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Hey SassyPants, I know it’s been a while.  I’m sorry about that.  I’ve just been so quiet and introspective this winter, ya know?  But it’s starting to feel like spring, and I think it’s time for me to speak up again.  Today, I want to talk about getting shit done.

Here’s the thing.  I love the drama (and the minimal commitment) of drastic changes.  Phrases like “go big or go home” and “I’m all in” and “just do it” are my kind of phrases.  I have been enthralled with cleanses for a long time now.  The Master Cleanse; the apple juice and olive oil Liver and Gall Bladder Cleanse; the Crazy, Sexy, Diet adventure cleanse…you name it, I’ve tried it.  They seem so much more manageable than eating healthy, good food every day.  I’d rather do 200 squats a day for 5 days than something long term like 20 squats a day for the rest of my life.  But I’m learning a lot about the other end of the spectrum lately, and it turns out, I kinda like the slow and steady route, too.

See, I’m training for a marathon, for the first time in my life.  All you super-runners out there, I don’t want to hear about how many marathons you’ve already run.  Really.  This is a big deal for me.  Before I started this training program, the farthest I had run was 7 miles and that was back in college and it was miserable every step of the way and I probably walked at least half a mile in there somewhere.  Two weeks ago, I ran 19 miles.  And it was pretty fun.  I was definitely smiling through most of it.  Weird.

I started training for my first half marathon back in August, so you can see what a long and slow journey this has been.  When I drew up the schedule to train for this marathon (which is in April) in the middle of November, it looked so huge and daunting.  Months and months of running.  But the thing is, every day, I just have to do what the little box for that day tells me to do.  Sometimes I have to run 3 miles.  Sometimes 8.  Sometimes I don’t have to run at all! And sometimes, I have to run further than I’ve ever run before.  But magically (or, exactly how all advice ever given on exercise would predict) things got easier with practice.  Who knew?  And while those first 3-mile runs in August were awful and hard and full of thoughts that I wasn’t going to make it, I now find myself looking forward to the challenge of those longest runs.  20 miles this week and I’m pretty excited.  I know I can do it, which in and of itself is bizarre.  One of my colleagues, Meg Maurer, always says, “You have to eat the elephant one bite at a time,” and I think she might be right.

I’ve watched myself start to apply this lesson in other areas of my life.  Cleaning the whole house once a week (or worse, once a month) is exhausting and overwhelming and daunting.  But if I draw up a schedule and just give myself 1-2 chores every day, the bathroom stays cleaner, the fish tank gets scrubbed, and the kitchen floor gets mopped on a regular basis.  I never have to devote a whole day to cleaning, and the fish never have to suffer through a green tank.  Taking a dance class, I learned that practicing the new moves for 10 minutes a night every night was way more effective than an hour once a week.  Slow and steady wins the race.  I feel like I’ve heard this before, maybe once or twice, but it never really clicked until now.  Better late than never, I suppose.  Also, let’s see how many clichés I can use in one blog post, eh?

So, yeah, I’ll probably still do a cleanse every spring.  I still think there are times for taking giant leaps of faith and making drastic, sweeping changes.  But I can finally see how taking itty bitty baby steps everyday can add up to giant accomplishments you never thought were possible.  Like running for over 4 hours.  I hope we can all continue to learn new tricks as we age.

On the bulletin board today:

Want to host a Demo Day at your workplace?
A few of you have mentioned an interest in introducing me to your coworkers.  I love this plan!  If you want me to come to your workplace and do a little intro talk and/or set up to do some demonstration sessions, just let me know.  We can figure out what will work best given your workplace situation and go from there!

Meditation/Bodywork Retreat
The Posture of Meditation:  Breathing Through the Whole Body in Crestone, CO.  This event was amazing last year!  It’s being offered again this spring, and once again, I’ll be one of the Rolfers on the bodywork team.  The dates are May 30th through June 8th, and registration is currently open.  There is a cap at 40 participants, and it’s expected to fill rather quickly.  More information can be found here: http://www.dharmaocean.org/events and I would be happy to answer any questions about last year’s event, if you’re at all interested.

Hey there, how ya been?  I’ve made it 4 weeks on this cleanse (with one break for sour cream and cheese on my burrito bowl), and I’m pretty thrilled, since I was only planning to do 21 days.  I’ve been fascinated lately by the idea of having a practice.  I typically think of people as having a yoga practice or a meditation practice.  But there’s also the idea that doctors “practice medicine” and lawyers “practice law.”  I like to think that medicine and law, as well as yoga and meditation, are things that you never truly master.  You get better and go deeper as you practice.

