I always hear about these challenges and let's face it, I've done several; 7-Day Detox/Cleanse "Challenge," 14-Day No Sugar "Challenge," 21-Day Affirmation "Challenge". And what I have found with these "Challenges" was that in the end, yes, I felt better but I also eventually slipped back into old habits. I get the feeling that some of you reading this are nodding your heads reflecting back at your many "Challenges" as well. In July of this year, I hit a big roadblock in my life and I decided, "Well shhhhh*********t, I need to get back to focusing on self-care." Anytime I have had a struggle and took time for self-care I have felt insurmountably better:
We talked about "Challenges", and I know several people are thinking "30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge." Hahaha...No. Surprisingly, my 30 days, let alone 60 days did not start out as a challenge at all. It was about economics plain and simple. If I went to hot yoga daily, then this unlimited package was only costing me $4.60 per day (that being if I only went once a day, which so far has been what's happened. Give me time though, I might do two). So, for me to justify spending $140 on a month-long package, I needed it to make sense of it in my head. $4.60 per day for a month is less than a one hour massage at most places or three visits to a chiropractor. However, more often than not, most people don't feel all warm and refreshed after a chiropractic visit (Although, I will share a story later of one such guy who rocked...but I digress). All of this to say, if I went every day, it would be worth it. So that is exactly what I did. I went and believe me the first few weeks were not a cake walk. In fact, the last 60 days has not been a piece of cake but I have been doing it and I will tell you, something amazing has happened.
Throughout these last 60 days, I transformed, both body and mind. No, I don't look like a super model but do I feel freakin fantastic and think I look pretty da*n amazing? YES! Of course, I did what many people do in the beginning, I went beyond my limits. Trying to prove something to myself that in the end proved that I could pull a leg and thigh muscle in one session. Note to all: Go slow and easy! This is not a tough man contest, and I was not racing to some unforeseen finish line. There are 26 postures in Bikram, and you do all of them twice...except the very last one. So go at your own pace and don't go beyond your limits.
When did I know this daily yoga practice became more than just a financial equation and more than proving something to myself or others? It was the day I showed up and class was cancelled. That moment is when I knew that I needed this. Studio or no studio, I needed this daily mantra to continue. And so, I went home and did all 26 moves holding each position for one minute at a time. I needed this because it was more than going through the motion of the positions. During this 90-minute physical meditation, I was problem solving my life.
Heading into each session, I found myself hit with these dilemmas:
What this process has all boiled down to for me is dedication, lots of faith, and an unshakeable belief in myself when there are question marks all around me. So here is my question for you, what is that one activity that makes you feel alive and connected? Whether it is catching a wave, going on a bike ride, a hike, kayaking, going for a swim, playing ball, or the multitude of other activities there are to do in the world which disconnects you from all of the noise but reconnects you to your body? Do that for yourself. No one else will.
"Creativity [...] is entirely and unapologetically based upon magical thinking. And when I refer to magic here, I mean it literally [...] I am referring to the supernatural, mystical, the inexplicable, the surreal, the divine, the transcendent, the otherworldly. Because the truth is, I believe that creativity is a force of enchantment — not entirely human in its origins."
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Serving My Happiness
For a long time now, I have shared my story with close friends, loved ones and yes, even therapists. When they hear my story a similar comment has come up, "You should write a blog!" The reality is that I have collaborated on blogs, I have written about other women and their lives, I have covered topics focused on advocacy and online communications but when asked to write about myself, I felt stunted. LinkedIn even shows I have high 85 people who have endorsed my blogging skills. The idea of a personal blog was...well...so personal and, as I am sure many people feel, it is exposing. However, there are parts of my life which appear very relevant for others, could possibly help them and so, I decided to buckle down and write this blog. I will say that if you read the beginning and stop, you may find me shallow, uncaring, heartless even, but if you read what I have to share in its entirety, a completely different picture may arise in your mind.
So, here is the reality, I am going to say what you aren't supposed to say. It goes against several theories and beliefs on how to serve the world best, but I am going to share it anyway. Forget your friends, loved ones and humanity, if you are not serving yourself to your highest power, you are doing a disservice to the world, and you will not be as effective at your craft if you do not explore WHO YOU ARE. Who you are is relative to many things and can be psycho-analyzed in many different ways.
