Always Impeccable Timing
We were about 2 weeks out from hauling our stuff across America and our first family summer trip to Europe.
As we loaded our last container of earthly belongings destined for storage, I contemplated the practical aspects of taking on a 100 day health challenge during a time of unprecedented change, for me and my fam.
My friend and fellow blogger, Amy Kennedy of Your Favorite Chapter initiated and invited me to join her in a sizzling 100 days.
What is the Sizzle 100 Day Challenge?
Here is what the description reads: Challenge Begins May 26, 2018- A place to inspire and motivate intentional activity, and reaching a goal of 30 minutes a day of physical activity for 100 days, or whatever is a safe goal for each individual member. This is not a competition. This is simply a group effort, and to cheer each other on every step of the way! Check in each day to share what your exercise/activity was for that day and roughly how long you did it, or just to say hi or inspire us all to the goal! All positive, judgement free zone! Let's do this!
I dare say, this is enough to say YES!!! Plus, Amy is a beautiful, loving and amazing soul, so why would I say no?
Why I Decided to Join the Sizzle
With a three month trip to Europe, I knew I was going to live out of the ordinary.
I wanted something fun in my life that I could plug into with ease and grace, with lots of room for breath, presence, and participation (or not).
Amy made it easy.
Her invitation to join her platform and allow for whatever dictates the heart’s modus operandi fit the bill.
I wanted a place where I’d feel welcome and not judged no matter what I did. And in fact, this was the place!
Thank you Amy, for your welcoming arms, positive disposition and loving Spirit.
Travel and internet connection issues aside, I was only able to check in as time and the internet signal strength permitted.
It turns out that my mobile device isn’t compatible with service abroad. In several remote but absolutely picturesque places, broadband felt like dial-up. I surrendered and counted that as a blessing in disguise so I could be fully present to it all. Why fight it, right?
Every so often, I felt called to check in with the group. Postings of members and their progress, be it daily, weekly or every so often, felt encouraging to me.
I borrowed their enthusiasm as motivation and felt grateful to each member (and Sweet Amy for setting this up). Amy’s daily posts to update us about her life are uplifting and encouraging. She has blessed me immensely, and for that, I am truly grateful.
The Tool (I Thought) I Needed to Make the Change
As a writer, I am sedentary. I joined this group with the intention of living a more active lifestyle. I did not have a Fitbit, and despite the Fitbit craze, I never wanted one. Some may really thrive on statistics and measurements - which is awesome, but I’m not one of them.
So long as I am trending a certain way, I know I’m headed in the right destination. In this case, I wanted to track my steps to encourage myself to trend toward activity - active and off my bum. ☺️ I wanted a simple pedometer I could wear as a wristwatch.
As we traveled across the country, I found a simple pedometer - iFITNESS - to track my footsteps. It has a downloadable app on my phone to sync and record my steps, among other functions, like a calendar and heart rate monitor, which I did not use.
In early June, we traveled from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Kansas City, Missouri; across Cincinnati, Ohio and through Princeton, New Jersey. We wandered all through Manhattan, New York and crossed the pond to The City of Lights, Paris, France.
I wandered through to the South of France in the region of Côte d’Azur, also known as the French Riviera; through Monte Carlo and Monaco, and now, I find myself in The Eternal City of Rome, Italy.
Seeing is believing
TRACKING MY MOVEMENT. Each day, as I remembered, I religiously charged and put on my trusty wristwatch pedometer. At first, I was delighted to see my daily steps counted: 5,327; 8,208; and a whopping 13,975 steps one day!
I was elated, encouraged and thrilled that I no longer felt sluggish from sitting all day long. I was definitely trending toward a positive change.
The world awaits exploration! On those days where I felt I was short a few steps, I was more than happy to venture out, again and again, to make my steps and see what I could find at the next corner.
One day, my trusty iFITNESS charger broke. 😱😱😱
I know, right?
One of the kids stepped on it by accident and I was no longer able to charge it.
“Just as well,” I thought, brushing it off and coming up with reasons why I so wasn’t loving: the way it fits, how it was giving me a tan line, how I was thethered to it daily, etc.
I was unsure of what to do. On the one hand, I kinda lost my crutch - not having numbers to justify my steps was a downer for my ego. But as I thought deeper, I realized that the health benefit is not simply for self satisfaction, but also because I totally needed, wanted, and invited a lifestyle change, a shift in mindset.
At that time, I asked myself a pivotal, consciousness changing question,
"What Else is Possible?”
Remembering to ask the right questions is a very good thing.
