HI READER HI FRIEND I SEE U THERE (੭ु ‾᷄ᗣ‾᷅ )੭ु⁾⁾
…For the most part, people are trying to progress towards change of some sort–good change–change that provides reassurance that life will only begin to be fuller and make more sense.
That’s why people have resolutions to make personal life improvements every new year. A resolution is basically a resolve to do something. Yet, a resolution doesn’t necessarily involve anyone else and if you–ya know, sorta fail the resolution, it seems more easy to dismiss the responsibility of that since it’s become such a mainstream term with lax rules. So, I’d like to propose we use the word “challenge.”
Challenges are a call to engage in a task, a battle if you will, and so you need more than just the drive to do something. You need strength. And inherently, there’s greater risk, but if a challenge is accepted, there’s greater motivation as well. Challenges also involve accountability, the idea that if you fail, someone will be there to encourage and motivate you, even if that someone is you.
These challenges listed below, are going to be focused primarily on two things:
- outward response
Self-reflection, no matter what 16 personality type you are (and imo those things should be taken with a grain of salt) is necessary and vitalizing. Without a conscious sitting down and thinking about who you are, what you say, and how you act, you’re basically spinning in circles. You’re living life like a little toy train sitting on the tracks of society, going where’s it’s going cus’ that’s what it knows, and that’s what it’s supposed to do.
Imagine going to Disneyland every day and you’re like ohmygosh happiest place on the earth, but you just keep going and you don’t get to sit down and think about how fun it was or how happy your friend was when you bought her a Dole whip or how you should never go on the teacup ride again ‘cus it feels like u done been in a blender. That’s life without self-reflection. You keep going, but you don’t really know why you do. And sometimes, you burnout.
Now, now, outward response is the baby of self-reflection. So you’ve done your periodic sit down and think about life thing, and now you gotta do something. I can’t say for sure who you want to be and how you want to live your life, but once you figure that out, your response naturally, hopefully should be a hard-core attempt to make those thoughts a reality.
So now that that’s hashed out, I’ll begin my list. Maybe some of these don’t mean much to you, so sure replace them or whatnot, but they’re pretty general, but powerful things you can do. This isn’t meant to be a personal list of resolutions for you to follow, but a challenge as a broader community to create some beauty and kindness in the world…to make Disney more of a reality.
And so, I challenge you:
January: Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep
Starting out the year easy with this one. Unless, of course you have a serious time finding joy in what you do, it that case, you got dis my friend, you can do it. Ever heard of the song “Count Your Blessings” from the classic White Christmas? Like whoa, dat nice sultry Bing Crosby voice paired with dat rich Rosemary Clooney voice. *swoon* Anyways, pretty self-explanatory, count your blessings daily or weekly to ease your worry. We aren’t just looking towards the future, we’re remembering the good things past.
February: Tell someone you “I love you” and add at least 3 reasons why.
This is in an effort to take responsibility for your words, and in doing so, they’ll mean so much more. For extra points give them a CREW. If any of y’all have taken a writing course of some sort this may seem familiar to you, *holla atchu muir writing peeps* and while it’s a pain in the butt to write sometimes, it gives some pretty solid backup for your words. Essentially, the parts are C for CLAIM, R for REASON, E for EVIDENCE, and W for WARRANT. So I’ll start for you: Your claim is-“I love you.”
Now, it’s up to you to figure out what else goes with that.
**On a side note, as February is the month of Valentine’s Day it’s easy for people to get caught up in the whole #singleawareness thang. BUT EXCUSE ME THERE ARE MANY OTHER GRATIFYING & DESIRABLE FORMS OF LOVE BESIDES ROMANTIC LOVE. So, bruh, if you’re single don’t feel sorry for yourself…there’s maternal love, paternal love, companionate love, friendship love, mypetisloyalandthereforelovesme love and so forth. Go love someone out there who needs it, and that ain’t just you. 😉 And, if your claim is going towards a romantic love interest, no shame my friend, just remember to thank your lover for stimulating your prefrontal cortex and you can use that as evidence of your love…you’re very welcome.
March: Helping the Homeless
I once wrote a college application essay on the plight of the homeless and the stigma they face in society. Yet, despite numerous visits with the homeless, I still struggled to form a concrete way to help every homeless person I saw 1) because I’m a girl and with that comes some vulnerabilities to be on the street 2) I had nothing to offer in the moment
This past winter break, this is something I thought about so, so much as I walked the streets of San Francisco and St. Louis and saw so many people holding cardboard signs or just wandering the streets. My sister and I would look at each other and say, “What can we do about this?” There was one sign in SF that just broke my heart. It read, “If you’re looking at this, you’re doing better than most.” As I read the sign, I watched floods of people walk down Union Square without even glancing at the sign nor the man behind it.
There are many ways to share our resources for the homeless, but I’ll just share one simple thing. My college group back at my home church got together one day to make dozens of homeless care-packages.
