilet… and electricity, running water, and the like. Then I thought about how thankful I am to have a house… in a great neighborhood… and the money to buy cleaning supplies and toilet paper… and the functional arms and legs that have the ability to clean the house. That was helping… a little… but really I was kinda thinking to myself – I’d rather be sipping wine by the pool and having someone else clean my house. Now THAT is something I’d really be grateful for! (never mind that it was only 11 am… you get the point)

I decided to try Plan B. I thought for a moment about how I could make the cleaning more bearable. I decided to put on some music. Actually, I decided to BLAST some music, like my Mom used to do when she cleaned house (she might actually still do this). I plugged my iPod into the sound system and sang like a canary the whole time I was cleaning. It actually helped… A LOT.

It made me wonder where else in my life I might be able to make slight modifications and end up having more fun. Having fun is really important. It’s like exercise for the soul. I realize that as a Mom who is constantly taking care of others, it’s very easy to lose sight of what makes me happy… what feeds my soul and adds joy to my life. Sometimes I get into a mode of black and white thinking. Having more fun means I need to go on a week-long vacation – probably without kids… possibly without my husband (just kidding, honey!) The truth is, it doesn’t have to be that drastic. Just like adding music… in this case, very LOUD music… to a situation, I was able to shift my own energy from feeling like this was something I HAD to do, to something that was actually somewhat enjoyable. In this case, I was able to shift myself to a place of positivity even though I wasn’t sailing on a yacht or sipping wine by the pool.

So between noticing and being grateful for what you have in your life… and finding ways to notice, pay attention to, and add moments of joy and fun to your everyday routine – you, too, can find greater moments of positivity and joy. I encourage you to take a few moments right now. What are you grateful for? Do you have something fun planned? If not, where could you add some fun? How could you “fun-up” some activities that might not be all that fun in and of themselves? What makes you smile… if not out-and-out laugh? Where are you missing opportunities to add humor, joy and satisfaction to you day? Anything worth doing is worth having fun doing!

As always, thanks for letting me share my thoughts.  Love and laughter to you!  ~Rashel

Aligning conscious beliefs with reality

I really do believe that our thoughts create our reality. I also believe that our external reality is a mirror of our internal state-our thoughts and beliefs, both conscious and unconscious. That said… I am still trying to explain and rationalize my experiences over the last two weeks. I got really sick – mentioned that last week. But here’s the thing… it kept going! I was forgetting things, got a parking ticket, had a platter shatter inexplicably in my hands, causing a severe gash in my left finger, forgot my work badge, causing lots of extra signing in and tracking down keys to my desk… it actually goes on, but I’ll spare you the drama! The point is… what happened? I don’t really  believe that things are random. Maybe I needed to learn something? But here’s the more important question… if I believe that my thoughts create my reality and that I have the power to alter the material world by how I perceive and take in the events in my everyday life… which I do… then why haven’t I had the ability over the last couple weeks to shift my reality from pesky negativity to joyous bliss? OK… that may be a little extreme. We can’t have joyous bliss all the time… can we? It is interesting when you listen to the latest gurus on manifesting and creating your reality… there is definitely a yay side and a nay side… one side says you can create all that you want – it’s easy if you let it be easy – relax and allow… the other side acknowledges that tough times exist and are specifically in our life to teach us – therefore we should welcome the hardship as a lesson and allow ourselves to be taught by the experience.

Well… I’m still coughing, exhausted most of the time, my finger hurts and my life feels generally chaotic and messy. I’m trying to bring my conscious awareness to what I am grateful for in each moment, rather than what I am frustrated with. For example, I’m glad my entire finger did not get sliced off… just a portion thereof. I’m glad my parking ticket was from a private group, which apparently charges less than the city of Walnut Creek when doling out the fines. But somehow, these attempts at glass half full are falling short of having any actual impact on the overall gist of my days. In general, I realize that my life is good. Great, in fact. And yet… there is that part of me that wants no friction… no interference with all things aligned and well… a part that wants bliss and nothing less! And of course, the ability to manifest this perfection at will. Too much to ask? I don’t know… doesn’t it seem like some people posses this ability? The ones that have fortune handed to them with the slightest effort on their part. You know what I mean! Then again, maybe that is just because we’re not seeing what is going on behind the scenes.

Alas, I will probably never write an actual book because it seems like all I ever do in this blog is talk about all the things I have questions about and never any answers! I like to complain about the fact that I’m doing all the work and not getting any of the results. That is not actually true, if I’m honest. I do see results and have noticed great progress in my life in how I communicate and work with others. Also, in how I view the world and expect positive outcomes for myself and others. I guess that’s why this little hiccup is causing me such a stir. I’m feeling off my game and I don’t like… no sir, I don’t like it one bit! I guess my quest over the next few weeks will be to notice what shifts my momentum.. because if there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that “this too shall pass” and I would do well to learn as much as I can from this part so I’m ready for the next go-round.

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you’re able to relate. If you’d like to share some of your own journey with beliefs vs. reality, I’d love to hear. Wishing you laughter and joy in each and every moment – never hurts to put it out there!!!  ~Rashel

What I’m learning about me…

a) I don’t like diets.

b) Diets make me feel like a failure.

c) I really dislike it when other people are better at something than me.

