The title says ‘our,’ because I’m talking about me & you! But first let me explain (by telling you something about me.)
In the past, (more intensely from 1997 – 2011), I would regularly set-up challenges for myself. Examples of challenges are the following:
- Hiking in the Himalayas to a glacier. (Wearing a pair of dilapidated shoes that were 4 sizes to big for me — it’s a long story, and an event that I would never-ever care to repeat. I would hike again in the Himalayas, but not in that way!)
- Running a full 26.2 marathon — with a super-hilly course. (I was 35lbs. overweight and ill at the time, I had a golfball sized growth that needed to be removed in my left ovary — ovaries should be the size of almonds, not golfballs.)
- Participating in several 10 day silent (Buddhist meditation based) retreats. (By far the easiest of all my challenges, it wasn’t challenging at all — but I did relish & enjoy the silence, as well as the break from technology. )
- Attaining beginners/intermediate and advanced yoga teacher diplomas. (By far one of the greatest choices I ever made. Not because I continued to teach or practice yoga asanas, but because yogic philosophy and meditation would continue to stay with me and help me through daily life.)
- Shaving my head. (Cutting off my long hair to see what life is like without it! I’m glad I tried it, but would never do it again. I have a horrible shaped head, with more scars and bald spots than I was aware of. It was not a good look for me — at all. But that wasn’t the point of doing it.)
- Creating big commissioned works of art for the public. (I did this on several occasions. Some of the projects I enjoyed, others I disliked for numerous reasons, and prayed for the day it would be complete and over with.)
- Fasting for 18 days on water only. (One of my more insightful and pleasant challenges, ironically it was effortless and I could have easily gone on for another week or two.)
- Going through intense meditation & yogic practices led by swamis. (Some were a bit traumatic! But also great, and I was grateful for the experience.)
- And there are many others… I think I bored you with enough details… but I’ll tell you one more… Another example was making a list of fears to conquer (in the late 90’s), and crossing them off one-by-one. The list was filled with activities that I felt ashamed to learn as a grown adult (like learning how to ride a bicycle), or activities I kept dodging in my life (like mending a long-time strained relationship), or things that I was utterly terrified of. Learning how to swim was a huge one for me. Mostly because I almost drowned as a child. (I was pulled out of a lake and dragged onto land.) In time, I was able to cross that fear off my list. (I took swimming lessons and later traveled to Fire Island with my swimming instructor, to swim in ocean/bay waters.) Learning how to swim was by far the most challenging, most impactful, as well as the most memorable thing I have ever done (due to the fact that I had a life-changing epiphany while in the water).
At the time I was doing all of these things, I was often encouraged (sometimes in miraculous ways), but also discouraged. People thought I should be focusing on more important things; like secure work (with a company I could retire with), or making as much money as possible, or pursuing higher education. They also had the impression I was some sort of unhappy seeker that needed to fix herself, or someone that was a masochist (which is what my father said, in a loving & humorous manner), or someone that was addicted to fear-based thrills. None of it was correct. What I was, was someone that believed life (more so, I) had more to offer than what I was currently experiencing. I knew that behind the unremarkable aspects of life, behind the mundane mask of who I thought I was — there was something spectacular, something revelatory. And once something is known, once it is experienced or revealed to oneself, that one will never be the same. And I wasn’t.
After that stretch of activities, a bunch of things happened, and life dramatically changed course (several times). And like most things, it has now come full circle, or full spiral. I find myself wanting to push boundaries and experience the unknown again. Only catch is, I have a little senior special-needs dog, that is pretty much glued to my hip. So whatever I do, she has to be with me (for the most part), and it will have to be activities that are local and close to home.
So, my idea is to greatly challenge my daily routine. I want to go for what I know I want, and what I feel curious about — and what feels slightly out of my reach (do to fears or plain ol’ laziness). I want to set up a 3 month challenge (92 days), from November 1st to February 1st. The goal is to create powerful habits — daily rituals that bring surprising results. I want to create days that knock my socks off. Not because anything super-exciting happened, but because I am extremely present to the joy of practice: the practice of creating the most spectacular day. The practice of unwavering dedication to 7 key habits that inspire me.
I will create a daily to-do list, as well as measurable results of success (for long-term accumulated benefits of my daily practice). I will also create a daily blog, to hold me accountable. Each blog post will be numbered for each of the 92 days the program is running. At the end of the 3 months, you will have been able to see the journey, as well as the magic that unfolded along the way, and the final result of all the work put in.
Here is where you come in… :)
If you have something you want to achieve or experience in 3 months (92 days). Email directly and team up with me. Contact me via this Link. We can hold each other accountable online throughout the challenge..
If you are indecisive, or have to start late in the program — contact me anyway, and jump in!
And if you don’t want to take on a challenge, but want to watch or root me on — that would be wonderful! Simply follow my daily blog updates (92 days worth!) via this Link. (I will not be posting daily updates on Sunday Is For Lovers, they will only be on my daily blog set-up for this challenge.)
Happy November 1st! I’m excited to see how life unfolds into the new year. I hope you are too!