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  • Writer's pictureJulie Stansfield

My 40 day challenge is over, and tick!....

I made it to my meditation cushion every day, while rolling out my yoga mat most days.

During this time I would sit anywhere from 5 minutes to 40 minutes, depending what was happening in my day. Sometimes I’d wake early and not be able to go back to sleep, so I would be sitting at 3 or 4am; then there were other times I’d remember just before calling it a day that I hadn’t sat, so that session might be only 5 minutes, but was a wonderful prelude to sleep. Most days I included some rounds of pranayama - either nodi shodhana, kapalabhati or bhramari, and it was interesting to notice when I was drawn to one practice or the other.

My yoga practice was varied in duration and style…. it was interesting to arrive on my mat and begin moving with no preconceived expectations.

It is empowering to set an intention and stick to it.

And….it’s a great way to lay the foundations of a new habit, or change an existing one. The sense of quiet and settling I feel when I come to sit on my meditation cushion, is I’m pleased to say, a new daily habit I’ve adopted.

And my changed habit….well I successfully refrained from indulging my love of white wine during this period! Because I was determined to succeed, it was surprisingly easy! Will it last?….no! I enjoy sharing fun times and laughter with my friends, with a glass of wine….that’s good for my soul!

And I confess I relented after a few days and was back enjoying my flat white coffee again….damn, I suffered that headache for nothing!! I’m not beating myself up over that “failure”. Now back on the island I enjoy going out and sitting down with my café au lait and seeing who I can chat with ….that too, is good for the soul!!

I think we know when it’s time to make changes, introduce new actions, even if they’re temporary ones just to shake things up. Setting ourselves a challenge, when we feel it is the right time, is the perfect time. Just ask yourself….how am I feeling? Answer honestly. Perhaps looking deeper at what our habits might be masking.

This challenge has offered me some insights. Life is a constant adventure, view it with curiosity and embrace each glorious moment. It’s important to honour yourself by practicing self-care. Be open to making changes that will enrich us on all levels – body, mind and spirit. But ultimately, what we are today….is enough.

To further enrich my spirit I’ve decided to challenge myself further – I will practice japa yoga, meditative repetition of a mantra for the next 40 days. My chosen mantra is Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, a prayer to Ganesha (the elephant faced diety), the remover of obstacles, repeating it 108 times.

Are you ready to set a challenge?

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