I will just start by announcing a simple fact about me that I am coming to realize; when I have set personal challenges for myself in the past they have always been relatively extreme and hardcore.
During my-self implemented leadership development challenge I sold both my flat screen TVs to focus on reading, I quit smoking weed, I stopped listening to music to make time for informational CDs, and I logged every single penny in and out. About 2 years I focused on prioritizing these habits.
Last May I created a 21 day personal yoga challenge; I quit my job, I took 2-3 yoga classes a day, I ate a strict paleo diet, I eliminated all social media along with my cell phone, I wrote, I read 3 books, and studied spanish everyday minimum 30 minutes.
While I saw many long term evolutionary benefits from both of these time periods, there was also something so strict and harsh about them that made sustaining them forever somewhat impossible. Not that I wanted to never listen to music again or eliminate my cell phone forever but I am ready for a new challenge and I would like to go about it in a way that I can create a sustainable change from within to better my person longterm, no go back.
I guess you can say I want to next level my human being; rather than take my usual approach and cut out everything from my daily routine that may relatively have a side effect but to some extent I see benefits from (even if those benefits are purely palatable or mental enjoyment: caffeine, 420, occasional drink, certain foods) I have decided to work diligently at making ONE positive change in my habitual way of being as a living creature; with the intention of it having a positive ripple affect through out my whole life.
If you know me closely you are aware that I am a picker (pimples, ingrown hairs, nails). You name it I’ll extract it, with pleasure might I add.
It is a habit I have lightly known I should quit and been told I need to cut it out since I was 13; consciously seriously been wanting to quit since I got my license to be an esthetician when I was 21. I mean by then, with all the knowledge I had about the skin and being fully aware of the scars I was creating I should have had the self control and strength to only mess with the skin when it was prepared and the hands were washed. Right? Not that simple for me. Yes, when it came to others and professionally dealing with skin, I do it appropriately; for some reason when it comes to me I have never had the self control or patience, the second I notice something I go for it. Mega monkey girl. haha.
Honestly extracting pimples and highly ingrown hairs is so satisfying to me; I never really sat and wondered why that is until this very moment. Yes- there is this sense of instant gratification, but upon reflection I realized that maybe I like picking at my black heads and scoping my legs for ingrown hairs because it is a form of distraction that brings me to the present moment. Its almost like when I’m zoned into the top of my shoulder hunting for a juicy black head there is not space in my mind to also wonder, How I could do things differently in the future to have more successful relationships? or What I could be doing to further my professional career right now? or Where I am going to move this August? Well- Mindful, in a sense that it brings me to the here and now, and out of the past and future. However, mindless in a sense that I am just waisting precious minutes of my life focusing on tedious things that are so irrelevant. No one cares about the clogged pore on my tricep or how deep that ingrown hair is but me. Ultimately I just wind up leaving little scars scattered all over. Sort of gross if you really think about it; or if picking really isn’t your thing and you can’t relate to this behavior you have probably been grossed out the last several paragraphs or stopped reading already.
So how will I change this behavior pattern that has been a part of me for over a decade, and what will I do with new found time on my hands? What are things I will do to help me? How will I stay accountable? How will I reward myself when I reach milestones in changing this behavior?
UPON A LITTLE BRAINSTORMING:
Things I can do differently with my time and ways to help myself succeed: Give myself manicures and nightly facials. I will allow 5 minutes once a day, when the skin is prepped to get any congestion or ingrown hairs that are bothering me like crazy, sometimes you just gotta get something. (hah what an addict.)
I am working toward creating a morning routine that includes drinking a cup of warm lemon water right when I get out of bed and then sitting for a meditation starting with 10 minutes duration and working my way up to 33 minutes. There is this Yoga with Adrian 30 day challenge on youtube, she is fantastic so I am going to start my day off with her 30 minute class from home.
I covered up the mirror on the wall of my bedroom; Removing temptations when you want to commit to something is crucial. I figure the less opportunity I have to find my face inches from a mirror throughout the day the less temptation I will experience. When I have been traveling mirrors and decent lighting aren’t around every corner, makeup isn’t something that happens, so looks become an afterthought or for that matter no thought. I love that.
I covered the mirror last night actually, and I found I got out of the house much quicker this morning after my park yoga classes. When I was in the car on my way to the cafe just now I realized I hadn’t bothered to check my hair in the mirror before I left because when I went to go to the mirror in my room it wasn’t an option and after I put my shorts on I completely forgot about my prior desire to check my hair and I left the house. Guess what?? No one on the patio at the cafe or going through the drive through gives, a Flying *Ahem*, what the current state of the hair on my head is. Imagine that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning being a total slob; what I am trying to get across is appearance isn’t always as important as we build it up to be in our heads.
Another thing that will help is practicing yoga in full length pants. Have I mentioned how tempting ingrown hairs are? Haha, Man I cannot tell you how many forward folds at the very start of my-self led practice have turned into zoning out on my leg hairs. It is not ideal; since it will probably be easy to mindlessly all of a sudden see something and go for it, I will just wear pants. Hooray! Solutions for success!
What we allow our minds to accept as true information has profound impact on our lives and with repetition I feel we can program our minds to play a more positive message. I will repeat the mantra below to myself first thing when I wake up, and last thing I do before I go to sleep.
We constantly need to let go in our everyday lives, sometimes this can be difficult or even painful to do. When we practice yoga letting go happens on all levels. We let go of holding in the body by softening with the exhalation. We let go of emotion and thoughts in the mind when we focus on the sound of our breath. Before attaching and reacting to the thoughts in my mind I will observe them then respond thoughtfully.
Welcome to MindFULL May!!!
Cheers to a better self each and every day!!!
Thanks for tuning in. 🙂