I Have Not Failed; I’ve Jumpstarted an Intentional Existence

Friends, it is almost time to conclude this project.

If I am honest, I will say it hasn’t been an easy journey. In fact, in February, I nearly faltered altogether: I got the flu a second time (when I haven’t gotten it in years until this season!), and so missed a couple LIFE days, and didn’t finish reading the book I’d assigned myself.

 

meditation mindfulness minutes

I actually meditated every day, but forgot to set my timer one day as I was in a different setting.

 

I missed four actual days of walking. On that first day you see with “no steps” – I actually got 10K, but my watch lost all the data that day, and I have no idea why. It also registered “0” sleep hours that day and trust me, I got PLENTY of sleep – it was right as I was getting ill. The first day somehow never tracks (another watch quirk?) and I just noticed that the 28th isn’t on there. That leaves me doing something like this: ðŸĪ”

With the lack of being able to walk, that puts me at 6 LIFE days that I have used: over the course of the year, I’ve missed a total of 30 days of walking (a LIFE day is made up of five components – meditation, mantras, journaling, affirmations, 10K steps but if I completed everything except walking, then I considered it one-fifth of a day).

Eleven months of 10,000 steps a day, 1 hour of meditation a day, reciting mantras, affirmations, journaling, reading a book of the month, and carrying out tasks for the theme of the month – I have been a busy hummingbird.

Somewhere in February I knew I needed to cut back and rest. I only wrote 14 “love notes” and didn’t give one to a stranger like I thought I would.

I haven’t been journaling as much lately.

These are intentions that I haven’t quite fulfilled. So…perhaps it is a total of 10 LIFE days after all is said and done – I’m not really sure.

I’ve reflected a lot about this. Reflected at the idea of pushing myself, setting high intentions and doing everything in my power to carry them out.

And yet.

And yet I didn’t quite meet my own expectations here.

I don’t see this as a failure. I don’t see this as me not being able to complete projects. I see it as a means to jump-start the intentional life I want to live.

This project has done that. I published two books. I started a video channel. I traveled to 15 states, visited sacred places, and wrote well over a hundred thousand words in my journals. I’ve spent hundreds of hours meditating – nearly 365 hours. Hundreds of hours walking and getting steps – nearly 3,300,000 of them! All in an effort to hone my mind, heart, body and spirit.

I have gone from full time to part time work so that I can really work on this website, my meditation practice, my artwork, writing and spreading light.

In this I have succeeded.

March Is a Month of Reflection

For the month of March, I aimed for it to be a reflection. I will still carry out the steps, and meditation, but in order to get started with other things that have been on the back burner since the project started, I will now begin to shift my focus to those.

I am no longer sure if I will turn this journey into an actual book. I’ve thought time and again about publishing some of my journal entries as I’ve gone through the project. Perhaps I will make that a free resource here on the website.

I had also thought that I would publish a total of five books during the course of this year. I have published two, as I said. However, I have been working on another mandala coloring book as I’ve been able. In addition, I continue to write daily haikus which, when I have 365 of them (I have around 250 right now), I will compile them into a book that will also be a free resource on this site. (I don’t feel right about creating a book to sell because all the images are through creative commons sources and even though I could create a book to sell commercially, I don’t think that would be good karma – so many others have contributed to my work in that way, that it has been a community effort and want to offer my haikus to the world community to enjoy, as well. They will be “copyleft.”) Lastly, if I do create a book out of my journal entries, that will be the 5th book as a result of this project.

Five books. But created outside the time parameters of this project. Not bad, I say. Better late than never. ðŸĪŠ

Interestingly, the haikus were not an original part of this project. I just knew that I wanted to spread light in a way that was different and fun on social media. I first started just publishing haikus that were text only. But then I realized that folks respond to images more than they do text. So, I found a couple sites that allowed me to quickly put an image to my haikus.

Those haikus. They have become a part of my daily practice. To hone my thoughts in a mindful way each morning has become a powerful exercise.

haikus

A Different Focus – Meditation Certification

But, for the rest of this project, I have some other things on the horizon.

First, I have wanted to teach about meditation for a long while. In fact, that was one of my intentions when I started this website. I wanted to get certified, to eventually create a series of videos, or maybe some sort of online course, to encourage people to go within. To find their peace. To encourage their spiritual journey.

I feel this calling stronger than ever now.

Soon I will enroll in a course that will allow me to complete 150 hours of self-paced training through reading, exercises and collaborating with a meditation instructor. I will finish my training (hopefully in July, 2018!) by spending a week in Sedona, Arizona for 8 days to complete and obtain my credentials. After I have completed everything, I will have had a 200-hour course under my belt.

This is another step in this unfolding journey of mine. Perhaps down the line is spiritual coaching, and pairing all this with tai chi or yoga, but one thing at a time.

Indeed, it’s taken me awhile to save up the money needed for this course. But I can’t wait: it’s a secular training course that pulls from many traditions around the globe. Right up my alley.

 

Flash Fiction and Writing

I journal when my heart tells me to. It has been a challenge to journal every single day. Some days I find it hard to write 250 words. The majority of the time, however, my journal entries were well over 500, and sometimes up to 4,000 words at once.

That’s why even though I haven’t journaled much in the past two weeks, I consider those word counts to more than cover the days that I don’t.

That said, I want to shift my focus to creating more flash fiction stories – all with some sort of theme. I have found that I love writing these micro-stories. I’m coming to the realization that perhaps I might not have a novel-length story in me (at least not right now) , but I sure have a lot of short ones.

I need to pay attention to that.

I have so much fun writing my flash fiction stories that I’ve thought about compiling them into a book. For now, I’m enjoying the process and seeing what happens.

And that’s just it. This is all about doing what feels right, acting with intention, allowing myself to shift focus if I need, and spreading love and light.

Y’all, I want to inspire. I want to be a light to others. In this way, we can all become our own light. And light up the world that still has so much darkness.

 

Retreats

This is something I’ve also wanted to do. I do not yet know what this looks like or if it will come to fruition, but after I am certified in teaching meditation to others, I hope to create retreats that incorporate writing, journaling, mandala-making, and meditation.

In the meditation certification course I will be taking, I will learn about creating mindfulness retreats as part of my certification.

I can’t wait to share this journey with you.

So now in March, I will continue with the last part of my LIFE Project: still getting steps, meditating each day, journaling when I can, and still reciting my mantras and affirmations. I had originally thought I’d read the Tao Te Ching as a final reflection, but I will replace it with all the meditation materials I will be reading and studying.

With the end of one journey, another begins..

I am content with what I have accomplished so far. I had certain intentions and things might have turned out a little differently than when I began, but the idea was to propel myself in an intentional direction. 😍

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