(Note: The content below is taken from a periodic email I am sending out to all the people participating in The Super Ultimate Turbo-Charged Jump Start. Fill out the form here to get on the mailing list.)
“Oh my god, let’s like totally do this! Yay!”
– John F. Kennedy
Let’s shorten the title of this thing we are doing to TURBO, cool?
A few vital statistics
There are now 137 people participating in this from across the world. Full statistics coming soon. Because this isn’t about making changes. It’s about the numbers, people.
A quick personal first day review
Day one is here! In fact, day one has almost passed. How did you do?!
As of this writing I’ve successfully exercised, written, meditated, and most importantly, I flossed. Quadruple threat, ladies.
To be completely honest, I did not start Day One with a bang. I slept until 9:45am. Then I slept another hour. Then another hour. Then I got out of bed and ate some food (a fabulous pepper/hummus recipe that I invented and will share with you at some point this month). Then because it was cold-snuggletown-rainy weather I crawled back in bed to work on my to-do list for the day and to continue getting organized. This lasted, oh, maybe 9 minutes. Then I slept for another hour. And then another hour. Now I don’t want to judge myself, but that’s a lot of sleeping for someone intent on making major life changes, the biggest of which is being less lazy/more productive. But I finally woke up and handled some bid-ness (as they call it in the business).
But still a lot of work to do as far as being organized. Need to spend some time tonight really mapping out my day tomorrow so that I tackle my priorities and know when I’m doing what as to avoid my habit of being overwhelmed and resorting to my “looking-at-Facebook-every-other-minute” tendencies. So gonna read up some more on this Zen to Done productivity thing I am doing the rest of the night and report back tomorrow.
How about you all?? Did you struggle making things happen this first day? Did you kick major ass? Please share your secrets in the Facebook group and in the comments sections of my daily blog entries.
A Note on Meditation
Of all my goals, the one I get asked about the most is meditation. “How do you do it?” and “What’s the point?” are the most frequently asked. “How do you spell it?” is the least frequently asked. Working backwards, it’s spelled m-e-d-i-t-a-t-i-o-n. Seriously, look it up. The point of it is to completely separate yourself from your thinking. You know, to connect with what is. And doing such is a grounding and relaxing exercise that many people swear by for their own happiness/sanity. I am far from an expert on it, but based on all I’ve read and my brief flirtations with it over the years, I do believe it can add tremendous value. But it’s not easy at all. The last time I did it was back in September, so it’s been a while, but in getting back to it tonight I was reminded of how difficult it can be. I turned off the lights, set my timer for 20 minutes, and just sat. I tried to focus on my breath. But for 20 minutes I just watched as a million thoughts bounced around my head. Lots of ideas, and regrets, and thoughts about the last few days, and what this week will be like, and how I can improve, and I think I spent the last 5 minutes just thinking about how I was going to write about my meditation experience in this email. For a few seconds I considered referencing a wise old snake with bifocals that gives me advice. Which I thought was pretty sweet. But I was clearly still in my head. Do I feel more relaxed? Kinda, I suppose. But as I remember when doing it last year, the first few times were more about being witness to just how insane and fast my mind races from one topic to the next. It’s going to take some work and practice, but if I can completely distance myself from that for just a few minutes everyday, I’m sure it’s gotta be an amazing thing I can add to my life.
As for how to do it… I am experimenting with different ways myself. Like I said, I just turned out the light, sat and tried to focus on my breath. I’ve got a couple of books that are helping me that I will discuss later this week. Another way to do it is through guided meditation. Which is something I’ll be doing this month as well. Basically, just getting a CD, or downloading some clips online and following as someone leads you through it. There are endless resources, but to start I’ll share with you one that I like from UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center:
Just download and find some time and go for it. As with all these things, if you are experimenting with them yourself, share your own discoveries and breakthroughs and setbacks in The Facebook Group.
1 New Thing I am Doing That Perhaps You Would Like To Join Me On?
The People Project – Every single day, for the next 365 days, I must introduce myself to a total stranger. There are a couple agendas: First and foremost, it’ll force me get out of my head every single day. Secondly, it plays into my new hippieish tendencies to spread some love to others in the world (though I might rescind that comment when I get pummeled in the face at some point.) My goals is to have a brief conversation with each person, try to get a picture with them, and find out if they can distill down their personal “meaning of life.” So far I’ve already met 3 people. I will more properly document my work on the website, but there was Rona on New Years Eve who’s only goal is to be debt free before she dies (I think she can achieve more than that personally), there’s Rosa the personal trainer who thinks Immaculata is awesome (of course), and Harry Torres who sat next to me at the Vista when I saw True Grit yesterday, who recently moved back to LA from Palm Springs and says “It doesn’t matter where and how you live, it’s about if you’re happy.” Agreed. Though a mansion in Malibu would be pretty sweet.
Creative Assignment For Monday, January 3rd
If you are looking for some sort of starting point or parameters to write or create or design, I am going to try to offer some ideas/suggestions/themes over the course of the month. Some will be very specific. Others will be very vague. If you decide to take on the challenge and are happy with your output, be sure to post it to the group via Facebook or send it to me.
Today’s amazing suggestion: CHOWDER. Write or photoshop or knit or cook or do something chowder related. Your soul will soar.
Something New/Different to Do In Los Angeles
One of my goals for this year is to do at least one thing I’ve never done before every week. A lot of my initial ideas are outdoorsy, so the rain is kinda killing that. And a lot of them also might be a lot more fun drunk. So can’t do any of those this month.
Thursday – Museum of Contemporary Art. A free interactive installation involving wormholes.
Donate Blood – getting some cash would be an added perk!
Acupuncture – maybe I could afford it it I get the blood money.
I’ll be in Vegas for a video shooting gig this weekend – Anyone have any suggestions for off the beaten path/weird things to do?!
There were some hiccups today, and I still have a lot of work to do to feel the momentum. But having done this before, I know that it’s really not until after the first week that all the benefits really kick in, so I am going to be patient and pick up tomorrow where I leave off today. Thanks for reading. These will get better. (or worse)