twelve months of bliss

Twelve Months of Bliss – September Recap & Linkup

September 30, 2015

Did I lose a bunch of you all on this challenge? It’s okay, you can be honest. I think I lost even myself for quite a few days for this one but not because it was hard to do, to stretch, but because IT’S BORING. Seriously, stretching is totally boring. Even though I KNOW it’s good for me and truly does help me feel better, sleep better, slow down, think more clearly, etc. etc. etc. I know that stretching, especially when done consistently, is a good thing for my mind, body, and soul. Those things have been proven over and over again, but you know? Until I’m about 10 minutes into it, I just have no desire at ALL to be doing it. I’m so used to go-go-going all day that when I force myself to slow down for 30 minutes to do something I know is good for myself, it’s really tough.

I want all the benefits stretching & quiet time can bring but I just don’t want to do the work to get there, because it’s not fun.

(There. I said it.) And there you go- that’s my problem. 

I think sometimes – when we really want something, when we really crave something – we secretly hope it will just happen. We pray for patience and hope that God will just BAM- give us patience. We pray for more time in the day to get either more things done or to just have that time to relax – and we hope that BAM- there will magically be more hours in the day. I’ve been there – I have prayed for these things and secretly hoped God would just make them so, but we all know it’s not how it works. Instead, we pray for patience and He gives us a situation or opportunity in which we can CHOOSE to practice patience. We pray for more time in which to relax or get certain things done and He gives us the opportunity in which we can CHOOSE to reprioritize our time and tasks. Are you noticing something here? We have the power to CHOOSE the things we want in our lives. This doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy – in fact, I’m willing to bet that 99% of the time, making those choices – in the beginning – is going to be freaking hard. (Or it might be really boring and not what we’re used to.) But then after awhile, once we’ve made that new choice over and over and over again – it becomes a new habit that we are now familiar with and yes- we are granted the change we have been craving, whether it’s more patience, fewer restless nights, pants that don’t fit so tight, or more time to do whatever we’ve been wanting to do.
This isn’t to say I didn’t attempt this challenge at all – there were many days I forced myself to the floor to stretch, even when I didn’t feel like it. Even when I had a million things to do. Even when I told myself that my body felt totally stretched- I must have don’t it in my sleep! I can skip it today! πŸ˜‰ Each time I took the time – made the time – to stretch, I began to realize that I was honoring a deeper part of myself. I was taking care of myself and I was choosing to work to help myself. 
Stretching really helped me center my thoughts; helped me come back down to earth – especially on those busy days. No, it didn’t just happen as soon as I made the decision to get on the floor and stretch… it usually took the entire 10 minutes of me stretching before I felt the stress fade away and my mind calm, but it did happen. And not only was I sleeping better at night, but my mornings and days seemed to run more smoothly too.
This month’s challenge may not have been totally fun or life-changing for you (it wasn’t for me) but it did remind me that yes, I have the power to choose the things I want for myself in my life. The quote I tied to this challenge was “do it with passion or not at all” and I swear, that quote came back to haunt me about halfway through the month. I realized that even though I was working really hard, I’d lost some of the passion I’d once had for important things in my life… and that it was definitely time to bring that back. This month’s challenge was a nice little kick in the rear… one I clearly needed.

Now it’s your time to share your feedback from this month’s challenge. Link up your thoughts below & don’t forget to check the Twelve Months of Bliss page in a few days for next month’s challenge!


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  • Yes, it was a bit hard this month. Especially in the mornings when I needed to be up and out of here. But, the commitment to do it was a real challenge because like you said, it is good for us. And, how often do we put everything else above ourselves when we know how good it would be for us and others because of the frame of mind it puts us in. I just hope I for one can stick with it.

    • I just read your post, Michelle – I am SO happy you were able to get through this challenge and find the benefits of it. (You just might be the only one who actually followed through!) As I was writing this recap, I wondered if maybe I’d chosen the wrong challenge… I wondered if there would be anyone who got through it and really felt the change it was supposed to bring. After reading your recap, I’m glad I kept it in there πŸ˜‰

  • I was a lost cause on this challenge. Not because I shouldn’t stretch, my physical therapist says so. Not because I couldn’t take the few minutes to pause, stretch, reflect, etc. because I should. Nope. I just didn’t.
    Thank you for the reminder that it is a choice. I think technology has made us all such “instant gratification ” folks that we don’t choose to slow down. This month I have even failed some days to connect with Jesus first thing in the morning reading my Jesus Calling book and doing my today I pray journal. It’s been a hectic month. Thank you for the reminder that it is a choice and the quote “do it with passion or not at all” because really this is applying to my life on so many levels right now.

    • Lady, you hit the nail on the head! I totally agree with you- the whole “instant gratification” thing. But the great thing is that we can choose differently today, and tomorrow. We can start new each day.

      ps- I LOVE the Jesus Calling book πŸ™‚

  • I totally flopped this month, too. (It’s comforting to see I was in good company.) I would’ve liked to wake up and stretch every morning, but I’m still working on the “waking up” part πŸ™ While I didn’t do so hot in Sept, I hope that I remember this challenge and force myself to the floor to stretch through the fall and winter months!

    • Same! The times I actually followed through, I felt SO great going to bed that night and also starting my day. That’s what I need to remember – sometimes the things that are best for us are hard to “get into” – but it is possible. And obviously worth it πŸ™‚

  • Yes! Stretching is TOTALLY amazing for you and benefits your body, your mind, and your spirit in so many ways! So glad you make the effort!

  • chall1018

    Love love love this post! And I can totally relate on the wanting something, but not wanting to work for it. Such a great reminder.

    • It also totally pertains to my fitness in general. I’ll be really good for a few weeks and then one or two days of not doing it and then before I know it, a month has gone by. gah!

  • So good, Em. And…I’ve been doing these challenges, just journaling them, not blogging. Love reading everyone’s posts, and maybe I’ll share eventually. Just felt like this was one for just me. πŸ™‚

  • I so understand what you are saying here. I always stretch in the morning but not necessarily at night. Thus, the challenge became about making time to do it at night. Sometimes I was good, sometimes I wasn’t. I think this wa a great challenge. Stretching daily is often the only homework I give clients during our first meeting and yesterday one reported she had been doing it daily and was feeling a difference – so I guess we could also include her in the challenge!! πŸ™‚

    • Really?! So cool that it’s “hw” for your clients – I can totally see why! πŸ™‚ Yes- bring her on board!! πŸ˜‰

  • I am going to try your challenge this month, but loving this post where you talked about the choices we make. I am learning that there are a lot of things that God promises to us by following Him because He shows us that its better to make a particular choice, and when we do we can declare His promises. I just love how you worded it because it really does go back to decisions we make daily with a lot of things. I remember asking for patience, not realizing that meant I was asking to face a situation where I had to wait. Haha! I don’t think I’ll ask for that again, I’ll just use what I’ve got πŸ™‚

    • Yes, I think the lesson of asking for patience is a popular and important one… feels like a trick, haha!

      So glad you’re going to do October’s challenge! πŸ™‚