I have had a lot of interesting feeling coming up as I prepare for my 90-day challenge.
(If you would like to follow me through this challenge, either by joining in or just reading about the adventure, here is the article that outlines my plan.)
Researchers say it takes 21 days to break a habit.
I am pretty sure it takes about one second to fall back into a bad habit once we have “broken” it.
Which is why it is so important to find something healthy to fill the emptiness of whatever it is we are trying to let go of.
Let me begin with an explanation of why I am doing this. I mentioned my current life challenges vaguely in the above article, as well as in other articles, but I never offered clarity.
This is really hard for me to say so I am just going to be very blunt……
I lost my driving privileges for 90 days.
Yes, I have been gasping for air, breathing through the struggle and fear and panicking at times. The first few weeks after receiving this awful news I was full of fear, sadness, anger, confusion and, quite frankly, just about every uncomfortable emotion possible.
Where was my conscience? Where was my consciousness?
The “hows and whys” of this issue are not important. What is important is how the hell I am going to get through this!
I am a single mom living in a somewhat remote area of New Hampshire. I drive every single day of the week! Not to mention the guilt I feel as a role model to my daughter as well as to my yoga students. (That is another article entirely)
In spite of the challenges of this tidal wave moving through my life, I have found so many blessings, I am incapable of wallowing in self misery. (well, not for very long anyways.)
Some of my blessings; a big community of supporters willing to help me with travel during this time, a guardian angel that helped me pay for my lawyer, more down time at home to focus on my writing (be careful what you wish for folks, the universe provides in mysterious ways!), lots of downtime with my daughter and the opportunity to be an inspiration to others as I remain strong through this speed bump!
I am not saying I am perfect. I have spent moments of despair crying while embraced in the warm arms of my down comforter. My go to safe haven.
For the month that I had left to drive around, fearing the impending doom of my license suspension, I found myself seeking out comfort in unhealthy ways.
Trust me, I was very aware that this would have to be temporary, but sometimes eating a pint of ice cream and washing it down with a glass or two (or three or four)of wine while watching the saddest movie ever, can really get those hidden emotions to come bubbling up.
I am not afraid of my dark side, sometimes I am all too willing to jump into the process with both feet before I even know what I am meant to be processing.
So instead of continuing with these old ways of coping that tend to keep me rooted in pain, I decided to attempt something different. I have decided that through this challenge I will be able to address what is coming up in a healthy and conscious way. I will sit in meditation, ingest only unprocessed foods and beverages, continue with my daily yoga practice and I will journal. The writing is in place of me telling my sordid drama over and over to all the wrong people or to the friends that have heard the story a few too many times.
I am determined to make a breakthrough in my healing process. I am determined to also make changes and adapt the challenge to my needs. I wish to honor my feelings without judgement, be gentle with myself, get in tune with myself, learn about myself and love myself.
I refuse to give up on my dream because of this. I have worked too hard for too long to get clear about my path. I am not going to be led astray now!
I feel that life is challenging me. It seems like life is asking me if the things I have been focusing on are truly what I want in my life. Life is telling me that I really need to remain true to my authentic self. Life has slapped me in the face with the fact that some of my recent choices were not in alignment with this.
In the days that I approached the challenge I questioned my ability to remain true to the guidelines I set out for myself. I felt fear as I prepared myself to let go of my, oh so comforting, unhealthy comfort habits. I felt a little bit panicky as I prepared to share my truth with the world. Self doubt came bubbling up in so many ways.
I decided to move forward in spite of the fear.
In the first few days I decided to change the challenge a bit. (The Ganesh meditation will now be in the morning. The prosperity meditation, with all five parts, will now be in the evening). I have had to adapt the challenge in the last few days due to unforeseen circumstances. (my daughter was sick and needed my full attention so I had to start a day late). I think that any adaptation is okay as long as I stick to keeping things healthy for me. It will take some time to fall into a good rhythm with the meditations, especially in the mornings. I am prepared to be patient with myself.
What I have found is that this challenge is the one thing that I have control of while my life seems very out of control and uprooted.
This whole lack of transportation thing really puts on damper on my overly developed sense of single mom independence. ( I can do everything myself, damn it!) It has caused me to slow down when all I really want to do it run.
This challenge is not only about self discipline, it is also about getting to know myself from the inside out. For me, this is yoga off of the mat.
I hope you will stay tuned as I continue my adventure and share my journey of healing with you!
Nichole Gould is the founder of Barefoot Warrior Yoga in The White Mountains of New Hampshire. As a Student of life, yogini, yoga teacher, landscape gardener, single mother, organic pizza waitress and lover of all board sports, she considers herself a jack of much and a master of none. She can also be found dabbling with guitar playing, singing off key, reading from her many stacks of books or writing poetry. Feel feel to peruse her Facebook page or contact her via her website for more insight into her ever curious mind.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta