Challenges for Growth: Ending and March Summary

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Ending and March Summary

 

As I noted briefly in the last post, I have decided to end the Challenges for Growth series. I would like to thank everyone who participated during the last twelve weeks whether it was by writing a post or by keeping the challenge in mind throughout the week. I give extra thanks to the four bloggers who participated the most: Sreejit at The Seeker’s Dungeon and Where Love Meets War; Nichole at Nik’s Place; Annette at Annette’ Place and Cheryl-Lynn at Traces of the Soul.

The twelve prompts will remain available. You are welcome to take the challenges at any time. If you write a post, link to the challenge page and I will add your post to the appropriate monthly summary.

 

March Summary

 

Contributors to: Message to a Child

I Love You…- Living, Learning and Letting Go

saying it real (troiku ~ narrative)- Traces of the Soul

For You- Nik’s Place

Contributors to: Ending Food Waste

Challenge for growth/food waste- Annette’s Place

Food Waste: More Information to Ponder- Living, Learning and Letting Go

Contributors to: Overcoming Resistance

A Little Bit of Clarity- Where Love Meets War

Dealing with My Resistance- The Seeker’s Dungeon

Challenge for growth prompt/resistance- Annette’s Place

Laughing with God- Living, Learning and Letting Go

As He Wishes- Nik’s Place

Contributors to: Honoring My Body

Challenge for growth prompt/honor my body- Annette’s Place

Physical Education in the 1960’s- Living, Learning and Letting Go

E is for Eating- Traces of the Soul

Past Monthly Summaries

January

February

 

Physical Education in the 1960’s

In 1961, President Kennedy declared physical fitness to be a national priority. He urged all schools to create fitness programs. This was one of the advertisements for the program.

Is this the shape

The schools took immediate action.  In honor of President Kennedy’s challenge, the high school age students from the army base I lived in at the time walked en masse to their school in Las Cruces, 45 miles away.  The younger kids went to school on the base, so we did not participate in that walk; but I remember feeling so excited about it. Our president wanted us to be healthy and he was showing us the way!

When I watched this video two years ago, I was struck by how thin we were during those years.

As I was putting together this post, a friend told me about a video of a boys high school physical education class in the 60’s.

I wonder what school physical education programs look like in 2016.

 

Written for Challenge for Growth Prompt #12: Honoring My Body

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #12: Honoring My Body

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I honor my body

 

This week’s challenge is:

“Today I eat and drink food and beverages
that honor my body.”

 

Most of us know which foods and beverages are healthy for us to eat and drink. However, when fast food restaurants, sodas, desserts and junk snacks call out to us, we succumb, much like an alcoholic giving in to the call of alcohol.

As alcoholics in recovery know, unhealthy habits are changed one day at a time. This week, for 1, 2, 3 days or longer, eat and drink only food and beverages that honor your body. Treat your body as if it is a temple, a temple worthy of great respect.

Sometime during the week, write a post about some aspect of this topic or about experiences you had when you focused on eating food that honors your body. Feel free to use whatever form you desire: i.e., prose, story, poem, photograph, etc. (If you don’t have a blog, please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.)



General Prompt Information:

(Note: This will be the last Challenge for Growth prompt.)

Since it is easier to make behavioral changes if we focus on them one day at a time, each of the weekly challenges will start with “Today, I focus on…….” It will be up to you to decide how long you want to focus on a particular challenge— one, two, three days or even longer. At some point during the week, publish a post that relates in some way to the subject of the week.

Link your post back to this prompt post. If the pingback doesn’t work, then leave the link to your post in the comment section below. Be sure to include “Challenge for Growth Prompts” as one of your tags.

Throughout the week, I will publish the links for the posts that were created as the result of this prompt. I will also post the links from those who participated the previous week. That way they will be seen by anyone who comes to this page.

 

This week’s contributors to: Honoring My Body

Challenge for growth prompt/honor my body- Annette’s Place

Physical Education in the 1960’s- Living, Learning and Letting Go

E is for Eating- Traces of the Soul

How about you?

 

Last week’s contributors to: Overcoming Resistance

A Little Bit of Clarity- Where Love Meets War

Dealing with My Resistance- The Seeker’s Dungeon

Challenge for growth prompt/resistance- Annette’s Place

Laughing with God- Living, Learning and Letting Go

As He Wishes- Nik’s Place

Challenge for Growth Prompt #10: Ending Food Waste

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Ending Food Waste

This week’s challenge is:

“Today I do not waste food.”