For years, I have associated my mindset with that of an advocate. I wanted to serve my community in several different capacities. I have served through running a non-profit, owning women empowerment businesses, doing online communications for local and statewide political campaigns, and sitting on steering committees focused on advocating for youth of color and youth impacted by poverty. I hosted an Undoing Institutional Racism workshop for the city of Tacoma and aided with a national Race and Pedagogy conference. It was a few years ago that a thought began to percolate in my mind, 'What if I am not serving my community and those I love to the best of my ability? Am I staying in negative situations because I believe I am serving a greater good? Is that even healthy?!' The thought which I am sure many millennials before me have had, and most likely other generations before me will detest was, "What about MY happiness?! What about ME?!" Then an idea popped into my head.
Serving My Happiness is a thought that came to fruition at a very low point in my life. I was drained, tired, had given my all and lost, failed, and now it was time to pick myself up again. However, this time I wanted life to be different. I didn't want to fall down the same rabbit hole. I wanted to rise and serve my highest purpose. What I have found is that by honoring that feeling and following my gut instincts, I am now serving my happiness -- something few people do for themselves in a lifetime. I realized that the more I served my best interests, the more I was available to purposefully help others.
A Blog Focused on Happiness and Healing
Tasha Ina Church
Eight Rules All Runners Should Know
1) Run Using The One or None Rule
We all love listening to the good cuts, especially when we are working out. I’m not gonna lie, I love it too! Here is the problem. You aren’t aware. Especially, if you’re running. When you have loud music blaring in your ears, you can't hear a potential attacker come up behind you and it also slows your reaction time. More over, what if there is a car, a curb, or a strange animal in your path. There are several reasons to pay attention. Don’t tune out. If you want to listen to music, or in my case Audible books, use the 1 or None Rule! One earbud in, the other one out. If that’s too hard, don’t wear headphones.
2) Know your Routes (That’s right, plural)
Why? If the wrong people know your routine, you are out at a disadvantage. If you know your routes, you know where to run if you find yourself in a bind. You know the possible pitfalls.
3) All the Worlds a Stage, All the Men & Women Merely Players
If dealing with an attacker & you’re near people, you want an audience! The more people, the less likely that person is to attack, the more likely you are to get help! So start making a ruckus!
4) Fire! Fire!
What do you yell if someone is attacking you! If you are near a place that may have people, yell fire! It brings a crowd and camera phones! Everyone wants a picture of this crazy fire! Plus, you’ll have evidence of the attack and can better ID your attacker.
5) Want A Shrubbery?
No! Try to stray away from running near shrubbery, hedges, trees, etc. Attackers may be lingering or lurking around.
There are Runner Personal Alarms that are heard up to 1000 ft. or a 300M range. There is one by Sabre on Amazon. Also use your voice as a tool if you should come in contact with an attacker! Speak with confidence, power, and eye contact! You can also use a rape whistle.
7) Follow the Light
It's important to go to well lit places! If you are running, try running in a well lit area. If someone is attacking you, run to a well lit location where you will be better visible to people who could help you!
8) A Person Is Only As Good As Their Weapon
Look around you for items you can use as weapons. Carry a key or keys with you when you are running so you can interlace them through your fingers if you need to. That way you will be able to use them on soft tissue on the body (especially the throat, eyes, etc.). Did you know it only takes 8-pounds of pressure to break someone's kneecap? Yep! And if you break someone's clavicle, they no longer have use of their arm. Hint, Hint, Wink, Wink.
9) Strength in Numbers
There is strength in numbers. If you want to run with friends, runners groups or a pet, all of these are helpful when wanting to stay safe. If you want to be the lone ranger, let people know where you are. Keep your phone on you and download an app which will allow friends or family to know where you are.
10) Run Tall and Stand Strong
It is important to remember to have shoulders back, head high, and be aware of your surroundings. Be a Force. Remember that predators are looking for an easy target.
11) Forget the Road Less Traveled
If you are running, stay on the path. Also vary up your path. If you have a stalker they may see that you have a set route, so have multiple options.
12) Know Some Moves
Learning self-defense is a skill that everyone should do. No one is above it, doesn't matter how big, strong, or fast you are. So look into local self-defense courses. Or go to my online self-defense course and get the runners discount HERE: www.udemy.com/warriorwomyn/?couponCode=RUNNINGWARRIORS
For more on runners safety visit: www.rrca.org
For Self-Defense Workshops or Individual Instruction, please contact Body In Balance at (808) 661-1116
For Social Media & Online Communications email MauiMediaMaven@gmail.com or NWMediaMaven@gmail.com.
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