Gratitude Day 23

Day 23 of 30 Days of Tessism finds gratitude amidst chaos.

Gratitude:  Today, I am grateful for the peace I find no matter what storm falls upon me.  Somewhere, there will be quiet and an end to the confusion.  Then new roads, new paths will open up for me.  New possibilities never before imagined become available because of those tribulations.

From the rain comes new life and something more magnificent than what was there before.  This happens time and again.

I am grateful that while in life, troubles may be a constant, victory is constant too.

Challenge Day 30: Score!

I swear I have the 30-day challenge blues.  After pushing day after day, I’m pretty sad that there is no more challenge left and that sucks the wind out of my sails.  Funny since I expected Day 30 to be the day to end all days where I would stand atop the mountain of my achievement and look out with puffed chest congratulating myself for daring the impossible.

I’m sure that I have the blues.  Now that there is no challenge each day, what will I do with myself?  Haha!  Anything and everything. The interesting thing about challenges is that they beget challenges–a sort of challenge-addiction.  Tomorrow or later this week, I’ll ruminate about lessons learned.  In the meantime, let’s get on with our last challenge!

Today’s challenge: Take stock of the last 30 days.  How did you do?  What did you do well?  What did you not do well?  What would you like to continue to work on?  How did it go?  What did you learn?
I’ll be sorting through the lessons learned on this journey for days to come but in the meantime, here are the stats of what I attempted this month:

My closest friends can attest to the wonderful peace I gained in these 30 days as well as the struggle it was to complete these last few days.  I know I couldn’t have done it without them or you.  I also know that I’m not quite done yet.

While I was able to challenge myself to different things each day, I haven’t gained mastery over anything new.  I have an experience of what it is like to live a revolutionary life but I still have work to do.  Each day of these 30 days of challenges revealed so much about myself to me.

The greatest revelation is that this month was a buffet of challenges for me to choose from and work on extensively in the near future.  All the challenges have been interrelated.  They are all pulling for the same transformed, galvanized life.  The next step for me is mastery.

Gratitude: I am grateful for that I could complete this month of challenges when I’ve done nothing like this ever before

On the horizon: More results, lessons and mastery…the journey – to be continued.

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Challenge Day 25: For-Give

It would be very obvious to post today about giving thanks since it is Thanksgiving after all–Happy Thanksgiving, by the way.   But I’ve been giving thanks all month and that would not be a challenge for me.   Instead, today is about another type of giving.

Today’s challenge: Practice forgiving. Wherever you can let someone or something off the hook.  Even better, let yourself off the hook and see where that leaves you.

Forgiveness is an interesting concept.  Many people feel that forgiveness is something that you give to others and often withhold it to punish others for transgressions.  Consider that forgiveness is a gift that you give yourself.

Punishing others is like taking poison & hoping someone else will die.  When you forgive, you release yourself from prison.  You don’t have to keep living in the transgression or the reaction to it.

This a practice that I have to concentrate on since, unchecked, I can hold a grudge.  Forever.  I have to remind myself of what life was like without the burden of upset.  To keep up this practice, I’ll have to literally keep my eye on the prize, constantly reminding myself of the life I want to live and what I have to shed to live it.  I’ll do what it takes.

Today’s victory: I spent time with a friend who I’ve had a tough time forgiving and I began to let go and was gracious with her.

Gratitude: I am grateful for the open hearts, home, family, food and welcome I experience this Thanksgiving Day.

On the horizon: Flowing

Challenge Day 22: Don’t Assume

Wow, one more week and November and my month of challenges will be over.  That went by faster than I imagined.  I wonder if I’ve done all my challenges justice.  We’ll see on the 30th!

Today’s challenge addresses a source of absolute torture for me.  I’m someone who often feels compelled to “know” everything, anything.  In instances where I just can’t “know”, I make it up–based on some great logic–but made up nonetheless.  The third of the Four Agreements is right on time.

Today’s challenge: Take on the third of the Four Agreements.  Don’t make assumptions.  Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.  Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.  With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Ever notice how some people always assume you think the worst of them?  If given two possible explanations as to why you did something, they would surely choose the least favorable one?

Consider that you can be just like that person.  In fact, you might be that person doing that to everyone and everything in your life.  It’s pretty eerie to me how many times I assume the worst of things, people and life.

This challenge pulls for me to do more than rest on my assumptions.  Instead I am charged to get explicit information about what’s really what by asking questions.

Asking questions is the very last thing I want to do, especially with people or situations where I feel prone to harm.  Yet it’s those answers that will most likely make me feel safe.    It’s funny how often I/we choose to not ask questions in order to be polite but all we do is replace those missed explanations with the most impolite, unkind theories.

So, I will work on the mastery of asking questions that make my stomach flip–questions tied to truths I’d rather avoid than address.  I’m showing assumptions the door and I’m welcoming transparency and peace.

Today’s victory: There have been so many that I haven’t shared this month.  Like the times I make sure that I take care of myself thoroughly and primarily each day.  Or the experiment that I have become in communication and relationships and all the rewards I reap from sticking to my commitments.

