by Ali Valdez
Three weeks have officially gone by since the forty day challenge ended. I continue to feel fortified for the most part, on the personal commitments I made to myself. The benefits have been many, and I am very grateful for the group of individuals that not only made the journey but continue down the path even without the weekly accountability and support only a group forum can provide.
Sometimes when we are dropped back into the world, our bad habits come back over time. Inevitably, our support systems, although supportive, kind of want us back to the “old you” after they’ve indulged you in your ‘journey.’
I find this especially true in styles of relating, food and alcohol choices weigh in, too.
One 40 dayer was realizing that his revised food revolution was creating a bit of crisis in his relations with his wife. Another person realized that to make healthy, non-emotional decision, had to move out from living with her boyfriend to make the relationship stronger. These choices take guts.
Meting it out in the deeper conversations in a fair, non-divisive way is an art form of the most profound kind.
I have experienced this on some level but the more meaningful choices for my life, mainly focusing on my well-being and personal health, have held firm with no signs of changing. Knock on wood.
When you are willing to sit back and observe, you witness yourself as human. Beyond being a stack of bones, mounds of flesh and a hodge podge of kleshas, there is a light that yearns to shine forth. I had not realized how dusty my light had become through neglect and over-work and under-play.
This has made me unpopular over the past few weeks. People who have been conditioned by my universal ‘yes, I can!’ mantra, granted by my own volition, are slightly put off when I now decline requests, block time for myself in the middle of each day, resist their tempting offers that although appealing really are just pulling me out of my own space for the benefit of their causes. Their motives are not nefarious or bad, just not taking into consideration my needs, because I have never before really made those my priorities.
Recently I was offered to become a Vice President and board member for a Washington company and a cofounder of another excellent technology. Two incredibly compelling offers in one week! I politely declined both. Historically, those were the types of dreams that I would have willingly chased. I would have leapt at the opportunity to expand my business expertise and to grow more deeply involved in technology platform propositions that I firmly believe in.
At the same time, however, now I am unwilling to set myself up to take on more work, more responsibilities and more obligations for others’ and their objectives.
Maybe two years from now when both corporations are wildly successful, their owners brimming with lucre, I will kick myself for my simple yogi ideals: seeking grounding and serenity.
But for now, I am just simply taking in a deep breath, enjoying walks in nature, and delighting in being a mentor in the lives of young teachers, a freshly minted and untired face in the yoga community. I am what I am: a global ambassador for the evolution of the science of yoga. That is my mantra; therefore, that is where from now on, I am willing to go the extra mile.
Some tips or ideas that might help you.
Set goals and understand the ‘why’ behind them: Set a quick list of a few action oriented lifestyle changes you would like to meet. List what motivates you to want to make those changes, and what factors in your life prevent you from doing it.
Be realistic: with yourself and others: Start small, knowing graciously that you cannot boil the ocean. If it involves setting boundaries with others, don’t create resentment from them with a 180 of course, or should you belittle or shame them for not making a same changes you are trying to make. Love and lead by example and appreciate everyone on their path: no two are the same.
Love and compassion are always the best goals: My personal experience has led me to take extra time to write thank you notes, acknowledge the people in my life lovingly, expressing gratitude for the positive impact they have in my life.
I am not skipping around waving a garland of ribbons talking about unicorns or running rampant with Leo Buscaglia quotes, but … well, you know.
Check back; stay focused: Set small attainable goals and check in weekly with yourself or your journal. It takes about forty days for the reprogramming of the body. If you fall off the wagon, be gracious but get back on: it resets the clock.
I wish you all the best of whatever journey you are taking. And don’t worry, I won’t post anymore Hummel pics.