Believing and Seeing
Hmmm, might some call this faith?
I began to believe I could do it without getting the numbers, seeing the stats and getting the ego boost. I let it go.
I surrendered to walking and decided to just head in the direction of activity, exploration, adventure, and as a result, fitness happened.
I was no longer satisfied by sitting still anyway. My eagerness to walk superceded my desire to figure out how many steps I took.
So I took a deep breath, and metaphorically ”oh well’ed” my broken charger.
Shrugging it off, I ditched my concern about counting steps altogether... and just lived.
I decided to continue walking (literally) everywhere, opting for steps as opposed to the escalator. I purposely take the scenic route, as opposed to the short route so I could enjoy the sites. This simultaneously supports my curiosity and desire to get active. I am in the flow! ☺️👌🏼🏄🏻♀️
Conspiring Good and Discovery
As my son is playing with my iPhone 6 one day, he discovers a health app I didn’t know I have.
This app automatically tracks my steps (and I didn’t even know it was there!). Apparently, it’s been tracking my steps since the 1st day I got my phone, back in November 2014 (scary, right? ...And yes, it’s TIME for me to update my phone ☺️)
Anyway, I’m really glad I have this data because I can see that since I made a decision to be more active, and stuck to it, my life and steps are forever changed.
The Results to Date. As of this post, I am a little more than midway through to the challenge. We are in day 60 something of 100, and I am in a diaspora of my own here in Europe!
I have participated in this through the states of the U.S., France, and now Italy.
Three Practical Steps to Changing Your Mind and Your Consciousness
As we have not quite yet reached Day 100, the Summer Sizzle is not yet complete. So far, however, I feel grateful, proud, and so elated that I am part of this fine group, and made myself vulnerable to change.
I changed my mind. Rather than being sedentary, I wanted something to motivate me to become physically more active. Here are the 3 steps that I took to change my mind, and thus, my life.
1. Make a Conscious Decision
I made a decision to be more active and joined Amy’s Summer Sizzle. It is still ongoing and I am still amped about continuing on with this supportive community. Opting out of taking the metro, I love how I am now saying “Hey, let’s walk it to the Coliseum (or Louvre, or Pantheon) - it’s only 5 miles from here.”
Do you want positive inspiration in your life? Would you like support in mindfully changing something In your life? Join our community for inspiration to live awake. We post daily uplifting reminders so you can start your day right.
2. Ask Yourself: What is it you REALLY want to change?
I started off with a pedometer. I thought about keeping a journal of daily results but opted not to do this. Keeping a statistical journal works for many - but I know myself - journaling often starts with great enthusiasm and then fizzles out. For me, it is too much to keep track of and I needed something simple.
Tip to Practice Change:
- Identify ONE THING each day that works toward your goal *** [Use a tool to help you (pedometer, diary, journal, metrics)]. What is your boone?
- For me, my tool pedometer, I set goals for daily steps. As time progressed and I achieved my goals, I set my goals higher and higher.
- Identify one thing each day that you will not do.*** [i will not ....] What is your promise to yourself?
- For me, I decided that unless I am injured, sick or otherwise incapable, I am walking each day, at the very least, to my minimal acceptable steps (for me, it was 4,000 to start). It is noted that 3,000 and below is considered sedentary. To achieve 4,000 steps a day, I simply needed to be active about 30 minutes of walking each day, right in line with The Sizzle Challenge.
3. Do The Thing, the ONE Thing
Well folks, I am doing it. I am! And I firmly believe that I am just like everyone else in the spectrum of the human condition. So, if I can do it. Anyone can!
When I started, I aimed at walking at least 4,000 steps each day. Now, I am upwards on days to 21,000 steps+.
Doing the one thing is helping me achieve my goal of activity. I am feeling good and most importantly, I am wanting to walk everywhere because I feel better and better each day.
Wanting to Change is NOT ENOUGH
Most people think that once you make a decision, change will instantaneously and automatically happen. I believe different.
I believe that true change comes from the inside out. I believe it is NOT enough to simply decide you want change, but to earnestly work for the change you wish to see.
Change is a dynamic. It is a process. Change may happen for those select few that wake up and claim to be be forever changed. After all, the power of the Mind has been documented and proven. For most of us, though, change is a process and a progress over time.
True change is Thing, a sacred relationship with Self, that needs to be supported, nurtured, encouraged and disciplined.
We become better at our craft, our skill and of living our lives when we practice being who we have come to be.
Change comes with action, follow through and completion of a vision, once a sacred intention.
The Results of Change Can Be Measured Short Term or Long Term.
