I’ve resisted writing this post, mainly because it is designed to introduce our December Challenge and I am in shock that it is December. I think I am still trying to get through the month of September. Like, wait, September has 75 days, right? Right. GOTTA GET THIS BACK TO SCHOOL THING figured out.
I’ve also avoided it because of the topic, which is focused on “What Worked”. I mean is that a question or a statement? I don’t know. Haha. As I braved the keyboard in the face of this topic, I discovered that the resistance here is less about feeling negative towards “what worked” and more about becoming aware that I need to do some paleontologist level digging to find what actually worked. And, yes, this is where I imagine myself stuck in some southwestern desert, with a magnifying glass and some teeny tiny tools, dusting off some hopeful looking rocks.
For me and for so many people I know, the past few months (ahem years) have felt like one shoe dropping after another. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone mumble, I don’t know how much more I can take. I’ve even said out loud to friends, “So wait, is this normal grown up life?” I have so many questions in this vein. I mean, for real, did our parents’ generation deal with this and we as kids were just not aware or not in the loop? Is it social media? And necessary news coverage? Is it hyper accessibility? Because I don’t remember shoes dropping from the sky constantly when I was a child, even though there were traumas and stressors. And, of course, generations before us dealt with horrific things and often. So, why does this all feel like it does … constant … extra … unknown?
The result for me is that any “wins” from the last year have been covered over with a layer of grime formed in the fumes of endurance. Ah yes, endurance. That’s a polite reframe of survival mode, if I’m honest, but I think it’s a worthy one. We all have endured and we continue to endure. We know that we’re not out of the woods, that nothing will be like it once was, and that our basic safety structures are no longer what they used to be. This means that our new framework for life is now enmeshed mostly in how we get through the unpredictable, rather than “when this is over” or “when things are normal again”.
I suppose this is where wise people and thinkers come in. The ones that teach the idea that our expectations of ease are actually the real causes of misery. They remind us that life is more of a bumpy road with occasional smooth moments than anything else. Our prompt here, then, is to find joy and meaning in the bumpy terrain. I get this more now than ever. It has been relentlessly uncomfortable to wake up each day and feel like life is out to get me or to look up at the sky and say WHAT NEXT? I feel a certain calm in figuring out how to stay hopeful and whole while dealing with life on life’s terms. It reminds me of a pair of weathered hands at the end of a long life … they were used and they suffered and they are wrinkled, but they were used. They found a way to make stuff, hold stuff, open stuff, do stuff. They endured.
So, for this month ahead, I’ve decided to go all in on this personal paleontology dig to find what has worked in my life over the last year, which also gives me a new way to celebrate the refresh of the new year ahead. Fortunately for me and for you, we get to be led by the brilliant Stephanie Steiner, who is a meditation teacher amongst the many other skills she embodies. She will help us deal with these human experiences and these bigger needy needs in a way that feels, well, doable. And, for me right now, that matters more than anything else. Doable.
This is your official call to join me this next month in our December Challenge: What Worked, which starts on Monday, December 6th. You’ll get daily content on this subject AND prompts to show up for 5-15 minutes of functional exercise each day. If you are a current member, simply login and then click on Challenges in the teal navigation menu. If you are not yet a member, woohoo, half your challenge is on us. Simply sign up for a 14-day free trial today, then login and click on Challenges in the teal navigation menu.
Oh and YOU CAN ALSO GIFT the challenge to a friend, the link to which you can find at the handy Challenges link I have already mentioned too many times hahahaha.
Ok. Off we go. See you soon.