I know this is going to sound strange but:
the first 85 days of my Gong FLEW by.
Felt basically easy and fine and like, “Hey. No problem. I’ve got this.”
I realized about Day 5 that I had picked quite an ambitious 100 Day Gong:
Five practices that I conveniently and poetically used alliteration to define:
For my Peace: Yoga, 5-7 days a week
For my Purpose: Writing 1 hour, 5-7 days a week
For my Pleasure: Reading 15 minutes a day
For my Passion: Studying Italian 15 minutes a day
For my Project: Decluttering 15 minutes a day
Between going to yoga class and writing an hour a day and then, the other practices that took another 45 minutes, my gong was taking around 3-3 1/2 hours a day for 5 of the days.
It was a lot.
Seeing as I also coach clients, take care of my health, and take care of a family.
But all of these things mattered to me prior to the Gong. Some items I was inconsistent with and others I hadn’t even done anything about. My life was on the back burner.
The Gong brought them to the front burner
— and turned on the heat.
It was great.
My body and peace were shifting from the yoga.
My writing productivity jumped through the roof.
My Italian verbs were conjugating.
My e-mail decluttering.
And the books I was reading were actually finishing.
It was all good.
Until around day 85. Someone physically hurt my youngest child at school. Followed by Grandparent’s Day Celebration, followed by Thanksgiving.
Followed by a gall bladder attack, my period, and the flu.
I was looking at my little Gong chart on my refrigerator — the one where I write a heart in each box for the completed tasks — and I was pissed…
And really resentful.
I had gone too far to stop. (Because once you miss a day, you have to start over at Day One.)
And I had a team of people I was leading through this.
And I really wanted that unforeseen prize at the end of the 100 Days.
Because I know that’s what happens: You do your work, you get the results you expected,
You get this bonus prize that life just gives you when you’ve invested yourself and follow through. It’s something of a compound interest on your investment. A lesson that never leaves you, a wisdom that transforms your life, a sense of inner strength and stability that allows you to take on the next amazing phase of life…
and on and on.
I didn’t want to miss any of that.
So, here I am. Day 95. Loopy from the flu, still dealing with issues around the child who hurt my child, Winter Festival approaching (in which our family is singing.) And on and on and on…
Life is feeling a little like one long ellipses.
I have 5 days left. This isn’t impossible. (Which isn’t the point and I’ll explain why a little later).
But here’s something I’m aware of: Life patterns play out in real life. So, I am looking at these patterns: My strong start. My steady plodding. And my frustrating ending.
This is a pattern I’ve had in life. When I finished my book Bloom Beautiful, I was ready to throw it all out the window when it only had a couple of more steps to go. My friend, Tracy Panzarella, pulled me out of the fire and said, “Oh no, you don’t. You’re not leaving this house until this book is done.”
I kid you not, 8 hours later I was allowed to leave.
Now Bloom Beautiful has made thousands of people happy — all over the world — through the book and the iPhone app.
AND it gave me experience to do my book the following year, “You’re Not Crazy and You’re Not Alone.”
So, finishing that book (when I wanted to quit) gave me WAY MORE than it required of me. But it was so worth it. I don’t even remember the suffering of it. It’s vague and vacant — sort of like labor pains from your first child. When you go through 60 hours of back labor all you feel is the pain — until you have that baby in your arms — then you feel the love. The love that cost you something, yes, but the cost is so inconsequential compared to the depth of the adoration you have for your child.
Why do I share this today?
1. Because it’s Day 95.
2. Because I committed to write an hour today to complete my Gong.
3. Because I know that, for me, getting through the resentful feelings happens when:
I do what I need to do
and I tattle on myself.
So, letting you know that I’m so fussy and pissy kinda dispels the power of the negative emotions, makes it all seem so First-World-Problem kind of silly, and gives me that boost to cross the finish line.
And I will share this thing about the Gong:
As tempting as it is to do a countdown on how many days are left, my being won’t let me. So, there’s no consolation of “It’s just five more days.” Because it’s not about that:
The point of the Gong isn’t about the last day, it’s about every day.
That’s the point of life, too. It’s not all about how you exit, it’s about how you lived.
The Gong is my life. Life is my Gong.
Whatever I’m committed to in my day reflects my heart, passion, fears, strength, purpose, patterns, beliefs, stories — and what I’m committed to — in whatever direction — is what yields results in my life.
As Annie Dillard said, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”
This Gong has focused me to spend my days in a direction that I value and respect.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
It has given me so much more than it’s required of me.
I’m grateful for this Gong.
To read more about a 100 Day Gong.