For most of us, who are impatient, who still have (plenty of) room to grow our patience muscle, we are are, well ... a bit short-sighted.
In our modern world of immediate gratification, we tend to see a set back as a failure. Often, we beat ourselves up and off we go to a different venture, chasing another dream or butterfly and never seeing ourselves through to what we want.
If we can be audacious and bold, I would dare say that most do not know what we TRULY want. We see the next glittery thing and think, “Well, that sounds awesome!!” And we are off chasing someone else’s dream believing that it is our own.
We wind up our ego, gather our courage and muster up our strength to do that ‘thing’ that we think we need rather than allowing that which speaks to and resonates with our heart.
Turning our back on what is truly important, we chase the Dream (be it the dollars that buy the lifestyle, or the approval of others, or the title that justifies our role in life).
When we get still, in a sacred moment, we might receive clarity for what resonates with our own soul, our sacred purpose and what we are here to experience and accomplish on Earth.
Have you experienced moments like these, when the Truth is so marvelously clear that words can not justify?
When you receive this kind of vision, the change you seek will be supported by your internally motivated actions. You will see that every decision you make is one that is guided by an inner cause, rather than by the external carrot that dangles before you.
Action steps will fall into place, and mountains will move because of your dynamic energy. You will be the source of this great change, motivated by your soul‘s purpose, as opposed to outer riches, titles, roles or rewards.
And even with all this momentum to call your good forward, you still need to take action, and follow through to reap the benefits that are the result of your footsteps.
3 IMPORTANT THINGS to Understand About Change
What You NEED TO KNOW About Change
True change in awareness (or consciousness, as some would prefer calling it) is a process. It is a trend and/or a progression, rather than a snap of the finger, jeannie-in-a-bottle kind of overnight success.
You will experience challenges and set backs, going generally 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. There are times when you question your direction. You may want to abandon your plan. But in the end, you will persevere as you stay connected and guided to the purpose and source within you.
What You NEED TO ASK When Inviting Change
If you are aware that you are calling for change, ask yourself: do I want a permanent change or is this a try on?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying it on. In fact, be it dating to find a mate, or shopping to find a personal style, it is totally advisable to try things on first!!
When it comes to such things as weight loss and dieting, for instance, you may enter into it with a goal to do x, y, or z. If you are determined and disciplined, you may very well achieve that.
However, if you enter into it as a lifestyle change, the result will more likely be a permanent change. The source of your change comes from a different place.
Rather than simply looking good, and then feeling good for a limited duration, you will feel good from the inside out because you have changed yourself, and with it, you lifestyle.
For lasting change, you become more grounded in your commitment when you KNOW you want something as a lifestyle change rather than a temporary try on.
RELATED: The Six Step Road Map of Change
What You NEED TO DO to Embody Change
I am a big proponent of practice. Be it sports, music, or emotional intelligence, we get no where fast if we do not properly nurture our potential.
Like change itself, the practice of change is a dynamic. If we want lasting, permanently change, we need to practice living change until we are changed.
We know that we have changed when we are living the lifestyle of the change we wish.
For example, to be a more patient person, we practice patience. Every person,existence, and/or situation is prime opportunity to practice being patient.
Everything and everyone becomes a sacred teacher for you: the screaming child in the same line as you, the traffic you are sitting in, perhaps your current relationship is a teacher of patience.
To live a healthier life, for example, every time you eat, sleep and engage with any activity, you are presented with opportunities to live healthy. Every morsel you put in your mouth, every activity you take (or not take), every ounce of sleep you receive teaches you to become more healthy.
The key to your success is the commitment to practice - to progress forward: 3 steps forward, 1 step back, perhaps?
Our quest in the practice is to not aim for perfection. Rather, we aim to improve, step-by-step, a little at a time. Each time we take an action toward the direction we want to go, we move forward.
Lasting positive change, after all, begins with two things: (1) a committed decision AND (2) taking ONE action to move forward.
As we take action, each step we take over time, albeit seemingly small, changes the trajectory of our future. This is the true gift of changing our mind. The outcome of our life will never be the same. We learn that we are not stuck.
As we change our mind, take guided action and move forward, however large or small, our entire universe changes.
My friends, getting this and truly understanding its magnitude is a blessed and profound gift indeed. 👍🏼
Please Raise Awareness and Share The Love ❤️
Are you ready, friends? Please share with us what is on your heart and as you are called ...
How do you embrace the continual change in your life?
When was the last time you took a challenge?
What moves you to want change?
Do you have a question you ask yourself to snap you out of resistance?