The challenge “Make a change for 10 days towards a healthier you”. I say GAME ON!
It’s only 10 days, after all.
So – what should I give up? I ask myself this question every year during Lent. Some years it was sugar, some wine, some alcohol all together…I had to amend that last one a bit at about day 7, though. In recent years, I decided, been there, done that. Instead of giving something up, what can I take on? I took on being empowering and empowered. I took on living in ease and grace. I took on being playful. Not only was I especially conscious about these promises during the Lenten season, I really embrace these ways of being the entire year.
When Shanna Missett Nelson, President of Jazzercise, challenged her Jazzy community to take on her challenge, I did just that, in my own way. As with my Lenten promises, I really wanted this challenge to get deep into the core of who I am. Because I know for sure, that being healthy is an inside job. The emotional body is in the driver seat of the journey called ‘being healthy’.
I could give up what I put in my body, but it wouldn’t do much good if what’s already in my body is not healthy. You see, as women we are experts in suppressing different emotions that keep us stuck and in dis-ease. When we continuously suppress these feelings, they fester and become the aches and pains we all complain about.
So in getting clear about how I wanted to receive Shanna’s challenge, I thought about the stories I created in my head about what it means to be a Jazzercise instructor of 20 years; what it means to be an entrepreneur; what it means to feel part of, and excluded from, the Jazzercise community. Where I was going with all that was a place where I needed to distinguish “what is in the way of being fully myself”. Again, my angel, Mark’s voice rings in my ears, “Look Sues, what’s in the way?”
A few years ago I heard Shanna speak at luncheon in Carlsbad. She shared her experiences and needs being a mom and a C-level exec. As she said, “The hard thing about women is we’re so hard on ourselves….. and then we’re really hard on each other.”
Yup – so true. I bet you can relate, too. Seeing this 10 day challenge through the filter of contributing to myself and others, I knew exactly what I had to give up and yes, it was an inside job.
I had to give up comparing myself to Shanna. (gasp a sigh of relief).
And not the real Shanna, I don’t even really know her. I had to stop comparing myself to the idea, notions, thoughts, beliefs of the Shanna I made her up to be in my own head. (deep exhale)
I know I’m not the only Jazzercise instructor or fanatical student who has these thoughts…. If I could move like her; if I could look like her; if I could have her job; her life…. Oh geeze. Because of course she doesn’t have any challenges or pain or upsets at all. She can’t! She’s the President of her own company, doing what she loves, surrounded by people who love her.
You see, these thoughts not only disempower me completely, they also disempower her. Thoughts, both positive and negative, travel at the speed of light = 186,000 miles per second and not only do they affect you, they also affect those you’re thinking of. Need proof? You’re at your desk working, and suddenly you think of a dear friend. Chirp goes your cell phone; that dear friend has just texted you. You go towards your phone to call your mom, and the phone rings. I bet it’s your mom! You send your job-searching friend a message saying she’s in your thoughts and you’re asking the universe to conspire with her. She write you back saying, “You’re psychic. Struggling today. Really needed that support”. Coincidence? I think not. The power of serendipity? Oh Yes!
Truth is, this story of comparison is not new. It’s an ancient story that lives inside the belief “I’m not good enough”. If you’ve read my MODAvational notes in the past, you’ll know, from time to time, I slip into the mantra, until I catch myself and remind myself, I AM ENOUGH.
So Shanna – please accept my apology for involving you in my ‘less than’ story. Please accept my apology for not extending myself to you in support of what you need, as you requested a few years back at the luncheon in Carlsbad.
I am grateful you issued this 10 day challenge; it made a profound impact on my life.
My commitment, starting now: I will view each new Jazzercise DVD with excitement to learn from, not compare to, so I continue developing into the very best version of myself and in so doing, contribute the lives of those in my Jazzercise community and the extended, collective Jazzercise family.
What’s next Shanna? I’m ready! Let’s GO!