The question always is- Will you do it?
There’s a phenomenal group on Facebook for aspiring writers and bloggers run by the social media expert and influencer Sarah Arrow: 30 Days Blogging Challenge.
To take on the challenge, you must post every day for 30 days to successfully complete the challenge. It builds your writer’s muscle, your discipline obviously (something I need to build) as well as your reach!
I have been meaning to participate in this challenge forever. And procrastinating forever. I even have atleast 30 exciting things to write about. So it is not for fear of shortage in the idea/creativity department.
Over the last few days, I have been telling myself everything to keep myself from taking up this challenge- From being super busy with massive projects to being a slow writer who feels like a hen laying an egg every single time she writes a post! (Or an email!)
Trust me- Writing makes me sweat it. Big time. I put my whole bloody heart to it.
So today, with some trepidation, I went over to the group to make a special request- Can I get away with posting twice every week, pretty please? I hoped that by making this smaller commitment, I would get started on doing more with the writing than I currently am.
We are a little behind on man-hours here at DFYNorm at the moment (and we are working on it) which is why you do not see Smita around so much. She’ll be back from the trenches with all sorts of bizarre stories to make you laugh and cry! But that’s another story.
My thinking about taking on this challenge was- This is what I feel I can start out with. I have a refreshing belief now in myself that I must trust myself and start with grounding myself in where I am to get where I want to get. I have been working on increasing my self-awareness to what it is I can do right now and set realistic goals by not putting my feet into too many buckets.
What led me more firmly into taking this stand is a conversation I had with Elena Voyce. Elena is a Yoga and pilates expert, the trainer of trainers. Before speaking to her, I had done one 90-minute yoga class that killed me. Fierce Green. Hot Yoga! I have never done hot yoga before. For about 50% of the class, I was basically lying on my mat and breathing hard, feeling my heart in my mouth and debating on whether I should leave the class just 10 minutes into it. And then I thought, let me stick this out. So I did and ended up doing as many of the postures that I could in the class in between alternating myself with the Shavasanam pose. SO hey, I was doing yoga the whole time.
Anway, so I spoke to Elena asking her advice on what I should do to get myself back on the yoga-track in a healthy way. By the way, I do not believe hot yoga is healthy.
I told Elena about how much I longed to be in a class like the one I was in 3 years ago. Three years ago, back when I was in Dubai, I took classes with Bharat Thakur’s brand: Artistic yoga. And I loved it!
Side news: I am excitedly awaiting their classes in London this year. I reached out to the Bharat Thakur team and told them they must set up in London. And the good news is- later this year, they are starting classes in London for me and all the other Londoners. Londoners, you can thank me later. Because you are going to LOVE IT!
Going back to my chat with Elena: I told her how badly I wanted to do what I did back then- 25 surya-namaskars easy after the first few classes and then tonnes of other cool exercises and our trainers were always surprising us with postures. I asked her what classes she’d recommend I get into for now in London because I wanted to sweat it big time again while enjoying the process.
And she gave me this piece of wisdom: Haseena, I see you want to get back to what you could do 3 years ago and that’s impressive, but you have to begin with where you are. Holding yourself to what you used to do is not the right way to do it. Align and ground yourself in where you are, which is where all the power lies. And all things are possible from there. You need to re-align yourself (with Iyengar and Anusara yoga) and also heal yourself (she recommended Scaravelli yoga for that) because she recognized I needed emotional healing and just have fun!
Dearest reader, if you don’t know me, let me tell you this with my hand on my heart: You will be hardpressed to find many people who have a bigger can-do attitude than I do. It has been a blessing and a curse! Because it has made me say YES to everything because I can do everything, right? It has made me plan a 10-year plan into one year and it has made me feel like shit because seriously- Should I be doing 10 years in one year? Perhaps 5 years is stretching it enough?
Speaking of saying yes to too many things, I am reminded of something I read in the book “Big Magic”. Elizabeth Gilbert shared the story of this woman she met in her 20s. The woman was in her 80’s, massively successful and continued to live life to her fullest, learning more things and being more. She asked this inspiring woman about how she did it. What was the hack? How do you do it?
The woman told Elizabeth Gilbert- It is not about saying “No” to things you don’t want to do. That’s easy. Say “No” to things that you want to do very much to say “Yes” to the things you want even more. And then you’ll get somewhere.
This was a life changing revelation for me! Saying “No” to things I wanted to do?? Because saying “No” to things I didn’t want has always been easy for me. I never did anything I didn’t want to do. Like never! I am not the girl who got bullied by peer pressure.
I never befriended people I didn’t want to befriend. I never pressured myself to fit into groups and cultures and societal expectations. There’s a reason I have co-founded DFYNorm (Defy Norm)! And I have one too many times told my father what it is I am exactly thinking much to his disappointment and frustration.
The only thing I may have wanted to do that everyone else wanted was go to an Ivy League school. I am still not sure whether it was something I wanted or whether it was a conditioned desire, an ego-desire. A desire to prove my self-worth with a brand name. I have to admit that proving my self-worth was part of it too.
In 2016, what I have decided to do is- Listen to my heart. Not my ego. Because my ego makes a lot of noise that I can barely barely hear my heart sometimes.
When you step out of the ego’s journey and into the path of your true self, you open yourself upto way more grandeur. Way more happiness. And you surprise yourself! What it takes to begin that journey of truth is “trust”.
Lesson learnt: Your ego cannot compete with your soul. On any level. Any day.
I am learning to trust that my ego cannot compete with my heart. On any respect.
Be it on an intangible or tangible level. Be it on making a happier ride of my life, or truly accomplishing success that makes any kind of difference to me or anyone.
So instead of being the girl committing to doing 10 things poorly this year, I will be happy if I do 2 things very well. Build my stamina from where I am to where I want to be. Stretch myself just the right amount, and not to breaking point.
So, what am I doing here writing this post on Day 1 of my 30-Day Blogging Challenge?
You know what??
I am giving it a GO!
Day#1: Done! I told Sarah it takes me a whole day to do one post. And I did this in one hour 40 minutes!!!