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.

This is the way the world endsThis is the way the world endsThis is the way the world endsNot with a bang but a whimper.1

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 28: Flow with It

My latest challenge is a culmination of sorts of all the challenges I’ve been exploring this month.  While all the work I’ve been doing has been about pushing beyond limits and reshaping my life, today’s practice involves a different way of approaching not just these challenges but life itself.

Today’s challenge: Stop fighting.  Go with the flow of life.  Use this flow to gauge whether what you’re doing is really what you want to do.  When it is not flowing, go elsewhere.  Go where you’re wanted.  Want where you’re going.  See where you can flow in all areas of your life.  Give up the struggle.

In all these years I’ve been good at powering my way through trouble spots.  I’ve used my will and stubbornness to achieve the impossible.  This hard-driving ambition has gotten me results all over the place, but what is the balance of these results in the overall scheme of things?

I have proven that I can get things done.  It’s time for me to stop proving.  It’s time to go where I’m wanted to–to pay attention to cues and do what comes naturally.  To flow, I need to pay close attention to what’s happening around and within me.  When I flow, I can live a life that is true for me.  I will love where I’m wanted.  Want where I’m loved.  There will be no struggle or sorrow.  Somehow, it will all work and make sense and if it doesn’t I will do something else…with great ease.  What does your flow look like?

Today’s victory: In a stupendous win for losing wait, I plotted out the rest of the entries for my blog this month and I have a plan to complete my NaNoWriMo writing challenge.

Gratitude: I am grateful for the solutions that show up even in the darkest hours.

On the horizon: Coming to terms with wanted things

Challenge Day 13: Once More, with Passion

As I reach the arch of this month of challenges, I wonder how long will the momentum last.  When will I run out of steam?  Challenging myself to meditate every day is great way to center and refuel and, with today’s challenge, I’m injecting a much needed fuel enhancer into my month.

Today’s challenge: Find passion in all that you do.  Don’t just do it.  Do it with passion.  If you can’t find the passion, don’t do it or find a way to find your passion.  Live each day, moment with a dose of passion, big or small.

Going through the motions is sufficient for an adequate life.  It falls pretty short for the extraordinary, unrecognizable one that I’m aiming for this month.  I’m not going to do my challenges because I said so and don’t want to be disappointed if I don’t make it.  I’m doing these challenges because my life is at stake.  Without them, I’ll end up drowning in the numbing mediocre.

In choosing this month’s challenges, I’m working areas that are quite important to me.  Since my life depends on this, why not put my life’s energy into the rest of the challenge days?  If I cannot do a thing with passion then I won’t challenge myself to it.  Going even further, if something is not worth putting my whole self into it, I won’t do it.  Laundry gets done because clean clothes elevate me.  Writing is an honor I give myself.  The mundane, the extravagant, the minuscule–all of it will be done with passion.  It’s time for me to go with passion or go away.  I’m here to stay and feel and marvel at each moment while I’m at it.  How about you?

Today’s victory: I managed to haul 6 bags of sensitive documents to the Upper East Side Shred-a-thon as promised on Day 8.  My shreddables became a thing of the past when a lovely gentleman dumped the bags into a huge bin that his ProShred truck swallowed.

My knight-in-shredding-armor from ProShred

I watched my documents transform in this nifty monitor.

Papers go bye-bye hi-tech

The paper will be recycled into industrial paper.  New life for my clutter.  That feels good.

Gratitude: I am grateful for my uncanny good luck!

On the horizon: Making room for something new

Challenge Day 7: Do Not Give Up

Ah yes.  Another day.  Another challenge…and all the pressure to find a meaningful challenge to write about.   Today’s challenge is dedicated to the incredible people that ran in today’s ING New York City Marathon but I’ll get to that a little later.

Yesterday, I challenged myself to giving up being right.  It has proven to be the challenge that keeps challenging.  As I get more comfortable with the previous challenges, shedding rightness keeps throwing me off balance.  I go in and out of wanting to know how I can be or think about anything if I’m not right?

Then I have to remind myself that being right works in some cases.  I cross on green and not on red.  It doesn’t guarantee my safety but for the most part, it works.  As I challenge myself, I’m learning being right butts into being connected.  There’s something isolating about viewpoints when we care more about them than the people in our lives.  It works for official debates but it doesn’t work if you’re interested in life with the person(s) you’re speaking with past that conversation.  I’d go so far as to say that even giving up being right with strangers I’ll never speak to again enhances my closest relationships because it requires me to practice that habit everywhere.

Today was tough because being right is intoxicating.  It’s an addiction I’ve had longer than anything else and I just keep stumbling.  Many times, in conversations with my one person who seemed to be positioned to challenge me ALL day, I didn’t get that I needed give up.  I had to keep trying, releasing, and failing until finally, I got it.  And they got it.  We finally won.  Together.

Failing and going ahead anyway is key to all 30 days of my challenge. Today’s challenge is much needed fuel for the rest of the month.

Today’s challenge: Do not give up

Paulo Coehlo tweeted this today:

That is my challenge today–to keep going even when I mess up.  I have attempted to blog daily here before and that failed.  I’m doing it again.  Even if I’m tired or the computer hiccups, I’ll keep writing every day.  I will not give up on myself as I normally do.

It’s funny how most of my previous challenges have been about giving up something and today’s is about never giving up.  How does that work?  It’s simple.  Give up what needs to be given up and don’t give up on doing that.  Let go of things that don’t work and don’t give up on yourself while you’re doing it because you will definitely fail.  Accept imperfection at the onset and little-engine-that-could your way to the end.

Like many who ran in today’s marathon whether they finished or not, I’m doing something I don’t normally do and it’s quite uncomfortable.  It takes something to finish the race.  It takes something to return to the race when you didn’t finish the last time.  Today’s challenge is simply my directive, after a week of challenging myself, to go on past the ego-burns and energy-cramps this string of challenges keeps causing.

Note to self:  This does not mean stubbornly sticking to things that are no good for me.  It means once I, in my discernment, choose something that inspires me and commit to challenging myself with it, I will keep at it, int this month of all months.  Let’s go!

Today’s victory: If at first you don’t succeed, give up, give up again.  Today I won at failing miserably and jumping back into the fray.  My challenges had no chance.  The conversation I was having had no chance.  I hung up.  I called again.  I failed.  I tried again.  I gave up some more and something made sense.  Finally.

Gratitude: I am grateful for people in my life who never give up on me.

On the horizon: A week of goodies and insights



by inch

I will recover


and the parts of me

that remain with you,

I will replace.

Cobbled together from


hip shards.

Grafted onto

what is left

until I am something

not what I knew.