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A mindfulness practice
inspired by The Hero’s Journey.
Whether as part of a religious observance, like Lent, or just because twelve weeks sounds like a lot, this shorter version of my Thirty Minute Life Change program is perfect when you want to up your mindfulness game for just a few weeks, or during a special season of reflection.
Beginning on your chosen start date, you’ll “unlock” three ten minute activities each week: a guided meditation, a vinyasa yoga practice and a ten minute journal prompt — often taken from a religious text that relates to the week’s theme.
The Hero’s Journey
The Hero’s Journey or “monomyth” is the real tale as old as time. In it, the hero (that’s you!) hears a call (that’s this!) and chooses to answer it, crossing from the safety of her known world into the unknown. As we loosely follow this structure, set out most famously in Joseph Campbell’s book of the same name, we will step out together, eventually returning home to live a richer, fuller, more purposeful life.
Three Mindfulness Modalities.
One Integrated Program.
Every week, beginning on your chosen start date, you’ll unlock three 10 minutes exercises:
An all-levels ten-minute Vinyasa flow.
Improve your flexibility, strength and balance, while also reducing stress and anxiety
A ten-minute guided meditation to help focus your mind, increase your awareness and to find inner peace.
A journal prompt, from which you write for 10 minutes to help reflect and process on each week’s themes.
Spiritual. Not Religious.
My inspiration for this version of the course was the Christian season of Lent, which — as a lifelong Episcopalian — I have observed in varying degrees all my life. In fact, it was a Lenten observance in 2000 that led me to begin a regular weekly yoga practice.
That said, I have created this course to be spiritual, but not geared toward any single religion. There will be quotes from the Bible here and there, but I have also sought out quotes from other religious and secular texts to support each week’s theme.
Why Forty Days?
Forty is a kind of magic number in many religious and spiritual traditions. It is the length of the observance of Lent, yes, but the Old Testament is riddled with “40 days and nights” (Moses on Mt. Sinai and Noah on the Ark) … plus the number also shows up in Sumerian, Islam, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh traditions. (Source: Wikipedia)
As a result, I’ve very deliberate to offer a mindfulness program that is ideally appropriate for any your personal tradition, even if that’s more Agnostic than aligned with any one faith. I also find that my own religious practice is only deepened when I broaden my view.
What is the time commitment?
That’s mostly up to you! I think we will all see the most benefit if we practice all three activities every day — whether all at once or spread throughout the day: maybe ten minutes in the morning, midday and before bed.
That said, sometimes life gets in the way. It is best to set your intention and schedule your ten minute blocks (and then stick to it), but as long as you do each activity at least once during the course of the week, I think you’ll see a benefit.
If you feel it’s only practical to carve out ten minutes a day, then you choose which activities you’ll repeat during the week. (I think it should be those that challenge you most.)
I can’t meditate! My mind wanders!
Congratulations! That means your mind works. Minds are made to think. These gently-guided meditations will help you recognize when your mind has wandered off and help you bring it back. And, just as a side note, this becomes a very helpful skill when you’re trying to concentrate in your “real” life.
Included before your course commences will also be an introductory meditation so that you can practice and get over any “jitters” you might have.
I’ve never done yoga. I can’t even touch my toes!
As one of my teachers says, “you can lead a very full and rich life never ever touching your toes.” While yoga can — and will — increase your flexibility, the point of this all-levels flow is to help you find your breath and better-align your body.
I will also include a brief (25-30 minute) introductory video before we begin the course to help you become familiar with some of the terminology and postures in advance.
That said, if you’re really brand new to vinyasa yoga, I encourage you to just watch each week’s video once before trying it. You can also pause the videos whenever you need to take a moment in child’s pose or a sip of water. And if you’re concerned about “getting credit,” you have my permission to “count” watching the yoga video (once) as part of your 30 minutes. 😉
Over the course of the week, with repetition, your familiarity will grow, and you’ll see increased confidence and mobility.
What’s the point of all this?
The point is that you need it. And so do I. Taking a few minutes every day to pause and quiet your mind will reap rewards you can’t imagine. You’ll become calmer, more grateful and more present.
I have done each of these practices on my own for many years, but I was thinking recently that I wish they were integrated: that one supported the others. So I decided to create it. For myself. And for you.
Can I do the course more than once?
Absolutely. You will be able to access the course materials for six months from your chosen start date.
How many emails will I get?
Beginning on your selected start date, you’ll receive two emails a week: one to announce the beginning of the new week and a second reminder/check-in email.
Once the course completes, you will be able to return whenever you’d like, but I will not send Ten Minutes / Forty Days reminders after your first six weeks.
When do we start?
You decide. The course will be ready for launch on February 22, 2023, so any day on or after the 22nd is great!
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