We’ve made it halfway through Baron Baptiste’s 40 Days to Personal Revolution program at EPY! This is my first time participating in 40 Days, and it’s everything I hoped for and more. I’m participating at the Harrisburg studio, and I’m here to share my biggest takeaways from the program so far.
Why did I decide to participate?
This program came at a perfect time in my life. I moved to Harrisburg at the end of 2018 after graduating from college with my first full-time job in a brand new city. Fast forward a year later: I decided to leave my job in search of a career that fuels my passions and fulfills me 100%.
I quickly realized that I didn’t know what that would be, and a wave of self-doubt and discouragement poured over me. It was then that EPY Harrisburg’s 40 Days leader Jackie Brow explained how the program could help me understand and work through this roadblock so early on in my career.
She had me hooked!
Although I had a frequent yoga practice instilled in my routine and I understood the importance of a healthy diet, I never considered integrating the other two aspects of the 40 Days program into my life: self-inquiry and meditation.
It’s amazing how each aspect of the program supplements and complements each other so well – especially after just 3 weeks! Below are just a few of my many takeaways from 40 Days thus far:
The Power of Journaling
I’ve always tried to get into journaling, but it never stuck. This will likely change after 40 Days! Each week, we’re assigned a reading about the intentions we should be focusing on throughout the week in our practice, meditation, and nutrition, and at the end, there are a handful of self-inquiry questions for us to answer.
These questions give us a chance to take a deeper look into the WHYs and WHENs of how we feel about and react to situations. For me, I was able to dig up the negative thoughts that surround the decisions I make and situations I put myself in, and by writing it down, I was able to let those thoughts and feelings go. I felt free, and I continue to feel free when I write in my journal each day.
The Power of Sharing
Once a week, we meet up as a group in the EPY studio and journal on additional self-inquiry questions and share our answers with a partner or with the group.
Partner sharing is a little different than what I expected; the intention is to just speak and let your partner listen — their job isn’t to fix you or offer advice, but simply to sit there and hear you. It’s freeing on both ends — when you speak, you get your thoughts off your chest to someone that’s actually listening. On the flip side, you don’t feel the need to help their situation, but instead, just offer support by being there.
I felt the power of sharing when I hesitantly spoke up in front of the entire group. I openly admitted that I quit my job without a back-up plan and that I felt stagnant in my job search and career path. It was as simple as that; the group heard me, and I instantly felt a weight off my shoulders.
And then, the amazing sense of community that we have at EPY came into play.
After our meeting, another participant approached me saying that she’s a recruiter in the area and would be happy to help in my job search. We exchanged contact information, I passed along my resume, and BOOM – I had just gained a valuable connection for my career simply by speaking up. I’m still in awe of how this program works for you when you put in the effort.
The Power of Patience
For me, the toughest part of this program is meditating. I’m constantly thinking of what’s next: What will I eat tonight? Do I need to do laundry? I’m going to vacuum after I’m done meditating. Is this over yet? How many more minutes? My head itches. And it goes on and on and on.
However, 40 Days has given me the tools to acknowledge when those thoughts come up and just let them go. By focusing on our breath, listening to our surroundings, or bringing our attention to our “anchors” (for example, the warmth of your hands on your knees), we can get back to our center and stay in the present moment.
Each week, we add time to our meditation practice, which seems like it would be more difficult to sit still for a longer period of time. However, I found that meditating for 30 minutes/day now isn’t any harder than it was to meditate for 10 minutes/day 3 weeks ago.
I learned the art of being patient — not only is it crucial for meditating, but it’s a must for dealing with the frustrations of life. The act of sitting still and being present each day has dramatically changed how I react to real-life situations, and the first time I noticed this was while I was sitting in traffic. I was always one to get extremely annoyed with traffic jams or rowdy drivers (road rage, anyone?), but I’ve noticed that isn’t the case anymore. I’ve realized that it’s out of my control; all I can do is be patient and keep driving.
The Power of Commitment
My absolute favorite part of the program is our commitment to get on our mats every day. I would generally practice 3 times per week before 40 Days, but now I’m inspired to bump it up to at least 5 times a week, even if I’m running through a quick 20-minute Journey Into Power at home.
Of course, our group accountability sheets help drive our motivation! Each day that we practice, we can place a sticker on a chart that’s posted in the studio. I, among many others, are determined to stick all 40 stars on the chart by the end of the program!
I’ve noticed a change in my practice over the last 3 weeks — I feel stronger, even when my muscles are sore; I’m more motivated to push myself, even when my legs and arms are burning; I’m driven to try challenging poses (such as handstand), even when I fall out after 2 seconds. There’s something about doing yoga each day that inspires me to open up to what’s possible; I can’t wait to carry this through my practice for the rest of my life.
What more can I get out of 40 Days? I’m eager to find out! Stay tuned for my full program reflection at the beginning of March.