In 2012, the National Resources Defense Council of the U.S. concluded that Americans waste 40% of their food. Food is wasted at the farm level, between harvest and sale, during processing, during distribution, in grocery stores, in restaurants and in our homes. The study also reported that American’s throw out 25% of the food and beverages they buy. You can learn more about these statistics at: Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill

Many children in my generation grew up with parents who demanded that they eat their food because of the starving kids in China. As a result, many of us learned to tune out that message and disregard the fact that there is some truth to that way of thinking. I believe it is important for us to become responsible citizens of the world.

That does not mean we should force ourselves or our children to eat when we/they aren’t hungry. It is also not about shaming people into cleaning their plates. Instead, I think we should focus on how much food we buy, how much we cook, and how much we put on our plates. Children will be more likely to finish eating their food if they are given small portions. They can always ask for more if they are still hungry after they finish the original serving. That is true for adults as well.

While these are U.S. statistics and may be higher than those in other countries, I doubt we are the only country with the problem. This week, for 1, 2, 3 days or longer focus on not wasting food.

Sometime during the week, write a post about some aspect of this topic or about experiences you had when you focused on ending food waste. Feel free to use whatever form you desire: i.e., prose, story, poem, photograph, etc.  (If you don’t have a blog, please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.)

 

General Prompt Information:

New prompts will be posted at 5 a.m. (PST) every Wednesday.

Since it is easier to make behavioral changes if we focus on them one day at a time, each of the weekly challenges will start with “Today, I focus on…….” It will be up to you to decide how long you want to focus on a particular challenge— one, two, three days or even longer. At some point during the week, publish a post that relates in some way to the subject of the week.

Link your post back to this prompt post. If the pingback doesn’t work, then leave the link to your post in the comment section below.  Be sure to include “Challenge for Growth Prompts” as one of your tags.

Throughout the week, I will publish the links for the posts that were created as the result of this prompt.  I will also post the links from those who participated the previous week. That way they will be seen by anyone who comes to this page.

 

This week’s contributors to: Ending Food Waste

Challenge for growth/food waste- Annette’s Place

Food Waste: More Information to Ponder- Living, Learning and Letting Go

How about you?

 

Last week’s contributors to: Message to a Child

I Love You…- Living, Learning and Letting Go

saying it real (troiku ~ narrative)- Traces of the Soul

For You- Nik’s Place

I Love You…

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

 

The Challenge for Growth Prompt that started on February 2 was to say something to a child that you wish someone had said to you when you were young.  I practice a developmental form of psychotherapy that derives from Transactional Analysis.  It uses a model that says that inside of us we have a parent part, an adult part and a child part.  There are subdivisions of these parts as well.

As clients heal from their childhood traumas and learn to parent their inner children in healthy ways, I have plenty of opportunity to talk to their child parts.  As a result, I say many things that I wish had been said to me.

There are six stages of development and each one has its own developmental tasks.  For example the first stage is called the Being stage.  It lasts from 0 to 6 months of life.  Two of the tasks children are supposed to learn during the Being stage are that they are loved and wanted and that their needs are important.  If those tasks aren’t learned, it may leave a developmental gap that could last throughout life.

Pamela Levin and Jean I. Clarke both created sets of developmentally based affirmations.  Pamela’s series offers five affirmations for each stage and Jean’s has seven or eight.  Jean includes a “Love” affirmation for each stage.  If you look below, you will see the developmental tasks, the age ranges, and the Love affirmations.  A child needs to begin hearing the affirmation when the developmental stage starts and continue hearing it forever.  For example, we need to hear that we are loved and cared for from the beginning of our lives until the end.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Being (0-6 months)
I love and care for you willingly.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Doing (6-18 months)
I love you when you are active and when you are quiet.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Thinking (18 months to 3 years)
You can become separate from me and I will continue to love you.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Identity and Power (3 -6 years)
I love who you are.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Structure (6-12 years)
I love you even when we differ; I love growing with you.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Identity, Sexuality and Separation (13- 18 years)
My love is always with you.  I trust you to ask for my support.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Interdependence (Adult)
You are lovable at every age.

 

Consider saying the age appropriate Love affirmations to children that you know… and to the “children” that live within you!

