The Power of Risk
Today is the day to break free from the prison of the person you know yourself to be and step into a self you have yet to know. Will it be comfortable? No, but do it anyway. Growth is usually uncomfortable. If you’re looking for comfort, you will more than likely feel tired and old earlier than you want and the misery of your caged soul will always be looming nearby.
Risk is scary but necessary. Without risk how can we find joy in life? It takes courage to take a risk. Risk can be in the form of curiosity, the first step to action. At the end of your life, would you rather smile and say, “At least I tried” or “I wish I would’ve tried”?
Your Outer Goal: What is one risk you can take in pursuit of your desired goal?
One risk I could take today is to research and begin my author’s platform to pursue my writing career. I am in my second quarter for my BA in Creative Writing and want to begin to take steps to progress in other areas as well.
Your Inner Goal: What emotional risk could you take that will give you access to the feeling you most desire?
An emotional risk I could take is to let all the stress and negativity go. Just for today. I want to have fun and find joy rather than feeling I “should” feel a certain way. Of course, I have responsibilities but weeding out the unessential ones are imperative to feeling more relaxed. I’ve been feeling burnt out with school, a new job, marriage issues, etc. Today, I will focus on connecting with others through compassion, laughter, confidence and self assurance, no matter what negative voices creep into my head. Just let the negativity go, just for today.
Soul Food: Change is the magical elixir of my soul.
The Gift of Reverence
Your Outer Goal: Today, identify one thing that you can give up for the next 16 days to increase your level of reverence. What habit, behavior, belief or self-talk violates the respect, dignity, honor and tenderness you have for your body?
I used to take my body for granted. The older I get, the more I feel my joints aching, I feel the stiffness getting out of bed in the morning and recovery time is longer after a good workout. I tire easier. It’s more difficult to lose weight.
The one thing I will give up is unhealthy eating. I will deny that piece of pizza , piece of cake or extra drink on girl’s night. I will stick to my healthy eating plan that I keep veering away from.
Your Inner Goal: What could you do to evoke your inner feeling today? Take that action.
Today, I will appreciate my body as it is and be grateful for my health.
Soul Food: I revere my body as a sacred container of the divine.
The Gift of Release
Your Outer Goal: What could you release today? What is one action you could take in the outer world today that will bring you closer to your goal? Take that action.
Today, I release my fear of judgement that feeds my anxious thoughts. I will express my feelings and ideas to others, while being assertive, honest, appropriate and flexible.
Your Inner Goal: Identify an action you can take or a thought you can think today that will give you the feeling you are seeking.
I will live in each moment and let my intuition guide me to make moral and the best decisions for me.
Soul Food: I am released from the toxicity of my past.
Day 2. The Gift of Self Awareness
Your Outer Goal: What is one action you could take in the outer world today that will bring you closer to your goal?
One action to take in the outer world is live in the present moment. Let go of worrying about what has already happened or what might, but live mindfully in the present.
Your Inner Goal: What could you do or what thought could you think today that would evoke the feeling you want to experience most this year?
Trust my intuition that I will make the right choices, to stand by my values and self in each mindful moment. My top 3 values are:
- respect (that means healthy boundaries for me and others)
- kindness (to myself and others)
Self-awareness is my key to freedom.
It took me a year to do a 35 day self improvement challenge, I vow this time it will take only 21 days! Ok, so maybe 30 days…
I feel that self improvement is imperative to growth, they go hand in hand. But, I have also discovered that you have to give yourself a break from intentional self improvement and let your intuition guide you, using the self improvement techniques as a tool for everyday living. Your subconscious mind will continue to work for you, using everything you’ve learned and it becomes a way of life. You can drive yourself into an anxious spiral of questioning your morale and character if you are constantly trying to be perfect.
Self improvement includes making mistakes and learning from those mistakes, true mistakes. I’m not talking about “mistakes” such as murder or cheating (I know, those are extreme examples-you get the point) those are choices. NONE of us are perfect. On the other hand, we WILL make wrong decisions, but as long as we trust that our moral compass will guide our intuition, we have nothing to worry about.
