protagonist parting words

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The first chapter closes and many of you ask me, “What have I learned?” “Do I feel any different?” “What do I think of this so far?” Well the answer to pretty much all of these questions is …

Dunno yet? What I do know, is that the past four weeks have been a lot of fun. (Minus the absence of ice cream and chocolate from my diet – that is not so fun) The process has been positive, it generated great conversations, helped me widen my network of amazing people, convinced at least 4 people I know to start jumping rope and motivated a few others to start their own personal growth projects.

What about long-lasting outcomes? Hmmm…

After giving this first month a go, I am not sure yet if 4 weeks is enough time to create entirely new habits or fully break others. I can’t say I have come to any illuminating or drastic change. But the month has told me that I don’t think drastic change is required for progress to occur.

I am going to continue on with pieces of this first chapter, as much as I am able to, moving forward. The simple healthy diet is definitely a keeper. It really only took a bit of pressure and a few suggestions to realign my eating habits. I’m not sure whether its the actual food choices or the process of making these choices that is making me feel better, but it is working so l’m sticking with it! (with the addition of ice cream of course) I also want to stay active. I mean I can not fathom how I would ever sit at a computer for more than 2 hours again and NOT get up to jump rope or at least walk around the block? And a weekly yoga practice (if not daily) is necessary for both my muscles and my mind.

But, like Joe, running is not my cup of tea. I know I only devoted a miniscule amount of time to it, but I am pretty sure I will not independently choose to incorporate it into my lifestyle. When the doctor told me to stop jogging on the sore ankle – I can’t say I did not feel a bit relieved along with a bit of guilt knowing that Joe was still loyally making it around the track daily. But when he told me that I had to stop jumping rope, I felt really frustrated! This new activity brought me joy and just as much heart pounding action as the jogging did. I just found jumping rope a lot more fun and easy to fit in my day. I surprisingly found that I wanted to make more time in my day for jumping rope, swimming, yoga and walking rather than feeling like I had to do it.  So the jump rope journal will continue when my ankle is properly healed.

It took my bum ankle and an extremely unusual wild card before I realized the main lessons for June though. The take-away for me is this; if I become even a bit more intentional in my actions and if I truly listen to what my body is telling me through the senses rather than the surface, I will be and feel healthier. This of course was simply spelled out for me on day one, in Joe’s chapter, but I guess I had to hear it (or in my case feel it) for myself to understand fully.  With one lesson learned, I am excited about what the upcoming challenges will bring.

As the confidant noted, the most difficult aspect of all of this thus far, has not been any of these specific tasks, but the overwhelming change of going from leading a relatively private personal life to a very public one online. I have been struggling a bit with this. “How can I create a project about dealing with personal growth without becoming fully transparent and honest?” “Am I truly capable of opening up to a sea of strangers?” And “Can I do this without becoming self-absorbed or stuck on my own experience?” (I mean, I have never been one to post my breakfast lunch and dinner on a social media site before – I have to say it’s a bit weird) However, like in performing music – whether I am use to this yet or not, it seems to me, there is much more to gain than to lose here in sharing experiences with others in this way.

Joe used loyalty that he has to just one person (me) as a guide to help push himself around that track. I feel that the more people engaged in “living chapters” can only create a stronger accountability, and support system for me as I am faced with the new challenges in the upcoming months. So thank you for holding me accountable, following along and being a part of the story thus far. Looking forward to seeing you next month.

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Visit the June Gallery for more images and videos from the Body and Kinesthetic chapter.

 Just finding this blog today? Read the prologue for more details on what Living Chapters is all about.

Visit the Living Chapters facebook page for more updates, images and day-to-day activities.

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