“Triumph happens in small things” – Baron Baptiste
Thursday, April 14 was the 40th day of my personal revolution. Revolution is a funny word to use, isn’t it? It has three different meanings: to overthrow a ruler or system; a dramatic change in an idea or system, or a complete circle.
My 40-day “thing” was more of an experiment: to allow myself to be led along a path of self-discovery and see how I would change at the end. I began my first few days feeling scattered, shaky, restless and disconnected. As my journey progressed, instead of struggling against the flow, I felt myself swimming with currents of truth.
Here are the 9 truths I learned from my 40 days to personal revolution.
1. I am awake. I’m more aware of the vital energy that food projects and how it affects my mood, relationships, work, spirituality, and movement. I’ve learned that foods can restore, lighten, inspire, energize, heat, calm, cleanse, and more. Sometimes I get hung up on food – trying hard to make good choices for me and my family and feeling guilty when I fall short. Yet, as my wise friend pointed out to me: we all die – even the healthy ones. So do your best and – well – go enjoy what you want!
2. I am a writer. I wrote every day in my little black journal without editing myself. (Well, not much.) As a result, I generated many topics for future stories and blog posts. And speaking of posts: this will be my fifth post in 40 days.
3. I am diplomatic. I practiced being less judgmental of others and tried to put myself in their shoes. When a beautiful woman told me she was having her legs liposuctioned, I wanted to tell her that she was nuts; that she didn’t need to. Instead, I smiled and nodded. Perhaps I didn’t know the whole story, so why judge?
4. I am centered. I tried to be less critical of myself. However, I continue to carry excess “baggage” with me. Thoughts of not being good enough; not knowing enough; fear of failing; being stuck and unfulfilled in my life’s work; being overly judgmental are a few things I drag around. Fortunately for me, I have a wise friend (the same one above) who told me to “junk it” and move on.
5. I am present. I tried to remain present and calm during homework sessions with James. If you’ve ever tried to translate third grade abstract math concepts to a frustrated child, you know what I mean. (Half the time, I can’t figure out the crummy directions.) When James was sick and Rob was out of town, I missed a meeting, work, some writing time, and a few days of yoga. I started to feel resentful. Once again, my wise friend reminded me that when you decide to give your time to something or someone, do it wholly. Don’t wish you were in some other place or doing another thing. Instead think of the time you spend as a gift. “Once there, give up, give in, give it all you’ve got.”
6. I am strong. Attending at least 3 to 4 yoga classes every week, plus adding a few home practice sessions helped me to feel confident enough to demonstrate a (spotted) handstand in front of a class full of people I barely knew.
7. I am open. I attended a variety of yoga classes I thought I wouldn’t like and attempted poses I thought I couldn’t do. I enjoyed every one of them: meditation, restorative, gentle, Iyengar, vinyasa, and heated vinyasa. I met many new acquaintances and one very, special (and wise) friend – Sam. She was the best part of my 40 days. (One thing that I’ve decided to close the door on, however, is kale. I tried kale three different times and ways after tasting some in a group meeting. I still don’t like it.)
8. I am happy. Did you know that the happiest people spend the least time alone; pursue personal growth and intimacy; they judge themselves by their own yardsticks, never against what others do or have? I love my family, friends and home. I love to write, read, move my body, connect with others, explore, learn, and help.
9. I am inspired. In the book of the same name, that this program was based, yoga guru and author Baron Baptiste referenced 12 Laws of Transformation that when we choose to live by, we flow; when we choose not to, we struggle. I’ve listed them below and added my own twist on what they mean to me.
- 1. Seek the truth. (Look within.)
- 2. Be willing to come apart. (Ask for help.)
- 3. Step out of your comfort zone. (Lead a tribe.)
- 4. Commit to growth. (Learn something new every day.)
- 5. Shift your vision. (Read everything.)
- 6. Drop what you know. (Think with my heart.)
- 7. Relax with what is. (I am not in charge of the universe.)
- 8. Remove the rocks. (Omit needless words.)
- 9. Don’t rush the process. (Patience. Persistence. Patience.)
- 10. Be true to yourself. (Write from the heart.)
- 11. Be still and know. (Stay awake.)
- 12. Understand that the whole is the goal. (Love myself.)
“No one will remember you if you keep your thoughts secret. Force yourself to express them.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground. Let the beauty you love be what you do.” – Rumi
What do you think?