Done with the Dares

I have spent a little more than a month now working my way through the #DareToExcel Challenge

I (mostly) completed the first 10 and posted about them as I went . . . then I got very journal-ly about it all and less blog-gy. But I would still like to share my annotations of the final dares!

Dare 11 involved reaching out to someone in the spirit of collaboration.
This dare happened to time out perfectly with my guiding a group of women through and online course directly related to my challenge/experiment.
I ended up making a number of connections. I have a sort of sub-dare that involves something much more closely related to the challenges and “putting myself out there”—let’s just say business cards were made and given to a local business whose clients may need my services. We have a mutual agreement to call one another with questions and guidance.

Dare 12 was about personal style—sharing my own genius, integrity and distinct point of view. I have to say this entire process has been identity-honing. And for someone whose life’s work has depended on identity formation—kudos to the work here for getting me clearer yet. Who knew?
I have done so much of the thinking already—it was time to get out all the lists and really break things down to the essence.

Dare 13 centered on the phrase “Design to Delight” — can we just get posters printed of this already??? The very idea was inspiring. During this time I was approached with an opportunity to meet the needs of someone, and my offer was simply to be present for them however they needed. During a very stressful process, that was in fact, most delight-full to them.

Dare 14 was to champion another’s work in public. WELL. Let me tell you. Serendipity was already at Play, because I was in the midst of helping a couple of friends fund some successful crowdfunding campaigns! Congraaaatualtions, kids!

Dare 15 is the call to claim the New Story being lived.
And I have. And I will.
And it deserves its own post. Just maybe later.

And with pictures.

Reach

If I did X, then would Y result?

I began Challenge 10 of the Dare to Excel Challenge a while go now.
I have been moving forward, but not so much reporting.

My question became–
If I simply am more open about my interest in the creative elements of my life,
then will more opportunities be forthcoming.

I think you know where this is going . . .
YES! ABSOLUTELY! SURPRISE!

But most shockingly, because the universe really is MAGIC,
the opportunities were not a direct result of my conversations.
INVISIBLE doors just started opening.

What I have learned is that the best “networking” is being yourself!
Sometimes I forget I am this person . . .

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I rested.

Now that my mini-sabbatical is over, I am back and ready to focus on the second half of the Dare to Excel challenge.

Interestingly enough, challenge number 9 has been working itself out in my life behind the scenes. In my time away I had a lot of productive conversations about the new space and my life reboot. These talks provided me a chance to really process also how I can bring the re-tooled and freshly shined pieces of myself to others.

I know it all sounds so very vague. But we are working with a primordial creature here. Which is perfect that challenge 9 says “Allow for messiness.”

This is also where we are asked to:

  • “Invite a few people behind the scenes.”
  • “Invite feedback.”

I have continued the personal ritual process that I defined initially and just engaging others on the topic has seemed fruitful and helpful to all parties involved. It’s like some kind of massive permission giving to restore the sacred to the mundane. IMG_20150725_141734

I have also been inspired by friends who work on a very regular traditional spiritual and religious schedule, and those who have forged their own paths and help others to the same, healing through nature and the seasons.
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The prompt’s last message included what I will call “the escape hatch”–

  • “In the words of Lean Start-up author Eric Riess, then decide whether to move forward and persevere to publish the big project or to pivot toward a different project.”

While I have no desire to abandon the everyday project, I have seen ways I can expand and share what I am gaining through that process. And it, most ironically, relates to my first draft of my burning question, where I asked, “What if we sought inspiration for daily acts of creativity in people’s personalities and experiences, in our relationships to one another?”

You see, I study and teach personality theory, but it has never felt good for me to do so in big groups. I like the small group or one on one discussion where people discover who they are and begin to create a new vision of their self in relationship to the world, friends and family. It’s art. It is. It isn’t tangible, but it is transformative.