Not a new idea, but a good one. Always keep one accessible in your car and if you can, get a group of people to deliver them personally. Then, sit down and talk to the homeless like they are real people because they are. They are just as worthy of your time as you’re worthy of theirs. The only thing that separate you two are material items they just don’t happen to have.
(disclaimer: I know there is some distaste for the use of the word “homeless,” but for actual displaced people, they generally do not have a problem with this term)
April: Ask for “potentials”
I don’t mean dates. Sooooooo basically here’s the 1/3 mark of the year, which means maybe you’ve grown, but also you could use some pointers. This one will be tough, but it’ll be conducive to growth. Ask a few trustworthy people you are close to for some “potentials” (things you could grow in) a.k.a. a euphemism for weaknesses. We like to think we’re really good people, but the truth is we’re probably pretty ugly sometimes.
Before you do this, make sure you choose the right people. More than one because then you’ve more credibility and consistency with what you’re being told. Think of it through this analogy–
Say you got a hunka-galore spinach on your teeth, and well, you wanna get it out rather then let it stank there forever no? yes, yes. BUT don’t choose that friend that will be like “HEY GIRL, YOU GOT A HUGE PIECE OF NASTY SPINACH ON YOUR FRONT MOLAR!” because then u will be highkey publically embarassed and that just ain’t necessary. And don’t choose that friend who will be like “gosh, you’ve got a spinach on your teeth, you’re disgusting” because then they’re just judging you. Choose that friend who says, “Hey *insert name*, you’ve got some spinach in your teeth, here’s a mirror and napkin to help you get it out.” These friends are winners because they provide you an honest reflection of what you look like and a tool to help you change.
Yes, this will be hard, but it’s time to let that pride down.
May: April Showers Bring May Flowers
So go pick some flowers, succulents, or live plants and spontaneously give it away. Pick a name out of a hat if you will. Personally, whenever my sister unexpectedly delivers flowers to me, it makes that day all the more beautiful. The sentiment behind the flowers is, “I’m thinking about you and care that you’re alive.”
June: Think About What You Do & Why You Do It
A mid-year weekly reflection of what you do & why you do it, so you can determine if you want to stay on the same route or take a new turn. Example template:
1). What I’ve Learned 2). What Goals I have 3). Disappointments 4). Game-changers 5) Most reoccurring thoughts 6) What I Would Change
July: Hit up the Museum or Park
Here we are in the summer with a bit of extra time I’d say, and what better chance to explore a new alcove? Whether you’re a city or sights person, or both, I’d check out some of these places and write at least a paragraph of the stream of consciousness you had viewing a piece of art or a tree. Sounds like a class assignment? Well, you’re in some pretty sweet classes. Some of my favs in Cali (museum, then park): Lacma, The Getty, Griffith Observatory, Air & Space Museum, Torrey Pines, Lands End, Yosemite, and Eaton Canyon
August: Pick up a new skill or learn about a topic
Stimulation is key for growth. Add to your repertoire by learning something wildly funny/useful or confront that urge you have to answer the question to “Who invented popcorn?” (the answer ain’t Orville) or “Why are beautiful people not attracted to ugly people, and what is beauty?
September: HAVE A DANCE PARTY
By yourself, with your roomies, with your fam, your co-workers…don’t contain that energy. Put the music on and tell everyone, “Hey, let’s just appreciate the fact that we’re alive and celebrate every little thing we got in life.” It’s like you’re choosing to be so joyful and your expression of that means dancing because in dancing you’re letting that excitement out!!!!!! ┌(・。・)┘♪
October: Treat Yoself Right
And here’s the bit I gotta insert about health. ‘Cus health is wealth lemme just tell you that. So every day, or okay, every week go to bed an hour earlier than you normally do. Then de-stress however you best do that! Drink lotso water ‘cus water is life & water is 70% of yo body so iz important! Try making some avocado pasta or eating unprocessed snacks (like fruit hi). Then jump daily in the air, go to the gym, and find some people to hug for 30 seconds 9 times a day to release those endorphins 😀
November: Feed Off the Creativity Around You
Creativity is a powerful tool if used right. It can also go nicely with collaboration. This can mean being gutsy and asking someone to film that YouTube video with you, starting a club together, or formulating a way to bring efficiency to long lines. On the other hand, if you’re stuck in a creative rut, ask 3 people a few simple questions to gain insight about how they brainstorm and carry out new, non-traditional ideas. Suggestions:
- What things or places do you explore?
- What are some of your greatest ideas and how have you seen them play out?
December: Think of One Thing You Want & Need, Then Give It To Someone Else
Oooh, but painful. Do it man. To truly experience the spirit
of giving is to understand sacrifice. But don’t just give someone the gift so you can use it. And really don’t if they will never use it or like it.
AND THAZ IT! Thanks for tuning in. Let me know periodically which challenges you complete. Feel free to do them all at once or out of order, and just know, I’ll be doing them with you!
Peace & Potaters,