Letter to 40 Day-ers

November 14th, 2011

Hi all you shiny, flexible, strong people!

Many of you found me at our “Triumph” party to express your gratitude.  I’m writing in a “look-what-they-did,” very public manner, to thank each of you right back in a big, heartfelt, expansive, smiling, joyful way. Thank-you — with all of those qualities infused!

It’s been about week since you completed “40 days to Personal Revolution” and from what I’ve witnessed, you’re quaking with new found insights, connections, and deep truths.

I  have a hunch, too, (gleaned from the number of sparkling-sheeny eyes), that you’ve kneaded your hearts — through consistent daily practice — into ever softer, wiser, more receptive ones.

Epiphany-rejoicing of the best kind!

Your softness and sparkliness have inspired me to spend more time in stillness – on the yoga mat, sitting in meditation, reading good-heart-expanding-stuff, writing, and opening up to the present. I am equally roused to love more fully, hence my gratitude letter to you.

I’ve heard the third time is a charm, yet this was the second time  I co-guided this program with Scott, and it was revelatory!

Let me explain.

During my maiden voyage co-steering 40-days, I had this crazy confused idea that it was, at least, in part up to me, to ask a life-altering question, or say something, one thing, that would be, you know, the epic thing, to send you sailing toward your right life. (No pressure or anything.)

So, before each meeting, I dutifully scribbled sage teachings and brilliant guidance into the margins of my class outline, just in case the opportunity arose to blow open a soul or two, catalyzing a transformation toward a deeply fulfilling life.

Ok, everyone together now: Big guffaw! Still guffawing? Yeah, I am too.

Looking back, I can see that this came from a place of fear, rather than a place of faith. My attempt to over-control was a kind of forgetting. I had forgotten to trust the process, and have confidence in the practices.

This time around, I let go. I trusted the practices to do their thing.

My revelation: Have faith in the methods!

Over the past few years, a deep sense of confidence has arisen in me, from the recognition that if we slow down, look within, become more familiar with our minds, and care lovingly for our bodies, we are more able to face all of what life delivers with an inner well of strength and freedom. It can be a freaking crazy-storm of crappy circumstances in our outer life, yet with a healthy interior state, we always have a reservoir of peace.

Now, I am certain, as in no doubt about it, that no matter what might be swirling around in our outer life, there is always, at our core, a potential for flourishing.

I know, too, as in no doubt about it, that we’ll never find a fast-food outlet dishing up inner freedom. We have to practice our way toward a life full of meaning.

And oh, how all of you dedicated 40 day-ers practiced!

  • You chose to arrive on your yoga mats, six days out of seven, inhabiting your bodies, attending to your breath, and tuning inward.

On the mat, in flow, you were invited to be still in motion. And yoga did its thing, as it tends to do: sensations rise and dissolve, emotions rise and dissolve, and thoughts are dropped, as the postures and the breath call for your focus. Again and again, you are invited to unhook from rambling thoughts, and allow and make space for visiting sensations and emotions.

  • You chose to sit in meditation — twice a day for 40 days. This is a commitment in the world we live in, twittering with easy distractions and ways to escape.

I could write a Whitman-esque “Song of Meditation,” but you know the song already, because you practiced. You nod knowingly when reading the research about how meditating 20 minutes a day for 6 – 8 weeks strengthens the power of attention, reduces anxiety, and increases one’s general state of well-being. If you’ve meditated longer, perhaps you’ve found you can get disentangled from the mental static that perpetuates suffering, and find clarity and peace. This makes you happy and you can share that lovey-happy-goodness with others.

  • You chose to give up food insta-stimulants and food insta-chill-axers, plus every possible food attachment you might have had!

Breaking your food routines helped you establish more mindfulness around eating. You were invited to notice areas in your diet where the force of habit had become strong. And you practiced eating and living in ways that were conscious and creative rather than habitual.

  • You chose to engage in weekly meetings, at the end of a work-day, and brought your authenticity to your fellow 40 day-ers.

In showing up fully each week, you created a community where there is kindheartedness, support, openness, creativity, vulnerability (and shelter), play, strength, levity, and love.

I am tremendously grateful to all of you for reminding me to continue cultivating a way of being that is not so subject to patterns of habitual thinking. A way of being that is about growing in love, inner freedom and lightheartedness.

I appreciate you, and I celebrate you, your dedication to practice, and your personal revolution!

xoxoxoxo Love, Lauren