As I struggled through leaving another aspect of my life behind recently, my darling Kevin pointed out that I lead people and groups to transform and resistance comes to me when those people aren’t ready for the journey.
I think I need to find a way to work with people who are . . .
so there may be a new project in the works already . . . 
Experiment #2

Stay tuned.

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reflect and celebrate

I’m doing lots of that these days.

It is the 8th Dare to Excel Challenge,
but having just completed some major life transitions,
I have been tidying up in my emotional world, too,
which is involving carving out quiet time and not apologizing for it.
Now *that’s* my kind of party.

positive changes? yes!
paying attention more to what matters? how did you know!
new relationships? isn’t that surprising!

The positive changes have included the mental and mood benefits of doing less, more frequently. Simple little things like sweeping everyday are really clearing out some majorly funky attitude cobwebs.

I am paying more attention to things at home . . . and home is benefitting.
My darling spouse is even making some major strides in his own attention and growth. It’s all oddly exciting. And makes for great conversations every single day.

AND I DID NOT ANTICIPATE ANY NEW ENGAGEMENT.
Wasn’t the point to de-clutter my life, including my obligations and circle of friends and acquaintances?
Yes, but . . . once things that drain your energy slip away, there is just so much space. It seems infinite. Which I am aware time is NOT.
So, while I am making no strict commitments, there are possibilities afloat for some new adventures.

The rest of this week involves some travel and some great connections,
so it might be a week before I pick back up on the challenge!

Mini-vacay!

Time. We are friends.

Time isn’t something I really struggle with in the way many others do.
I don’t want to change my relationship to time.
If anything I want to stop justifying it.
I have sufficient boundaries and a good acceptance of its natural ebb and flow. My sense of time is more like the ocean than a good dam or reservoir.

Now, in exchange, I don’t really keep track of it. I may waste it.
But at least we aren’t “fighting.”

Dare to Excel has asked me to change my relationship to time.
But we are okay. I can wield time to my advantage if I need to in the moment or for a set amount of time.
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After that?

It’s just a calendar grid, clock faces. Empty of numbers and words. Just images of places and items from memory. In other words, if you ask me, yes I recall. But if you want to know when, I won’t know the year or how old I was—I will have to attach the memory to where I lived, how long my hair was, how the furniture was laid out, and place it in linear time that way.

Ability Recycling

Apparently it’s a thing—utilizing skills developed for one area of your life in another. And I am sure we all do it unintentionally all the time.
But as with most things, I am certain a little attention can make the experience all the more powerful!

Challenge #6

is to Identify Cross-Training Opportunities

List 1-5 existing skills you have developed from previous experiences and work that you are bringing forward to this project. 

I am sure I could find ways to repurpose all kinds of skills, ones I really really enjoy using. But I am interested in being focused on items I have deemed necessary or helpful in making my house a home.

In the last challenge I identified 10 skill related goals.
When have I actively done these things in my past?

In school and in college, I was dutiful.
Never missed assignments, always went to class, etc.
So I was good at being consistent, setting next day intentions and following through.

(I grew up in theatre, was an art major and helped start an art gallery once, so mad power skill tools came in pretty handy today while hanging blinds and curtains. See: ACTION i*s* happening. )

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In graduate school I was in seminary and set aside time to focus on my spirit as part of my program. I was regularly meditating, sharing feelings and experiences and setting sacred goals.

When I went back to grad school, this time to study library science, I exceled at documenting progress and organizing.

That just leaves releasing expectations and defining environmental needs.
Tonight I will sit with thoughts of times I may have used these skills and since they may have been less used, focus on these for the coming week.

Good News. Bad News.

The good news is . . . .
The second half of the Project Brief for #daretoexcel came a bit too easily . . .

That is also the bad news. hahahah

In other words, I know and apparently have known and had the power all along to achieve what I may have believed IMPOSSIBLE.

So do we lament all the years of not having or bask in the possibilities for the future?

I mean, duh.
Lamenting has its place, but if you have a choice . . .
BASK. SOAK IT IN.

Here be my skills listicles.

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