Day 4 of #30DaysofFitness involved another Bikram yoga class and 10 pushups. I have 3 more consecutive days of classes before I start alternating days next week. What I noticed today was that I really need to give myself more time. I am improving of course and I have a long way to go.

I was unable to stretch before class so, with my tightening muscles, there were some postures that were difficult for me to get into. Today it was Standing Forehead to Knee. I have historically had a difficult time holding myself in the first part of this posture and today I could barely lift up my leg to get into the first part. I see stretching and epsom salt in my near future for real.

In other good news, I took extra care to get ready after taking class. In that hour I ended up looking less like a beaten, soggy mess and more like a peaceful, glamorous version of myself. I liked it. I had a business meeting after class and I was presentable. The lesson here is all you need to do is take the time and there are amazing results. I will make sure to take time before and after each class to take care of myself. Onward!



Day 2 of #30DaysofFitness ended with a hot, humid and very challenging Bikram class. Just 10 pushups–working on form and consistency in area that I am weak and 55 squats. Slow and steady is the name of the game. Still working on winning at the challenge of waking up at the same time every morning. I keep going back to sleep! I filled myself with lots of barbecue which what the holiday is for! Happy Labor Day!

Time to RESET!

Time to RESET!

It’s September! Not only does this month have 30 days, the perfect interval for any type of challenge, fitness or otherwise. It starts on a Sunday making for a calendar friendly progression as we take on the month.

The theme for my September is SEIZE THE DAY! I’m rebooting, resetting and re-calibrating all over my life. I commit to 30 days of fitness in September, doing something great for my body every day. That looks like Bikram class at least 3 times a week, squats every day, crunches and pushups on alternating days, a delicious smoothie daily as well as delicious homecooked food every day and waking up at the same time every day no matter when I go to bed.

So far, I took Bikram class which was glorious after a hiatus of over a month. I renewed my soul at church this morning, long over due. I took care of myself by getting all the supplies to help me accomplish my goals this month.

What is your theme for September?

Gratitude Day 22

Day 22 of 30 Days of Tessism is all about gratitude for something simply pleasureable.

Gratitude:  Today, I am grateful for the opportunity to stop everything, sneak away and catch a moment of respite from my hectic life.  A nap takes that gratitude to another level of ecstasy.  I’m glad for the times when I take a moment to myself and relax.  During those times, the forces in my world collude to make sure that no one disturbs me until I’m ready to jump back in.  I am responsible for nothing and no one.  I have nothing to do do.  Nowhere to go.  Absolute heaven.

Those moments give me the fuel to keep going and going to achieve my goals.  I am utterly grateful for time to relax and be with myself.

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 29: Dare to Want

One more day to go and suddenly I am incredibly exhausted.  I’d rather nap than blog.  The only thing that keeps me going is my promise.  Good thing I made one, otherwise I wouldn’t have continued.  Thank you for the strength you give me by reading and witnessing my journey.

The last few moments before the end of a grueling marathon can be the worst.  It is in those moments that your mind, body, being resolve whether to finish or to curl up in a ball right there.  The next challenge is important for me to keep going.  Come run with me.

Today’s challenge: Dare to want…wantonly.  Allow yourself to want for no reason.  Want things you’ve never wanted before.  Want until you want no more.  Write it all down.  Change your mind if you need to.  Keep going until you see what you say you want and match that to what you really want.  Write that list about ideal mate that you’ve resisted writing for years.  Go ahead, write it.  Want him and everything.  Go!

Wanting is such a odd thing.  Most of us don’t allow ourselves to want things fearing that wanting things that don’t manifest may kill us or be close to dying.  We treat our wants as if we will never have them and work to push them away.  In turn, we end up yearning those things that we deny.

We suffer when we live as if wanting is a reminder of our inadequacy.  We are stuck believing that we’re not enough to deserve or earn our wants.  What if wanting was a normal part of your day as simple and constant as brushing your teeth?  What if wanting was a tool that you use to design your life?  Today’s challenge is my opportunity to dream to the point of incredulousness, dance into the impossible and shed suffering.  So I will be writing that list and collaging my vision of heart-thumping future.  What have you not dared to want?

