Well, it’s over. The 10 day Meditation for the Nation Challenge was completed on December 16th and I, for one, thought that it was fantastic. The timing seemed perfect, the participation was much appreciated and the meditation itself was everything I knew it would be and more. My brain always knew that if I could build a meditation practice into my daily life, I would benefit. There is TONS of evidence-based research proving that meditation improves your health and happiness. Meditation changes your brain making you more productive and compassionate. It helps you regulate your emotions and strengthens your connections to others. This is science, you guys. It’s like, really real.
Now, I know from experience that meditation makes life more manageable. Over the past week, I have been able to control my level of anxiety around my upcoming CT scan, buying and selling houses, and Christmas. My sleep improved due to meditation. Overall, I felt like a better human. Meditation put me more solidly inside myself, I guess, rather than frantically chasing after every whim and attending to every unnecessary detail.
Many of the participants in the Meditation Challenge expressed similar sentiments. The level of participation was AWESOME! I have never done anything like this before and so when I first had the idea, I had no idea how people would respond and who really would follow my lead. I was pleasantly surprised and my expectations for engagement were completely surpassed. But not only did you guys show up for the challenge, you actually did all of the meditations too. And many of you did more and are still doing them! I can’t wait to do another challenge. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted about the details of this new meditation challenge.
No challenge wrap-up is complete without a little word from our sponsors. There is no way I could have done this project with such success without the participation of the unbelievably talented artists who donated their masterpieces so that I could give their stuff to you (you lucky ducks). Just to remind you exactly who these artists were, let me say a little something about each of them.
Emily Mitchell’s paintings are colorful, vibrant and intriguing. Her art belongs in every home. Go ahead and scroll through her gallery and try not to pick something out for yourself. Seriously. Try it. I’ll wait.
See? It’s like a glass of champagne for your eyeballs.
I’m in love with Christy Witters for so many reasons, one of them being that she has a glass kiln in her basement AND traveled to fricken’ Scotland to study glass because she is so passionate about this artform. Listen, Christy has a day job, but she loooooovvves glass so much, I won’t be surprised if THAT becomes her day job one of these days! When I first saw the Mindfulnest in person I was in awe of it’s beauty. The colors are rich and bright and no two vessels are identical. Line up and wait for these to become available because her inventory flies off the shelf as soon as it’s ready!
Alloy Jewelry strolled into my life courtesy of a close friend and I’m wondering how I ever lived without it. It’s positive, meaningful, handmade, and customizable. As someone who loves to express myself with words, this jewelry company is my soul mate. If I had a different phrase to wear every day that expressed what I felt or what I needed to remind myself, I would probably be a better person. You can be a better person too. Check out Alloy Jewelry.
Finally, my step-sister Kristine Harootunian has been making stuff since she was born. She is one of those crazy people who sees something and thinks, “I can make that” and then she does. I’m one of those lazy people who sees something and says, “I should buy that.” That’s just one difference between me and her. Kristine used a laser cutter to make the leaf design earrings. She’s currently working on wedding invitations for her brother and has made a beautiful Settlers of Catan set as well. She once wrote a cookbook, makes cutting boards, quilts and can accomplish pretty much anything that inspires her! I have been benefitting from her homemade creations for about 15 years or so now, and I’m so grateful for that! Kristine doesn’t have a website, but if you have something in mind that you want to make, but don’t know where to start, let me know and I can hook you up with Kristine.
Thank you all for helping make my first 10 Day Challenge a success! I foresee more challenges in our future. Many people would like to throw 2016 out with the bathwater and are hoping that 2017 is brighter. I hope that 2017 is easier than 2016 has been, but I think we have done a good job emotionally managing what has impacted us in 2016. Look at us! We are still here. We wake up each morning and handle all the bullshit life serves up. Life has provided us with some giant lemons and we have gotten really creative with what we make. Stay with me now, as we sip our lemon drop martinis, and enjoy our lemon-scented sugar scrub: We’ve got this. 2017, we are ready for you.