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The First Step out of Bed — Practice #2

watercolor show

The First step out of bed dedicated to a new activity, practice or goal.

Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Painting Watercolors

Sixteen years ago, I had 2 boxes of unfinished paintings stuffed away in my closet. I considered myself a watercolor artist but I spent a lot of the time not painting. Yes, you read that right, not painting. (Can you relate in any way?)

One night while my kids were out with some friends, I dragged the boxed paintings out and was amazed by all the possibility that I saw in them. I became determined to finish them and to start painting new ones! I needed a change in my life, work was way to routine. A friend had told me about a book called “The Artist Way”. The book is about following your creative passions and getting through mental and emotional blocks. I was inspired once again to dedicate my waking hours to something important to me.

To accomplish my goal I set a daily list of rules that I would live by each morning as I got out of bed.

Here are the 3 rules I set for following my passion of painting:

  1. Directly from bed – paint
  2. For at least 15 minutes
  3. Miss a day, try again

It worked out very well. I ended up with 30 paintings that I was confident to show to the public. A local business owner, who loved artwork, had a large wall in his store dedicated to hanging the artwork of up-and-coming artists. The artist of the month could invite people to an opening night showing where there would be hors d’oeuvres and wine for all the guests. On the night of my opening, I was honored by how many of my co-workers, friends and family showed up to support me and my new endeavor. Thanks to them I sold 10 paintings!

What would you like to dedicate your first step out of bed to?

I encourage you to allow some quiet time to reflect. Truly listen to your heart and what it is telling you. When you are ready to make the change, step you best foot forward.

Next week I will tell you about how I started dedicating my first step to practicing yoga and meditation. Until then I hope you have a wonderful week. Thank you for reading!

The First Step out of Bed — Practice #1

girl in pajamas wearing running shoes getting out of bed

The first step out of bed dedicated to a new activity, practice or goal.

Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Over the years, I have dedicated my rising time to something very important to me. The following “First Step Practice” was completed at a time while raising two children, working a full-time job and commuting at least 45 minutes one way. I tell you this because a question that one many ask is…

How do I fit the things that I really love to do into my life?

Dedicating the “waking hours” to what I want to accomplish and sticking to some basic rules.

Three months before the race date, I started to train for the Phoenix New Times 10k. When I started practicing, I was unable to run a mile without stopping. I was out of shape, but was determined to be in shape by race day!

To accomplish my goal I set a daily list of morning rules.

In the past I had tried exercising three times a week. This was a formula for failure. For when I missed one day I would only exercise twice a week and after a while it would become none. That was why I decided on all or nothing.

Some days I walked part of the way, but I at least practiced. Running has always been hard for me, mainly because of the voice in my head. It was always telling me to quit, ‘you do not have to be running, maybe you should walk for a while’. if I ignored it and set out to run at least one mile the second one was usually easier. Six months into the practice I was able to run 3 miles. Two days before the race I was able to run 5 miles and then on the day of the race I ran the full 6.2 miles! Race days are usually easier for you have the momentum of all the pumped up racers to keep you going!

Here are my race day goals:

  1. Directly from bed – go outside and practice running. When you get tired, walk for a while and then try running again.
  2. Walk or run at least 1 mile each day
  3. Miss a day, try again

What would be your first step practice?

Set your rules and stick to them the best you can.

I encourage you to allow some quiet time to reflect. When you are ready to make the change, step you best foot forward.

Next week I will tell you about how I followed my passion for painting watercolors. Until then I hope you have a wonderful week. Thank you for reading!