Today’s victory: I spent a wonderful weekend failing and winning at most of my challenges.  When I missed the challenge mark, I made sure I went back and hit it dead on.  That looked like heated discussions, impasses and, finally, peaceful resolution.  I’m glad I have these tools working actively in my life.

Gratitude: I am grateful for the incredible community that surrounds, supports and fuels my dreams.

On the horizon: The scoreboard

Challenge Day 26: Have Compassion

I’m in the last stretch of this challenging month of challenges.  Right here I could kick back and say I’ve done quite a bit so I’ll slow down.  Since I’m playing to see something different this month, I won’t do that.  I’ve done that in the past.  Not now.  While I’m pushing, though, I have to remember to do what the next challenge requests I do for myself and others.

Today’s challenge: Practice utter compassion for others every chance you get.  Particularly in difficult, intractable situations and especially for yourself.  Pour compassion into everything you do.

A few weeks ago, Martha Beck tweeted about compassion:

Compassion is such a slick, selective thing.  I can be compassionate with people I like or feel a need to protect.  No problem.  People who I feel threatened by do not get compassion bestowed.  Thus far, I’ve been giving up being right and working on other methods to improve my communication with others.  This challenge asks me to go further and really care for others in the most difficult situations–to care about what I think they might care about.  Faced with compassion, enemy boundaries melt.  I explore this with trepidation but I am very sure that the composition of my heart will change with this application of compassion even in the toughest situations.

Then I’m to go even deeper the compassion game and give it to the last person I ever give it to: myself.  I’m a hard driver of self.  I work hard.  I go hard.  Relentless.  What would being compassionate look like for me?  I’m not sure but I know that it will make a huge difference and I’m willing to explore it.

Today’s victory: I was very kind to myself and gave gifts to myself that I would reserve for giving to others.  Exquisite self-care in action!

Gratitude: I am grateful for adventures awaiting my spark.

On the horizon: Something regularly avoided

24 S Bank St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Challenge Day 17: Exquisite Revisited

I remember when I took on practicing an act of exquisite self-care every day back in June.  The idea of taking a stand to do something to really honor myself each day put a tremor in my heart then.  I could barely conceive doing something solely for me every day and I did my best to maintain that it month.  I did not quite make it through all those days and I did not track my experience here (to the chagrin of many who were anticipating the stories and victories after reading the challenge).  My apologies to you all.

Since I challenged myself to finish things this month, I think it’s time to revisit June’s challenge and tell you a little bit about how it went.  But before that, let’s lay out today’s challenge.

Today’s challenge: Practice an extraordinary act of self-care every day.

What this challenge entails is best expressed in what I wrote those months back:

What is exquisite self-care?  What isn’t?

Exquisite self-care calls for me to put myself in front of friends, family, work, love at least once a day and do something that makes me happy, has my heart singing, making me my own beloved…every day.  It involves doing the things I stopped doing for myself because they kept getting in the way of results.  Exquisite self-care isn’t about shirking responsibility or foregoing promises.  It is not being lazy and avoiding life and things.  It isn’t easy.  It is me finally going the distance to be my own hero and save the day for myself.

Here are some of the things I did and learned during my earlier foray into the world of exquisite self-care:

  • Because I work from home, the boundaries between work and personal time blur and I made a greater effort to delineate the two
  • I requested that my workday start at a particular time and no earlier
  • I made sure my workday ended at a set time and did not spill into my personal time
  • I made sure that I took care of all my needs before working: showering, eating, taking a moment to myself
  • I made sure that the people that I work with were completely taken care of when I sent them out on sales calls.  There was nothing they could desire.  It was an honor to provide for them, exquisitely
  • I realized that when I stood up for exquisite self-care for myself, I stood up for the same for others
  • Exquisite self-care arises in the strangest places and I need varying levels of gentleness and drive to carry it out each day
  • When people know what you stand for, taking care of yourself honorably and unequivocally, people give you space to make that happen and it is as if they are doing the same for themselves when they give you space
  • An exquisitely-cared-for-me is a delight to be around
  • An exquisitely-cared-for-me needs nothing from anyone–what a breath of fresh air!

Taking time just for me provides infinite benefits for me and others.  Imagine if everyone in the world took a moment each day to do something delightful for themselves for no reason.  Imagine what they would be able to do for others.

