I am all about starting, launching and getting going. Propulsion thrills me. Velocity thrills me. “Your best you. Starting now”, remember? So, while I’m a big starter, I’m also pretty fascinated by those who are big FINISHERS. Enter the fabulous, inspiring and über-cool Dyana Valentine. Her motto? “Helping self-starters self-finish: one project at a time”.Picture-15-150x150

She’s been on my radar for a while, though it wasn’t until she issued a challenge that I decided to say “howdy”. Her challenge : 40 Days of Our Bodies - a commitment to tending to our bodies for 40 days and noticing the shifts that arise.

I decided to jump on in with committing to 40 days of yoga. No small feat, right? Hatha = hard. Here’s the kicker though. I LOVE yoga. Making room for a daily practice is a challenge, yes, but I started to feel that I was cheating myself out of the substance of this exercise…kinda like a vegan giving up liver and onions for Lent. So I looked a little deeper and I didn’t much care for what I saw…which is precisely when I discovered what I had to do.

On October 3rd, I decided to give up the smokes. FOR GOOD. Yup…that’s right. I had been smoking “socially” for the past two years (again). It pains me to type those words: inner monologue goes something like “you should have known better”; “how can you coach people towards self-care if you weren’t walking the talk”; “yucky stinky” and so on.

But self-imposed judgment doesn’t ever work too well with me (which is why I hadn’t managed to REALLY quit before). Here’s what does work for me:

  1. A good and resonant reason…love. I am 37. My mother died at 59. I am madly in love with my family…and I do not want to cheat them out of ME and what I bring to this life. Ain’t nothing more resonant for me than love.
  2. A good challenge…with accountabilities built in. I shared with Dyana and she's been a valued source of support, inspiration and giggles. I knew she wouldn’t let me fall. And she won’t.

Am on Day 20. Half-way through Ms D’s  challenge…and 20 days into a new and freer chapter in my blessed life.

What do you need to be finished with so that you can get started on your new path?

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