I just finished cleaning my living room. Which I hadn’t done in about 100 days…because I picked a ridiculously ambitious 100-Day Gong in September that took up to 3 hours a day.
On top of my work.
And my raising a family.
Well, I completed it with flying colors and my husband was so proud of me that he gave me a PLAQUE and poured me WINE!
If you’re wondering what a 100-Day Gong is, TaoistPath.com explains a Gong as:
A Gong in Chinese is a designated amount of time that you allot to perform a specific task daily. For example, knowing that it takes at least 90 days for a particular good habit to “burn into” your nervous system, the 100 Day Gong is the most appropriate length to practice. This means that we pick a particular practice (or set of practices) and designate them as our Gong and we diligently practice them every day for 100 days without fail. This means that if you miss a day, even if its day 99, you start over. Not only does this build resolve, it forces us to wake up and pay attention to our day-to-day routines. It is incredibly painful when you miss day 46, for instance, and have to start over. At first you try to make excuses to yourself about how it was OK and how you’ll just keep going, but then, a deal is a deal…you start over. Next round, you pay attention! It is a wonderful way of not only building focus and determination, but also to ensure that you train regularly. It is a dedicated act of self-love that snaps you out of your daily trance and brings the light of awareness to your consciousness. The more we practice, the more we wake up and the better off we are.
As we start our new Gong on December 15th, some folks have asked me to share how to narrow it down?
The common temptation is to do too much. To put everything you’ve been avoiding and feeling guilty about for the last 12 years, into your daily gong only to make yourself miserable for the next 100 days.
We’re not doing that-o.
So, here’s how I’m choosing this Gong for myself:
I’m recognizing the season that is going on around me — and within me.
My dear and wise, friend/mentor/sage, Lyndia, told me this past August — when I expressed my enthusiasm to really dig into a Gong in an ambitious way, “It’s because this is really the New Year coming up in September.”
She went on to explain the Fall is often recognized by different cultures as the true ‘New Year’ and that in January, when most people are setting New Year’s resolutions, the season of life is still, barren, and the ground is hard. It’s not a time to plant seeds. It’s not a time when life is naturally flourishing. The season is one of rest in nature.
No wonder when I set all those strong New Year’s resolutions, I am overwhelmed by Day 2.
Yet, in the Fall, like this past Fall, when I was feeling all frisky, it was the perfect time to pick a more involved and energetic set of disciplines. It felt like the wind was at my back and that I could handle much more.
But right now, in mid-December, I don’t have the same get-up-and-go. I want to nest and invest — and have a time to reflect.
I didn’t mean to sound like Jesse Jackson right there. Sorry about that.
In light of how my inner life is craving a more thoughtful pace, I am going to honor that.
So, instead of 3 hours a day, I’m doing 1 hour a day, six days a week.
The elements I’ve chosen are:
Like I said, these are going to be for 6 days a week and on the 7th, I will rest from all my labor and enjoy a Sabbath, of sorts, where I apply the energy of trust to my rest — that the whole world will not fall apart if I’m not running on my hamster wheel.
That’s how I’ve made my choices for this Gong.
I’m not sure what it is for you. That’s your pleasure and purpose to explore.
For my husband Rock, we came up with:
Body — exercise 15 minutes a day.
Business — do something toward our business 30 minutes a day.
Being — positive affirmations and visualizations 5 minutes a day.
He liked it. Mostly because he chose the most ridiculously, ridiculous Gong 100 days ago and was so daunted by the list, he didn’t even want to look at it, let alone do it.
Not doing that-o.
Whether you choose knitting or reading or writing or meditating or yoga or whatever you’re thinking, do it with respect to you.
Choose it, not from a place of condemnation for what you haven’t been or done,
but from a place of listening and letting yourself be happy about it.
Two bonus items: On top of my Gong sheets (where I marked my daily progress), I wrote these words last time:
“I am in charge of my own happiness.”
and I adapted, Liz Gilbert’s mom’s phrase, “Done is better than good.” And I wrote:
“Done is better than perfect.”
Those two thoughts really served me because they restored to me my sense of power (“I am in charge of my own happiness.”) and allowed me to let go of my perfectionism (“Done is better than perfect.”)
So, whatever you choose to do, IF you choose to do it, I send you good energy and light.
And if you’re absolutely ALL-IN (no looky-loos) and want to join my little 100-Day Gong group, please request to join us.
Sending you love as you take on your life because that’s ultimately what a Gong is — it’s a focused, committed 100-Day version of the life you really want to live.
The life you know you’re here for.
Hope to see you in the group!
In the meantime, be good to you —