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Growing through week two celebrations seems like an apt title for this week’s update. As I approach my 62nd birthday in January, I am celebrating by randomly drawing daily activities out of a jar. Read about the creation of this fun game HERE.
It’s been an interesting week! More than last week, the activities the past seven days challenged me while upping my trust level.
Check out the next seven celebrations.
Growing Through Week Two Celebrations
As a reminder, I have 62 activities written on slips of paper. I folded those papers up and dropped them into a jar. Every morning I draw out an activity and do what is written on the paper. I love this game, trusting that the activity I randomly select is the perfect one for that particular day.
Make a Request So Crazy That I’d Expect a No
More than once this week, I’ve drawn out a slip of paper that’s made me question why I included this challenge! Last Friday, as I began week two celebrations, I drew out this slip of paper that made me take a deep breath.
Okaaay, I said out loud.
As I took a shower and prepared for the day, I opened to possibilities. I not only found my request, I came up with an idea for a future blog post as well. (Hint: have you ever wondered why so many good ideas surface in the shower or during a soak in the tub?)
The process of getting to the request so crazy I’d expect a no led me from idea to idea, with progressing degrees of outrageousness, until I reached the “crazy” level.
And here it is. I reached out to a cruise line, and asked to work together on a Solo Travel Series. In exchange for a cruise, I offered a sizable package of posts, videos and social media shares. Norwegian Cruise Lines offers solo cabins, a lounge and excursions, which are perfect for those who wish to travel alone without paying for double occupancy.
I actually worked on the proposal for several days, after doing my research, before hitting the “send” button.
This was a huge push beyond my comfort zone, reaching out to a big company with an idea for working together. The point of this activity isn’t receiving a yes or a no…it’s getting beyond feelings of discomfort and inadequacy. What a crazy and fun celebration to kick off the week!
Apply to a Writing Fellowship
Immediately on the heels of the crazy request came this activity, applying to a writing fellowship. Fellowships are programs offered to artists. The recipients work on writing or other creative work in beautiful and often isolated areas, for a designated period of time. Most fellowships provide the basics such as shelter and food for one week to three months.
Imagine the freedom to focus on creating art while expenses and needs are taken care of.
What I didn’t know, when adding this activity to the jar, is that this is not the right time of year for applying to writing fellowships. Most accept applications twice a year, in spring and fall. However, it’s been a great experience researching writing fellowships and dreaming big a bit. I found a fellowship in Massachusetts that accepts applications from December 1, 2019 until February 1, 2020. So the timing is perfect actually. I’m researching what I need to do to apply. And then I let that desire go and see what happens!
Make Eye Contact and Smile at Everyone All Day
This sounds like a fun and easy activity! However, on the day I drew out this slip of paper, I spent most of the day at home. The only time I left the house, I walked at a nearby park and saw TWO people. I made eye contact and smiled. Both smiled back.
I’ve learned so much about trust, playing this type of game. The right activity shows up on the right day. So what to make of drawing this activity, on a day when I had contact with very few people?
I grew through this activity by making deep and strong eye contact and smiling…at myself. Have you ever stood in front of a mirror and really looked into your own eyes? Do critical thoughts arise? Or do you even like to look at yourself?
I found that the longer I gazed into my own eyes, the more tender I felt toward myself. Negative thoughts were not allowed. Nor did I let my mind wander or create stories. I simply looked into my own eyes and opened my heart to feeling love and compassion. When tears filled my eyes, I knew the activity was over, having led me into myself in a way that I would not have experienced otherwise. The smile that curved my mouth was so genuine and sincere.
Travel a Different Way to a Familiar Location
Along with this 62 day birthday celebration, I’ve challenged myself to walk every day. Mercy Park, located about half a mile from my house, provides the ideal setting for walking and enjoying the beauty that the park offers.
And it’s the only place I traveled to that day! Greg went with me to the park and drove. He’s a good sport about my games. Playing along, he asked what route he should take to the park. Jesting really, I suggested he get there by only making right hand turns. He accepted that challenge and proceeded to make right turns until we arrived at the park!
We definitely traveled to Mercy Park via a different…and longer…route. The only hitch to following such directions presented itself when we needed to park the car. The parking lot lay to the left of the street. Greg solved that problem. He circled to the right in the street until he could pull into the parking space. I’m sure people walking by wondered what we were doing!
Watch a Movie/TV Show in Another Language
This Netflix series came highly recommended to me. Dark is a German series. Dubbing in English is available, which I dislike, or English subtitles. I chose the subtitles. It makes me pay close attention, which is important for this drama with a supernatural twist.
Set in a small German town, the story follows the disappearance of two boys from the community, and the connections among four families. Beyond those connections are similarities to events that happened in the same town in the 1980s.
It’s an intriguing and suspenseful show that has hooked me completely. After I finish the first of two seasons, I’ll do a proper review.
Storyboard Ideas for Online Products
This activity worked well with the brainstorming I did last week, for the blogging business. I used my notes from that session as a springboard for fleshing out the ideas.
Using two large foam boards and sticky notes, I enjoyed letting my ideas grow. I used one board for Cindy Goes Beyond and the other one for Journey With Healthy Me. I’m excited to develop these ideas and create freebies, videos, products and online classes.
Have a Midnight Picnic
This activity, drawn on a day of heavy rain, gave me pause. When I wrote out this celebration, I envisioned drawing the slip of paper on a weekend of mild weather. I saw a fire roaring in the fire pit and a dark velvety sky sprinkled with stars.
Instead I drew the activity on a cold, wet day, making an outdoor midnight picnic impossible.
On Thursday evening, I spread a quilt on the floor of my creative studio. I added pillows and a metal tray holding a cup of hot tea and a bowl of sliced bananas and wild blueberries. Instead of starlight I enjoyed candlelight. And rather than the sounds of a crackling fire, my iPod supplied music. In keeping with the theme of randomness, I set the iPod to shuffle.
As I carried in my tray, the thought arose, “Let go of your expectations. Enjoy what is, right now.” Something shifted in my heart and my attitude. I opened to the experience, as it was, and let go of what wasn’t.
After enjoying my midnight snack, I lay back on the quilt, staring up at the shadows flickering across the ceiling. Such deep peace washed over me. The moment was perfect, in every way. Letting go is a lesson I’ve encountered before. What a gentle reminder to trust that everything in my life…everything…is designed for my growth.
I know now, when I draw out the “camp indoors” activity that I will create a blanket tent in my studio. It is magical by candlelight.
Growing Through Week Two Celebrations…and on to Week Three
What an amazing week of activities and celebrations. Did it go the way I thought it would? No. Did it go the way it was supposed to go? Absolutely. And because of that, I grew through the experiences. Trusting…and letting go. Opening to new ideas and thoughts…and moving beyond my comfort zone. Seeing the possibilities in situations…and accepting what is. These are the treasures I gathered to me this past week, the joys that I collected.
I’m excited to see what week three brings!
Read about Week One Celebrations
and Week Three
Create your own indoor picnic, with these finds from Amazon:
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