It is less daunting this time around as become expert in adding challenge after challenge.  Also since I attempted this already, I know it works and enhances my life.  It’s easier for me to commit to because these last few days of challenges have been a for of exquisite self-care in some way.

For the next 2 weeks, I will do something to honor and delight myself each and every day for no other reason than because I promised myself.  As always, please join me.

Today’s victory: I let a friend who requested space just be.  I didn’t make her wrong or condemn her to being denied my friendship when she reaches out again.  I trust that our friendship will withstand this bump.  Faith flows through me particularly in this situation–very different than I would have been in the past.

Gratitude: I am grateful for the wonderful men I have loved and what I have learned about life and myself from them.  Each one has taught me what I want and need.  Bless them!

On the horizon: That time thing

Challenge Day 9: Finish Things

I’m starting today’s post with an unexpected surprise.

Today’s victory: I checked my site traffic just for kicks and saw that it more than doubled thanks to a generous mention from another site.  I’m a huge Bikram yoga aficionado with a number of 30-day challenges under my belt and it was Heather Molina’s timely, informative Bikram Yoga Tips for Beginners that got me on my journey with ease and clarity.  For that I am grateful and I’m grateful again that she mentioned me in her blog about her experience at this Fall’s Bikram Yoga Teacher Training.  I look forward to following her footsteps in Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in the Spring.

Today’s challenge: Finish things or declare that you will never finish them and let yourself off the hook so you can focus on what you love.

Every time I don’t finish something: blogging, conversations, projects–you name it–it chips away at my belief in myself and adds itself to a pile of failures that, in turn, makes it difficult for me to finish anything else.  So, today I am putting in a plan to complete things that are important to me and I’m letting go of the burden of having to do things I will never do and just don’t care to do.  I will continue to re-organize my home.  I will not kill myself to alphabetize and re-read all the books I own.  I will not create projects that do not excite me and I’m repositioning myself as the diva of what gets done and discarded in my life.  Watch me.

Gratitude: I am grateful for secret, sweet moments where I can finally melt and all I am is the space between two sets of locked eyes.

On the horizon: Writing my heart out


June’s Challenge: Practice an extraordinary act of self-care every day for 30 days.

This may sound like the basic stuff of pedicures and bubble baths but when I look at the course of my life, self-care—let alone exquisite self-care—is barely an afterthought.  Sometimes I notice the void in my life’s design and shrug off the dissatisfaction as I snuggle deeper into the exhaustion I shroud around my shoulders.

I pride myself in sacrifice and superhuman feats of derring-do often pulled off moments before the train smashes into my life.  I respond solely to emergencies and create them so that I can get things done while being the hero that saved the day for everyone, just not me.

Even now, I panic at the idea of engaging in an extraordinary act of exquisite self-care every day for the month of June.  That is, until I realize that any act of self-care will be extraordinary in my world of putting myself aside to get things done, make things better, be there for you, be a contribution and more and more and more.  The question here is can I do all those things without sacrifice?  Can I exist as the creature I love to be in the world without the depletion and lovelessness of martyrdom?  I have no babies.  Maybe I should stop acting like I do or maybe I should be my own baby?

What is exquisite self-care? What isn’t?

Exquisite self-care calls for me to put myself in front of friends, family, work, love at least once a day and do something that makes me happy, has my heart singing, making me my own beloved…every day.  It involves doing the things I stopped doing for myself because they kept getting in the way of results.  Exquisite self-care isn’t about shirking responsibility or foregoing promises.  It is not being lazy and avoiding life and things.  It isn’t easy.  It is me finally going the distance to be my own hero and save the day for myself.

Day 1

I work from home with a workday has no defined beginning or end.  It often feels endless and involves pushing especially on empty.  While it’s really cool to point out all that I accomplish on an empty gas tank, I decided to switch to a fuel-efficient practice: I made sure I ate, showered and read my Bible before engaging in any business today. I had a lovely moment of ease and calm all about me.  Simple, yes.  Neglected, often.

The next 29 days

I will celebrate each act, big or small, and share them periodically.  For extra credit, I’ll see if I can do some practices every day and see where that gets me.  Bonus: Have someone tell me they love me everyday. Someone already did today.  Wonder about tomorrow.

Each act is a reclaiming of chunks of soul, home, joy I’ve filed away for later, one day, someday.  That is my extraordinary.  What is yours?