In general, I think of myself as a pretty easy-going person. I could tell though when I started playing this game that my competitive edges were starting to stick out a bit. Then we started tallying our points and our scorekeeper sent out spreadsheets and graphs with a comparison of our points and the various team rankings. Yikes! My competitive edge went into overdrive and I did not like it… I became my own worst drill sergeant. So… the second week, just to recap, I did well on points but I was pretty miserable. One thing that struck clearly… I don’t like being told that I can’t have something. I could feel my visceral reaction when my daughter was asking people if they wanted thin mints and when she got to me she said, “Oh Mommy… right… you can’t have these.”  Mama say what??? I’ll tell you what… I see a BOX of thin mints in my near future!

Yesterday one of my teammates sent out an email asking who might want to be scorekeeper for the next Game on. I had a HUH? moment.  I was so confused. I was barely managing to get through this 4 week session and she was already talking about the next round. I literally wanted to crawl through the computer and smack her (Sorry, Carol, if you’re reading this, but it’s true!) It made me wonder… what makes some people respond so well to peer pressure and game playing, while others do not. Or is it just that I’m really bad at this game so I don’t like it? I’m certainly not even entertaining the idea of a round 2. Regardless of weight lost… which has been only a couple of pounds, I have no intention of putting myself through the constant vigilance of paying attention to when I eat, how I eat, what kind of fat, how many hours ago, how many hours til I have to eat again… too much obsession with food! I can do a little planning, but this is extreme.

As I finish out my final week, I’m starting to think about what I’ll be able to carry on with me outside of the game environment. I know I will be drinking more water and eating more fruits and vegetables. I’m definitely sticking with the whole grain bread… It is so much tastier and more fulfilling than white bread! I already walk regularly, but I’ve never really incorporated the resistance training piece before. I like the idea of doing weights and some old-fashioned calisthenics on the days I don’t walk. I’m pretty sure I won’t be sticking to the eating pattern… it might be healthier to eat 5 smeals (my word for the little mini meals you eat on this plan) a day… but it is so utterly inconvenient!

Here’s what I know for sure (to steal a little Oprah moment)… I know that I am not what I eat, or how I look in any given moment. To love and accept myself as I am is the first step toward wholeness. Does that mean I throw away the rules and eat like a glutton? Of course not… that would not be loving myself. Showing up… paying attention… accepting… loving… forgiving… and taking the next step forward. These are the things that make for a good day.

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”  Buddha

Challenges are a Good Thing!

OK… two things this week… and I’ve got to hurry because I’m on a deadline to go to sleep by a certain time… say what? yes, you heard me right, after years of late night computer time, I suddenly have a bedtime of 10pm!

First off… check out the amazing photo on my blog this week… I actually know this guy! Ken Hubbell… childhood friend and kick-ass photographer! He’s agreed to let me post some of his breath-taking photos on my blog. At some point, hopefully very soon, I’ll share information on how you can purchase these photos for yourself.

Finally, and I only have about 20 minutes left to properly convey the totality of my situation, I have taken on a challenge that I hope will not do me in. I do believe, however, that it may influence my ability to write witty, intelligent posts that are longer than two sentences.

Have you hear of the Game On! diet? People at my work started a game in January, and let me just admit for a moment that I scoffed at the idea. I laughed off the celery sticks and cucumber slices… I rolled my eyes at the sudden interest in walking and the crowds forming at the water cooler… not to “chat” mind-you… but to actually fill up their water jugs!
Well… needless to say… as is often the case when something seems like a true challenge… I decided to join in the “fun!” I started today… and it was definitely a shift in my usual routine. NO white flour? I didn’t get a chance to go to the grocery store over the weekend because our crazy life (yes, I know, it’s not very spiritual, but I’m totally blaming my kids for the craziness of my everyday life!). So… today rolls around and I’m scrounging through our cupboards for whole wheat anything! Luckily, I managed to get by until I could get to the grocery store. Phew!

It will be interesting to see how things go for the next 4 weeks (the duration of the game). In order to earn points every day, I will need to eat 5 small meals (including lean protean, whole wheat carb and good fat – plus fruit and veggie at minimum 2 meals), drink 2.5 liters of water (that’s a lot, just in case you were wondering), exercise 30 minutes and get at least 7 hours of sleep. I’ve also committed to practicing Reiki 15 minutes and giving up multi-tasking while I eat (which is now even harder because I’m eating 5x/day now!) I get one meal and one day off per week. The good news is that this is a team-based game and I expect to offer and receive a ton of support throughout! Thank goodness!

I believe that any time you decide to take on a challenge in life,  it’s an opportunity to learn a great deal about yourself. I already know that I can be very flexible and easy-going… and at the same time, I do have a competitive side. I’ll be paying very close attention to what pushes my buttons… it will be interesting to see what is harder than I thought it would be… what is easier… and where I really struggle to comply. I can already tell, just from day one, that the “give up” habit I chose, not to multi-task while I eat, will be a true challenge! Initially I was thinking of the fact that I often read while I’m eating. Little did I know… that was just the icing on the cake (OH… not a good analogy right now!). Today… day ONE… I had to stop myself from reading, paying online bills, making food for the kids, feeding the dog, folding clothes, tracking my points for the game, rubbing my daughter’s back, prepping for a presentation I have to do on Wednesday… and that’s just what I can remember at this moment! I’m proud to say that I was able to maintain focus… but it’s only day ONE! Yikes.

I invite you to join me for the next four weeks. It should be, if nothing else, interesting. I’m sure I’ve left some things out. Consider checking out the details online. http://www.thegameondiet.com/ I’ve got to go to bed now… I’ll try to jot down the salient learnings… or at least the funniest moments… during the next week and report back.  What habits are you trying to stick to as we start 2012? Has it been a healthy year for you so far?  Do tell!!

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