***

To learn more about the stages of development, the developmental affirmations, and how to fill in developmental gaps read:

Cycles of Power by Pamela Levin

Growing Up Again by Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson

 

Challenge for Growth Prompts: February Summary 2016

20150726_193653The first Challenge for Growth Prompt was published on January 6, 2016.  Since then there have been seven more.  I realize many of you may not have seen the posts that were written by those who participated, so at the end of each month I publish a summary for the month.  I hope you enjoy reading them.

I give thanks to all of you who contributed to some or all of February’s challenges, whether it was by publishing a post, by reading the posts published by others or by thinking about the challenge topics.

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #5: I am Love

I Am…- Nik’s Place

It Takes a Revolution- The Seeker’s Dungeon

I Am Love- Living, Learning and Letting Go

Love Has No Borders (haibun)- Tournesol dans un Jardin

I AM love (free verse)- Traces of the Soul

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #6: I listen attentively

I Hear You- Nik’s Place

Please Listen to Me- Living, Learning and Letting Go

Challenge for Growth Prompt #6- Home and Loving It

Challenge for growth prompts/#6- Annette’s Place

OFF- Nik’s Place

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #7: I unplug

Challenges for growth prompts/unplug- Annette’s place

Unplugged- Home and Loving It

I Unplugged!- Living, Learning and Letting Go


Challenge for Growth Prompt #8: Stop (Repetitive) Thinking

“Stay in the Present and Stop Thinking” – Living, Learning and Letting Go

Stop Repetitive Thinking- Home and Loving It

Mind: Shut Up Already!- Traces of the Soul

Challenge for Growth Prompt #8/stop repetitive thinking- Annette’s Place

Tools for Dealing with Repetitive Thinking- Living, Learning and Letting Go

“Stay in the Present and Stop Thinking!”

cropped File 14-12-2015, 8 59 18 AM

 

As I formulated this week’s Challenge for Growth, I remembered an experience I had in 2001. I described it in one of my Getting to Joy books, a series about my years of being with Amma.  While I still struggle with over thinking, this memory is etched into my mind. Recalling it whenever I’m into repetitive thinking gives me both pleasure and guidance.  Here is that section of the book:

 

“Stay in the Present and Stop Thinking!”

I had planned to spend some time at Christ in the Desert monastery after attending Amma’s Santa Fe programs. As I started thinking about my upcoming monastery visit, I began to cry. The more I thought about it, the more I cried. Why did I have so much grief? Old questions arose once again. Was I supposed to be moving into an ashram [monastery]? Would I ever move into an ashram?   I felt certain that now was not the time for ashram living, but how was I to deal with all of the sadness?

It occurred to me that I could discuss this situation with Amma. By then, it was past noon and she takes only a small number of questions each day, so I assumed that the quota for that day had long since been filled. Nevertheless, I felt drawn to check out my assumption. I was surprised to discover that Amma had not put any limit on the number of questions she would answer that day. Within a half-hour, I was sitting in front of her.

Through the translator, I told Amma how difficult it is for me to live a life that is not in an ashram, yet is not fully engaged in worldly activities either. I said I felt certain that it was not time for me to move into an ashram, and asked for her advice about how to deal with all of the grief I felt about being torn between these choices.

Amma indicated that there might eventually be an ashram in Seattle. For now, she said, I should remember that I am Amma’s child and that she is always with me. She then advised me to stay in the present and stop thinking! What could I do but laugh? Staying in the present and stopping unhelpful thought processes seems to be one of the major challenges of my life. I knew that over-thinking consistently pulls me into a downward spiral and that if I focus on what I have instead of what I do not have, it is much easier to stay in the present. I am also more likely to stay in a place of gratitude instead of moving into suffering. For some time thereafter, I used “Stay in the present and stop thinking” as a mantra whenever negative thought processes began. I found it to be a very effective technique in quieting my mind and shifting my focus.

 

Posted for Challenges for Growth Prompt #8: Stop (Repetitive) Thinking

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #7: I Unplug

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I unplug

This week’s challenge is:

“Today I unplug.”

Don’t panic. I’m not talking about totally unplugging. But think of how much time during the day you spend engaged with emails, texting, instant messages, Facebook, Instagram, Linked-In, Twitter, Snapshot, surfing the Internet, video gaming, online shopping, talking on the phone, etc.  Bloggers, how much additional time do you spend reading or writing blog posts, or looking at your stats? What would you think and feel if you no longer had access to a phone, laptop or other electronic device? Does the thought of not having those things bring you a sense of relief, panic or something else?

