Wow. I did it. Come July 15th I’d spent the previous 100 Days reconnecting to my heart through a spiritual practice called a “Gong”.
It’s not that big brass thing that you hit with a mallet — nope. This is a practice you choose to do for 100 days straight — no missing or you start over, even if you’re on Day 99.
Can you imagine what a bummer that would be?
This is not my first Gong. I can’t remember if it’s my 7th or 8th since I started in 2014. It’s made a remarkable impact on my life since the first one when I noticed that the bitchy, cranky voice in my head went away and I was hearing nice, encouraging thoughts in it’s absence. That was some kind of crazy voo-doo… how doing yoga and taking walks made my mini-dictator leave the building.
So, I kept going. And going. Inviting others to do it — and to keep going, too.
Even my youngest son: He started one when he was 12 and pooped out at a certain point. Then, when he was nearing 13, he tried again and actually completed it! To talk to him and watch him climb the mountain of certain challenges in life is really remarkable because I know he is doing it with a different dedication after the Gong, than before.
It’s because a Gong changes you.
And I don’t say that lightly.
We know that the brain responds to consistency over a certain amount of time: 3 days, 4 days — 7 days, 21 days and the ever infamous 40 days. Yes — that number has some biblical backing — but what about 90 days? How come we don’t hear a lot about that?
Well, we should because at 90 days the brain actually starts breaking and building lifelong habits so, once you hit that point, you’ve done some significant shifting in your brain!
It’s really crazy.
It’s not easy, trust me. But it’s not hard either.
I guess the best way to say it is this:
It requires something of you. It requires that you steadily and consistently do the thing that you were excited about in the beginning but get a little bored or frustrated with in the middle, and are tempted to sabotage in the end.
Once you’ve done a Gong, you start seeing that it does more than require something of you, it gives you so much.
It gives you the gift of self-trust, credibility, endurance — and it allows you to see where you have breakdowns in other areas of your life…like when you start a work project or relationship or diet — and how you act when you get to the middle — what kind of negotiations you make to talk yourself out of your word and how your brain handles the breakdown of your integrity.
That’s what’s amazing about the Gong: It becomes a mirror that shows you the ways you manage or don’t manage life. Then, because you’ve made the commitment to carry on, the consistency ends up healing the places where you used to compromise or bail out.
It’s an unbelievable gift.
This last Gong, I created an intention to reconnect to my heart. I really feel like I’ve wanted to get to know me again. It’s been an ongoing journey but these last 100 days were about taking bigger steps toward myself.
I did it through stream of consciousness journaling,
Legs up the wall
Jin Shin Jyutstu
Writing for my book.
That sounds like a lot and it is. I don’t recommend taking on a Gong that lasts an hour and a half to two hours a day, but I did.
The results were pretty cool.
Through yoga, my back and arms got stronger, my thighs lifted, my balance went out of the “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down” category and transitioned to some serious tree poses!
The Meditation made me calmer and happier, the stream of consciousness journaling was my therapy, the jin shin was my energy work and the legs up the wall was just because. It has great benefits but it’s mostly me following my inspiration on that way without a specific desired result.
But the big one? That was the book. I spent the last 100 days writing a book called “An Unconventional Life: Where Messes and Magic Collide”. They are my stories of the extraordinary found in the miracles of serendipitous encounters and dreams coming true. But they are also filled the very ordinary: The conversations with my kids or the hard times that plunged us into darkness — and the uniquely creative ways that we chose to process them.
The end result was that my book was published on the final day of my Gong.
But you know what else? There were the unexpected gifts:
The fact that I decided to go keto about 14 days into my Gong and eat that way which resulted in losing 20 more pounds. And I started dreaming about leading a retreat to Italy in Tuscany this Fall. It came to me and I processed it through my stream of consciousness journaling. I fashioned the whole thing in about a week and had people signing up by week 2.
I’m so grateful for the gifts this Gong gave me – strength, focus, brainstorming, a dream retreat to Italy, losing a total of 31 pounds, a published book and so much more.
I don’t know that I could ever fully describe the experience to someone of what it is to grow so deep in such a short time (compared to the full length of life) but I would highly encourage them to get to know themselves through this wildly beautiful and controversial experience called a 100-Day Gong.
I would love for you to enjoy my wonderful, inspiring, funny and insightful new book: An Unconventional Life: Where Messes and Magic Collide.
It’s come from a special place in my heart and I’d love for it to find a special place inside yours.