I’m trying to apply the idea of practice to my whole life.    A practice of healthy eating means that while I’ll occasionally have a cheeseburger and a milkshake, the next day I’ll have a green smoothie for breakfast and a big salad for lunch.  I’m practicing mindfulness with what I physically consume.  A practice of active living means that some days I’ll hike a 14er while others I’ll just walk around the block, but I’m committing to my fitness.  I can slip-up here and there, and that’s okay, because I’m practicing.  Always.

Then there’s obviously the practice of healing.  I go into every session curious about what I’ll learn this time.  How can I take what I’ve learned from the last client and apply it to this one?  I take classes, attend workshops, and read books to expand my skill set, increase my understanding, and expose myself to new concepts and information.  There will always be more to learn, more to put into practice.  That’s what keeps this work so interesting and appealing.

So here’s to practice, not perfection.  Here’s to improvement, and learning, and growth.  And here’s to being gentle with yourself when you stumble, ’cause the practice itself is more important than perfection.  What about you?  What are you practicing these days?

So I’m doing this cleanse.  It’s day two of 21 and I’m feeling pretty excited.  Getting clean and lean always feels good and last time I did this cleanse my energy was really lovely, clear, and present.  So Yay! to three weeks without meat, dairy, gluten, sugar, or anything white and refined.  No ‘food products’ or artificial flavors or colors or fillers here.  I’m cleaning house, physically.  Along with the dietary changes, I’m making some life changes in an effort to clean up some areas of my being that have been neglected in the past.  I’m committing to exercising every day.  I’m meditating every day.  And I’m taking a look at what I’m thinking about, how I’m acting, and what I’m saying all day, every day.  This is the stuff of my life, after all, and if all I do is complain, what beauty am I contributing to myself, let alone the world?

This whole experiment has got me thinking, (and I’m only one and a half days in, imagine where I’ll be in three weeks!) about pausing and taking stock every once in a while.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff; go to work, mow the lawn, do the dishes, that sometimes we find ourselves wondering, how did I get here?  Is this the path I want to be on?  Is this the life I would choose for myself?   And if something’s off, if the answer is not quite clear, then what do we do about it?

I’m such a physical person that for me, when something’s off, I generally look at my physical body first, for clues as to what needs to change.  It’s true for me that I also get clues that something’s wrong from my body.  Two weeks ago, I got a rash out of nowhere and then some swollen glands in my neck.  I knew something needed to shift.  I start making that shift by looking at what I’m putting into my body.  After that, what am I doing with my body?  After adjusting my diet and exercise, I start to think about a deep cleaning.  I’m going to get myself some concentrated Rolfing sessions (one a week for five weeks) to hit the reset button and deal with some nagging hip pain.  I’m meditating with the intent of bringing up and dealing with some very old stuff in that little head of mine.  But I’m also doing some more menial things, like cleaning the basement and donating clothes to goodwill.  It’s almost like I’m nesting, in preparation for a new baby.  Getting things in order, so that the chaotic genius that’s on the way will have the space to do what it needs to do.

What about you?  What do you do when you feel like it’s time for a change?  How do you know you need a change in the first place?  Got any house cleaning tips you want to share?

I’m really excited because last night I got to spend the night at a farm.  Some friends of mine are farm-sitting up in Niwot and they had me and a couple girlfriends up for a slumber party last night.  I was in absolute heaven.  Not only do I dream of someday having a little farm of my own, but this was a really sweet pad with super-plush carpeting, a hot tub from which we watched the stars, and, best of all, a giant trampoline!

Trampolines are fun and all, but what’s the big deal?  Well, despite the risk for sprained ankles, broken necks, and twisted wrists, trampolines can actually be good for you.  I learned about this in a book called Crazy Sexy Diet:  Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It! by Kris Carr.  As I may have mentioned, a few months ago I did a 3-week cleanse with a bunch of friends and that cleanse came from this book.  The lovely Ms. Carr has had cancer for the last 8 years and has been keeping it under control through diet, exercise, and lifestyle and this book goes into all the details.  In it, she talks about rebounding, or bouncing on a trampoline, and how good it is for detoxing.

Wait, what?  The theory goes that when you bounce, your body, and therefore every cell in your body, experiences being in and out of gravity, over and over again.  This alternating between gravity and non-gravity acts like a pump to flush the bad stuff out of your cells.  Hence, bouncing like a little kid makes your healthier overall.  According to Kris, you’re supposed to rebound for 35 minutes a day.  And if you do it with friends, on a soaked trampoline in the moonlight, you might just laugh your head off like I did.  We all know laughter’s the best medicine, so it’s really a two-for-one kind of deal.  And who doesn’t love a BOGO?