For 1, 2, 3 days or longer commit to unplugging for some period of time. Pick a time of day when you normally use those devices and then set an amount of time to unplug that would challenge you, but not set you up for failure.

Sometime during the week, write a post about some aspect of this topic or about experiences you had when you unplugged. Feel free to use whatever form you desire: i.e., prose, story, poem, photograph, etc.  (If you don’t have a blog, please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.)

 

General Prompt Information:

New prompts will be posted at 5 a.m. (PST) every Wednesday.

Since it is easier to make behavioral changes if we focus on them one day at a time, each of the weekly challenges will start with “Today, I focus on…….” It will be up to you to decide how long you want to focus on a particular challenge— one, two, three days or even longer. At some point during the week, publish a post that relates in some way to the subject of the week.

Link your post back to this prompt post. If the pingback doesn’t work, then leave the link to your post in the comment section below.  Be sure to include “Challenge for Growth Prompts” as one of your tags.

Throughout the week, I will publish the links for the posts that were created as the result of this prompt.  I will also post the links from those who participated the previous week. That way they will be seen by anyone who comes to this page.



This week’s contributors to I unplug:

Challenges for growth prompts/unplug- Annette’s place

Unplugged- Home and Loving It

I Unplugged!- Living, Learning and Letting Go

OFF- Nik’s Place

How about you?

Last week’s contributors to I listen attentively:

I Hear You- Nik’s Place

Please Listen to Me- Living, Learning and Letting Go

Challenge for Growth Prompt #6- Home and Loving It

Challenge for growth prompts/#6- Annette’s Place



I am Love

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

 

I

am

Love.

When I know

I am Love,

my heart opens to myself,

and to others.

I do not always act like

I am Love.

I do not always feel like

I am Love.

But I know deep inside of me

I am Love.

Love is not about doing what

everyone else wants me to do.

Sometimes Love is about

setting limits.

Sometimes Love is about

saying NO.

Love has many forms.

I am Love,

you are Love,

we are

Love.

 

Written for Challenge for Growth Prompt #5: I am Love

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

Challenge for Growth Prompts: First Month’s Summary

20150726_193653The first Challenge for Growth Prompt was published on January 6, 2016.  Since then there have been three more.  I realize many of you may not have seen the posts that were written by those who participated, so have decided to publish a summary at the end of each month.  I hope you enjoy reading them.

I give thanks to all of you who contributed to some or all of January’s challenges, whether it was by publishing a post, by reading the posts published by others or by reading and thinking about the challenge topics.

Know that everyone is still welcome to write posts for any of these challenges.  If you decide to do that, I will add your contribution to the appropriate challenge page and to the monthly summary.

Challenge for Growth Prompt #1: Needs vs Wants

The Bliss We Seek- The Seeker’s Dungeon

2016 Needs- Self Therapy

Needs vs Wants (Haibun)- Traces of the Soul

Resolve- Dream Cloud Diaries

Compassion’s Desires (Haibun)- Tournesol dans un Jardin

Are My Trips to Amritapuri Fulfilling a Need or a Want?- Living, Learning and Letting Go

The Needing Want- Nik’s Place

Needs vs Wants- Journey of a Warrior Womyn

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #2: Looking for the Good in Others

On Humans and Humanity- The Seeker’s Dungeon

Today I look for the good qualities in others- Journey of a Warrior Womyn

There is No “Other”- Living, Learning and Letting Go

Khuśiyōm Kī Bahār- Living, Learning and Letting Go

Through the Shadows- Nik’s Place

finding the light side (free verse)- Traces of the Soul

Challenge for Growth Prompt #2- Annette’s Place

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #3: Learning to Be

What Does It Mean to Be? – Living, Learning and Letting Go

Painting Our Illusions- Where Love Meets War

Failure to Be- Nik’s Place

Being Her True Self- Traces of the Soul

Learning to Be- Journey of a Warrior Womyn

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #4: Think Before Saying Yes or No

The Making of Yes- Nik’s Place

And to the World I Say- Where Love Meets War

Why Do We Behave the Way We Do?- Living, Learning and Letting Go

 

The next challenge will be posted at 5:00 a.m. (PST) tomorrow!