This challenge is called “21 Day Consciousness Cleanse”. It was created in 2010 by Debbie Ford, a successful self help author. The challenge involves a short meditation and answering a question or two about the challenge of the day. I figure this will be a positive, motivational start to my day, especially since I’m not exactly…ahem..”cheerful” in the morning. I figure carving 15-20 minutes out of my morning will be something I can look forward to and also shift my morning slump. Of course, I have to compliment that with coffee 😉
The link to this challenge can be found at: 21 Day Consciousness Cleanse.
So, onto Day 1 of this new challenge.
Day 1 includes an 8 minute, guided meditation and focusing on 2 important goals.
Questions include what my inner goal and outer goal is as well.
My 2 goals:
- Develop deeper connections with family and friends.
- Diminish anxiety.
Your Outer Goal: What is one action you can take today that will move you one step closer to your soul’s vision? Make a commitment to take that action.
One action to take today to move closer to my soul’s vision is to practice assertiveness. I think that anxiety can be lessened if I learn to be more assertive. A mutual respect between myself and others is important. Asking for what I need or want, while being appropriate and with a flexible mind, looking for a win win compromise, is what I will do.
Your Inner Goal: What is one action you can take or one thought you can think that will support you in having more of the feeling you most desire? Take that action or think that thought today.
My thought is: breathe in peace, courage and kindness
Soul Food: I am worthy of living my heart’s desires
35. Be grateful.
This 35 day challenge took a year…wow! The next one will take 30 days, I promise 🙂
The final challenge is to be grateful. Being grateful, to me, means to appreciate what I have. Running water, a roof over my head, heat, loved ones who I love and who love and appreciate me back, and my health, are examples what I have to be grateful for. YOU and I are worthy of love and respect. New opportunities that arise should not be taken for granted. Let the anxiety of “would haves”, “could haves” and “what if” go. Live in the moment and appreciate and accept this present moment, with a sound mind, doing the best you can.
To me, that is what grateful is. What do you have to be grateful for today?
34. Do something thoughtful for someone you love. If it involves money, see if you can buy an experience instead of a gift.
This is perfect for after the hustle and bustle of gift giving for the holidays! Giving an experience can be so much more meaningful. Maybe buy a pedicure or massage for a friend either solo or to share time with you or do an activity (a bike ride, indoor skydiving, etc…) you know a loved one has been wanting to do but hasn’t yet.
33. Go on a bike ride. Denmark is infamously renowned for being the world’s happiest bicycle-friendly nation.
I’m going to tweak this challenge. Get physical today! Workout with a free YouTube video (BeFit videos rock!), take your dog for a walk, visit a park or go for a walk or run with loved ones or yourself, or go for a bike ride, if you don’t have alot of snow or have access to a bicycle. Physical activity is known to heighten the feel good chemicals in our brains, to get those endorphins going! So pick a physical activity and do it for at least 20 minutes today. You won’t regret it 🙂
32. Work on one quality or characteristic you’d like to possess.
We all have a perception of ourselves and how other people perceive us. Our perception is our reality so that also makes another’s perception their reality. A quality or characteristic to possess, in my opinion, should be something of value to YOU, not trying to fit into a mold of another person’s perception of you. Of course, be respectful and mindful of others but think about what your values are and what would make you genuine and happy.
For me, I’ve struggled with anxiety since, most likely birth, but the past 10 years or so I have worked hard to mange it. The characteristic I’d like to possess is, with my moral compass, quit worrying about the opinions and judgments of others so much. I feel that is the root of my anxiety and I find when I am distracted, I actually have fun and can be genuine, aka, quit worrying so much about what I cannot control 🙂 One thing I find that helps tremendously is writing in a journal each morning. It can be a motivational phrase, actions I’ll take that day or things I am grateful for.
What characteristic or quality would you like to work on or like to have?