I have completed five activities so far in the project, it seems like I’ve done so much but there is still such a long way to go. I thought that it might be timely to re-reflect on some of these and whether they have made any lasting impact on my life so far. This reflection won’t include Activity 5, since it has only just finished and will have its own initial reflection post.
30 days of fashion
From this activity I have learned to have more fun and take more risks with my appearance, it’s not that scary – neither is being more visible to the world.
I still think that this was the best activity to start the project with. It was extremely confrontational to make such a big change to my wardrobe overnight, but I’m really glad that I did this one.
I had such a great time Op Shopping, found some amazing bargains, and continue to do so. Just the other week I bought two dresses, two tops and a skirt for $27 – post-xmas shopping spree. One of the dresses is particularly pretty, although it is black and cream so it’s not that out there, the lime green dress on the other hand…
I haven’t reverted back to my standard black/white/grey wardrobe, although some more of those pieces have come back into use since the activity. I have caught myself a couple of times thinking in my old mode, but I have always pushed myself through that doubt.
This activity really brought me out of myself and gave me a lot of confidence to launch into some of the more personal and revealing activities I have undertaken, and am continuing to undertake.
Thank you again Jessi for such an inspiring talk, I continue to keep the principles in my life and I can’t see that changing back.
30 days of thanks, praise and mindfulness
From this activity I have learned how to be more comfortable praising and thanking others and that I need to learn more about compassion because I didn’t feel I was doing enough.
This was a bit more of an internal struggle for me, but I was pretty happy with the outcome. I think that I managed to overcome a little of whatever it was that stopped me from being able to compliment and praise others, but I still don’t feel that I’ve gotten the hang of compassion.
I still try to do at least one thing a day to have a positive impact on someone but I am not as mindful of others as I was during the activity.
I am reading Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, but I’ve struggled to get through the First Step – Learn about compassion. This is mainly due to the fact that it is a long theological discussion about the presence and importance of compassion within each major religion. I’m through this chapter now so hopefully the rest picks up a bit.
This activity did teach me a few things about myself and I feel that I grew a little in the 30 days. It didn’t happen in isolation though, doing the 30 days of fashion at the same time made this a little bit easier.
Thank you to all of the speakers, I am trying to remain mindful of keeping this external focus in my life. I feel much more connected to the people around me when I am doing this.
30 days of better listening
The big thing that I got from this activity was the theory of soundscapes and the concept that I can create and control mine – so simple, but so powerful.
This had a lot more of an impact on my life than I thought it would going into it. To be honest, I thought that this activity would give me a bit of a break from being so focused – nothing could be further from the truth.
I do still find myself trying to appreciate mundane sounds when they are annoying me, the bathroom exhaust fan is the classic example. And I think that I am much more conscious about the sounds in my environment and try to be a more active listener.
Thank you for all of the talks Julian, it has made me think about listening in a very different way and I do enjoy the skills it has taught me. I still have a long way to go to be a good conscious listener, but I continue to try and that is the point at the moment.
30 days of the three As
From this activity I learned that I am generally positive but that I need to do more, because my life is great and with everything I’m doing at the moment it’s only going to get better.
As I mentioned in my reflection post on this activity, I think that I was already a pretty positive person going into this, maybe I just hadn’t realised it. That would probably be due to my cynicism and sarcasm, which I had felt meant I was negative in the way I viewed the world, but I don’t think that is actually the case.
Focusing on finding the joy in the little things in life is also something I generally do already, but really focusing on it for 30 days was a very positive activity that I think everyone would benefit from. It is far too easy for us all to get caught up in our own lives and be annoyed or upset by things that are really not that important, or not that catastrophic. The majority of my day-to-day problems are “first world problems” that I really need to just take a step back and remember how good my life actually is.
Finding out that my ex-husband had passed away from melanoma at the end of this activity really made that hit home for me. I have a good life with an amazing partner, loving family and great friends. It may not always go to plan, there are times that things aren’t as bright as they could be, but on the whole it’s great and I need to appreciate it more.
Authenticity is something I still have to work on, but I had no preconceptions that I would feel like I had this sorted by the end of the 30 days. After all, I don’t think I really know who my authentic self is, given I have spent most of my life as a people pleasing, non-confrontationalist. I’ve spent the last 5-6 years really trying to turn that around, and feel I understand myself a lot more than I ever have, but finding my authentic self and learning how to be authentic was always going to be a challenge for the project as a whole.
Thank you for this talk and your website Neil. I honestly believe that everyone would benefit a lot from doing 30 days of the 3 As, it makes you look at things a little differently – and even as I write this I realise that I had all too quickly forgotten the lessons. I need to make sure that I continue to focus on this in my life, because my life is pretty damn awesome.
Feelings after 3 months
I’ve mentioned a bit in the last couple of weeks that I’m feeling pretty weary. This is partly due to the project I think, it’s just hard to remain so focused on changing or identifying very fundamental parts of my behaviour. But I think it also has a lot to do with not having had a real holiday for over 18 months now.
I hope that Activity 7 helps me recharge my batteries a little, or more appropriately, gives me some direction as to how I might find ways to slow my life down a little so I have the opportunity to recharge.
Having said all of that I’m feeling pretty positive about how this is all going. I certainly feel that I have grown in the last 3 months, and understand a lot more about myself than I did starting the project. I also feel that it has provided me with a platform to start really being authentic, and to hopefully inspire other people along the way.
As mentioned in an earlier post, my three words for this year are Do Share Inspire, and I feel that I am living the intent of these words. There is still a very long way to go, another 18 ’30 day’ activities and some small project activities to be exact, but I am very happy and proud of the project so far.
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