Friday, March 27, 2009

37 Days Challenge, Day One: Socrates

"Let him that would move the world first move himself." ~Socrates

So, here's the deal:  Patti Digh has set up a 37 Days Challenge and I am struggling with zero hours of actual daylight left...Read about the challenge here:  37Days.

I think it is indicitive of the space that I am in that I am feeling all kinds of resistance and indecision about what thing I will choose to do.  I thought about many different things, but I found some reason why they wouldn't work or why I couldn't do THAT one.  My first dilemma was that all items fell into one of two categories:  Things for others (which I was leanining towards) or things for self (which I think I should be doing). 

Things for others:

Write a letter to someone each day telling them what I appreciate about them

Surprise someone each day with something nice

Make an effort every day to make someone smile, even for just a moment

Reach out to a friend every day

Things for Self:

Drink my 8 glasses of water daily

Take 30 minutes a day to listen to music

Take 30 minutes a day for any personal activity (not reading as that is covered in another activity). This activity must be purposeful (listen to music, read the paper, color, walk around the block, call a friend, go to a movie).  NOT my usual routine.

Write a gratitude journal every evening

Do a 10 minute writing exercise daily

Do one of the 37 Days Challenges from "Life is a Verb"

Create a piece of art every day

Walk for 30 minutes a day

Take a photo every day that represents something of the day

I am frustrated by my indecision and inaction.  It is almost the close of Day One and I'm behind.  Why am I able to commit to others and not to myself?  Why can't I just say that it is ok to do something for myself and not feel like I'm being selfish?  What is that about?  Intellectually, I know that many of the things on my "Things for Self" list are VERY important.  

Really, the bottom line is that I don't even have to write about the experience here if I don't want to.  I'm going to, however, because I know that the accountability is here.  If I say I will do it and then I fall down or stop but I haven't told anyone, I won't feel the same pull that I feel when I have told someone I will do something.

I have to think some more...I will do it today.  I just have to reframe my thoughts a little.  Back soon.

Note:  I am back.  I took some time to peruse "Life is a Verb" for some inspiration.  I decided to choose an activity that sparked in me when I read it.

From page 107 an activity from the chapter "Integrity: Speak Up", which, if you have read my blog lately, you may have noticed some inklings about this topic.

For the next 36 Days(today is Day One), I will be asking myself the question, "Am I becoming someone I respect? "

As lunch time has long passed today, I choose to use today as the Action portion and will be doing an activity from the book on the same page.  The action is a focused free write about feeling like an imposter in our lives.  I may or may not post it here, but I will come back to discuss my findings. 

**Second note:  Day One activities.  In my free write, I found a few qualities that I think are important in becoming a person I think is worthy of respect.  These will be some of the qualities I will be focusing on during my lunchtime meditations.  

Qualties I respect and expect of myself:

Listens to others

Treats people with fairness

Does the right thing

Holds herself accountable

Kind to others

Good boundaries

Faces difficult conversations head on

Respects others

Tells the truth

Learns from mistakes

**Carolynn had a great addition to the list in her comment - Keeping my word (to self and others).  I'm adding it today. 3/28/09


  1. Excellent list you have there.

    I find "Keeping my Word" is also a good one. Which is kind of the basis for this challenge - keeping our word to ourselves. I'm very conscientious about keeping my word to others...I'm very lackadaisical about keeping it to myself. It's going to be an interesting 37 days.

  2. Good action! It is good to look at ourselves in a positive light. I struggle with that ... usually keeping a running list of all that I am not doing. A victory list would be good, I think.



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