Monday, November 3, 2014

"I put a spell on you"- November's Challenge

Can you believe it's November already?!?! I don't know about you, but the years seem to go faster with age. I hope you all had a spooktacular Halloween and took advantage of the extra hour in your day. I know soaked up the clocks turning back, but I can also say this was the first year (since I can remember) I didn't celebrate Halloween on Halloween weekend (don't all gasp at once). It felt kinda weird not going out or dressing up but honestly I think I needed a weekend to recharge my batteries and just chill. I'm slowing starting to warm up to the idea that I don't always have to be doing something and this weekend was a perfect demonstration. Although, I can't say I haven't done any Halloweenie celebrating this year because I did dress up as Dorothy last weekend in Colorado and of course had a blast revising the Wizzard of Oz storyline. A short summary for all you curious Georges' would go something like this: a bed falls on the witch (instead of a house), Dorothy fell down the stairs (instead of in a twister), and "we're not in Wisconsin anymore" in place of Kansas. Not sure my version would be a mega blockbuster hit but nonetheless it produced a lot of laughs and let's be real, laughing is the best. 

Now that Halloween has passed and November is upon us (which here in Wisconsin means winter will shortly be a reality) Thanksgiving is lurking right around the corner. During my time of R&R this weekend I started reading a new book called "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. It's amazing how things come together at the most ideal times, because since my last birthday I vowed to have monthly challenges but was having trouble thinking about what I should do for November. October was push something new and I challenged myself to ride in my first 30-mile bike race (scratch that, my first bike race ever) and September was repeat it, meaning challenge myself again to something I had done in the past. This coincided with me running a half-marathon for the second time this year. BUT back to my original thought of finding something for November, as I was reading The Four Agreements it explained how the way we communicate to others is an example of us "putting our spells on people." You might be asking, what does that mean? Well I'm paraphrasing here, but essentially it boils down to how our words/the dialogue we use reflects not only how we feel about ourselves but also how it impacts others by hearing and potentially accepting what you're putting out there.

When you cast negative words (or what I would refer to as negative energy) what you find is that you're putting a spell on someone AND also yourself! In the 4A's (we'll just shorten it), Ruiz uses the analogy of 'your word' as the tool of magic that represents a double-edged sword. He adds that YOU have the power to create something beautiful and at the same YOU possess the ability to destroy through the words you choose.

Reading this got me thinking about this months challenge. Given its the month of Thanksgiving where there's almost an underlying advertisement for encouraging thoughts about what you're thankful for, I want to take it a step further. I started to think about the idea of casting a spell with your words and how that translates into how we cast spells with our actions OR lack of action. By all means I am nowhere near the perfect friend, daughter, or wife, and I don't pretend to be those things. On the flip side, I also need to invest in those things because that is what is important in my life. I also want to include the way I could be a better "stranger" by doing random acts of kindness or small acts of casting positive spells. Therefore, this months November challenge is about not only acknowledging your gratitude but more importantly you spreading it to others. Spread it so the positive virus infects others and creates a need to be contagious with love and kindness.

So I want to ask all of you readers to join me in November's "Cast a spell" challenge by intentionally doing one thing a day for the entire month that would be for someone else. This could mean you sending a text message to a friend telling them how appreciative you are of them or it could be as simple as holding the door for a stranger. Maybe it's smiling at someone walking past you on the street or cooking your family their favorite meal. How do YOU cast your spell with your words AND actions?

So please join me in this months challenge of 'Cast a Spell' and let's revisit this come December. I would even encourage you to keep a little log of what you did each day and maybe see if it changes something for you (mood, energy, etc).

Are you up for the November challenge? Any ideas that come to mind already? Feel free to leave a comment below if you want to commit to the month OR share your thoughts as you're doing it! And if you're liking what you're reading and haven't done so already, please subscribe to Life à la Carte through your email on the right hand side of the page. Thanks for your readership and good luck!!!

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