The highlight of today’s victories was overcoming taking things personal–the second agreement in action.  I have a very good friend who’s taking her sweet time to check out this blog even as I update her about it.   I suggested she get to it sooner than later since I add a new one each day and there’ll be thirty hearty entries before she knows it.

I tried to explain why it was important for her to read it as it was happening rather than months from now because I wanted her support and wanted to share it with her.   For her, it was fine that she’d get to it when she got to it.

I had to step back from the place of “Ugh, what kind of friend are you” again and again in that conversation.   I let her be and finally had to accept that, after explaining and requesting that she read it before the end of the month, that her answer was noncommittal if not bordering on a “no” and that it had nothing to do with me!  Ugh! Haha! Everything is not about me–at least not to peeople who aren’t me and it’s ok!  My friendship goes on and maybe one day she’ll read this.

Gratitude: I am grateful for the boundless energy I dip into every day to do what I do.  It never fails me.

On the horizon: Being ok with where and how I am

Challenge Day 4: Being Peaceful

In the past few days of giving up complaining and making requests, I’ve had many chances to grumble and complain.  Because of my commitment, though, every time I got that sinking feeling in my stomach, I have stopped myself and asked, “what do I need to request?”  The frustration lurking at the edges of mind would flare up and, just as easily, would dissolve, as I stuck to my guns and just asked for what I needed.

I was on a roll until my bestie pointed out that I really don’t complain that much and I needed a deeper challenge.  Oh dear.  She knows me well.  I have long since given up the right to whine my days away and blame other people for my misery, so complaining is not the usual theme song of my life.  When I start complaining and won’t stop, my bestie knows “there’s something fishy here”.  She knows something’s up and it needs to be worked through.  I make my bestie’s job of supporting me pretty easy with all this transparency.

I’d been making great strides asking for things, then the bestie says “Show me something I haven’t seen you already do.”  Trust her to challenge my challenges.  She is a blessing.

Then we hit on something:  My complaining may be inconsistent but my anxiety is a constant.  Is he going to call?  Why doesn’t he love me?  What did I do?  What if I like him?  What if he doesn’t like fill in the blank?  Will it ever be better?  What do I do?  I have to fix this, you, me us.

While I’m not always vocal about it, concern is often in the background.  It doesn’t stop me from doing what I commit to doing.  I’m well-trained in doing things I’d rather not do but know make the difference between an ordinary life and one worth living (for me).  That often involves being afraid and taking action anyway.  I’m an emotional, conversational bungee-jumper that way.

The opportunity for me now is take on giving up the concerns moment by moment.  They will come up and I give them the same credence as burps: here one moment and then gone.

Today’s challengeBe peaceful.  Give up the interpretation of “there’s something wrong here”.

Peacefulness is a natural place to examine after giving up complaining, so here I am.  It takes “no complaining and asking for what I want” and ups the ante.  What would life be like if I let things pass over me and through me?  So, today I’m adding “being peaceful” to the challenge pot and I’ll let it take me where it takes me.

Please note that my challenges aren’t ruled by abstinence.  “No complaining” really isn’t “being complaint-free” per se.  It’s more like letting the complaint knock on your door and not opening your mind to it.  Being peaceful is a constant opening for me to bring peace to things no matter what.  That involves faith which is quite inconsistent in my life.  I’ll keep you posted!

Today’s victory: Had a difficult conversation with someone where I had to keep pulling back from the complaint and ask her for what I needed and tell her why.  She kept hitting me with “what are you doing?”  to which I responded even though I normally would have told her off.  I had to keep going to the request and what it would provide instead of the reaction.  “Yes or no?  Can you do this so that it can do this for me?” asked kindly, respectfully and persistently.  This person, who I see as intractable, after rebuffing me, agreed.  It continues to work!

Gratitude: I am grateful for the incredible insights and actions that are shaping me into the person that I am today.

On the horizon: A beginner’s mind


Once was a boy so beautiful that all I wanted to do was kiss his eyelids and drench him in adoration.  Not sure it was the eyelids or the overdue need in me to love before it burst violently through my ribs.

I had gotten it in my head that he was the one to give all to and though he was nice and seemed to somewhat care, what I had rattling around in my chest waiting to be freed was not for him.

Not now.  Maybe for him when he was innocent and could understand the endurance of my illogical love, once given always abiding.  Back when he believed.  Now, not.

Maybe for his future self that might lay down weapons formed from betrayal and disappointment.  But I think that when he does it will be for someone else who, like me, yearns to kiss his eyelids and live lips tucked into the crook of his neck, his scent her only anchor.

He isn’t a boy really, though until we grow into creatures who claim their dreams, we remain children seeking succor.   And though I may focus on him, I know that this has less to do with anyone than with my delinquency.

Time has come for me to love like first bite of mango in summer, dripping juice.  I am ready to be someone’s home.  Someone’s deepest comfort.  His greatest escape.  I am ready to crawl onto his chest and know no harm can reach me.  I am ready to give him every ounce of light this body has because he would reflect it, our love-force perpetual.  Ready.