Confession: I’ve been seriously neglecting my Shiva Nata practice since the beginning of the year. I want to get back on track. Badly.
My solution: A 40-Day Shiva Nata Challenge.
If you want to deepen your personal practice (Shiva Nata or something else entirely) or would just like some support, I’d love to have you join me.
The more we can support each other in our personal practices the more we and the entire world will benefit.
Yes, that’s the power of deep, personal practices. :)
The Basic Structure:
Note: this is the structure I’m adopting for myself. Feel free to change, adapt, make up your own, as you see fit.
- Minimum of 5 minutes per day every day for 40 days. And yes, thinking about Shiva Nata – especially thinking through a pattern – totally counts.
- To write for 5+ minutes after 4-5 practice sessions per week AND to document my process, here, at least once per week.
Hmmm… that’s it. Woa. That was easy.
My 40-Day Theme: Relax!
I’m choosing an over-arching theme for the entire 40-days: Relaxation.
I want to see how my life might change if I spend an entire 40 days with Relaxation as my focus. I want to see what new connections might be made. I want to see whether my responses to stress and conflict change as I begin to embody more of the quality of Relaxation in my day to day life.
What might I learn about myself and how I respond to stress? How might my responses to stress, conflict and tension change as I practice the Art of Relaxation?
There will be weekly focuses as well.
It is very important to me to vary how I approach my practice. I want some structure in place to remind me to vary my movements (crisp, flowy, precise, sloppy…) and to vary how I relate to the space around me.
I’m looking to Ortho-Bionomy to provide this structure. In Ortho-Bionomy there are what we call Phases (or Moods). Briefly, these Moods are ways of being that influence the session. You can read about that here.
There are 4 Moods in Ortho-Bionomy.
I’m going to use a different Mood each week as a basis for my practice.
For instance, in Week 1 my practice will be mostly based in what we call Phase 4.
Phase 4 is about maintaining a crisp, clear, grounded presence. Therefore, my movements for the first week (whether I’m using words, music, or silence) will be crisp, precise and filled with clear, grounded presence.
And, yes, my overall theme of Relaxation will still be in affect. How relaxed can I remain as I practice very precise arm and leg movements?
I’ll talk more about the other Phases as those weeks arrive, rest assured. :)
There will be daily variations in my practice as well. I’ll write more about these in my next post.
Ok, here’s the catch: it is very easy for things, even super awesome, nourishing things, to turn into big, fat ‘shoulds’ for me. Therefore, I’ve found that giving myself tons of flexibility and permission to re-evaluate are critical to any practice being sustainable.
My intent is to challenge myself through this process – to challenge my ability to commit to a daily practice and to meet any resistances that may emerge… with relaxation. :)
And, of course, all my standard stuff about being gentle and kind with myself and listening to my body still applies. Thus, these permissions:
- It’s ok to mess up, to forget, to not dance every day. The point is to revitalize my practice, to deepen my relationship with myself, and to notice and play with any resistances that show up.
- I give myself absolute permission to change or alter the Challenge if needed. This Challenge isn’t about pushing through. It’s about noticing patterns. It’s about deepening my relationship to my practice. It’s about noticing what comes up for me when I commit to something that challenges me.
- To check in with my body regularly - to not get so caught up in the 40-day thing that I lose site of what my body is telling me.
- If you want to join me, you can totally create your own Challenge – one that works for you and your lifestyle.
- You have absolute permission to join and then drop out. There will be no laughing, mocking or punishment. Just happiness for whatever time you do spend here.
- To join even if you do not do Shiva Nata – if you have some practice you’d like support and some sort of structure to help motivate you, you are welcome.
- Of course, you can join in at any point. You don’t have to start out on Day 1. I’m not giving you much (any) notice after all!!
- You can join secretly. No one even needs to know you are participating.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that this Challenge is not about forcing, or pushing through, or obligation.
Rather, it’s about supporting each other in deepening our practice and deepening our relationship with ourselves. Oh, and, saving the world. Of course.
Will you join me?
Comments? Thoughts? Want to join? If so, leave a comment (including your twitter handle if you have one). That’s it. You’re in!
Of course, if you’d like to share your structure, theme and/or possible variations, that’d be great. :)
Day 1 begins tomorrow, Wednesday, 2/2, 2011.
And….. We’re off!! :)