shine day 19: spark your self-acceptance with something new

Every year for my birthday, I write a list.  It is a to do list of sorts– a giant idea board of things that I want to do before my next birthday.  Sometimes, the items on that list are terribly practical (take CPR again, up my retirement savings, learn how to change a bike tire), but a lot of times the list is about encouraging me to try new things.  Through the list’s inspiration, I have learned how to surf, stand up paddle, done Pilates, started to run, gone vegetarian for a period of time, taken painting classes, etc.  The list, I like to think, keeps me living out loud and from stagnating.  It keeps me growing and experiencing.  It insures that turning a year old brings with it great possibilities, and that’s pretty awesome.

But we don’t have to reserve that type of spirit just for birthdays. In fact, one of the best ways we can move past our body hang-ups is to realize that our body and mind are just aching to try new things in the forms that they exist in RIGHT NOW.  We free our body and our mind when we don’t have to wait to lose ten pounds or grow out our hair or get married or get our degree to do good things.  And when we realize how much is possible in the body we have right now, well, the whole world shimmers with possibilities, doesn’t it?


Today, I want you to make a list of ten not so enormous (because if they are enormous, you’ll just create road blocks for yourself) things you want to try.  Maybe you’ve been waiting to try a new type of cuisine (may I recommend Ethiopian or Puerto Rican?) or to try your hand at badminton or eyeing the pool at your local YMCA or thinking about going to a movie by yourself.  After completing your list, I want you to go ahead and do one thing off your list today.

1.  What are a few of the things that made it on to your “I want to try this” list?

2.  What did you try today?  How did it go?

3.  What did you learn from this experience?

Remember, your comments here about participating will get you entered in the giveaways!

Excited about this journey?  Want more?  Pick up Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance for a year long plan and guidance.

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14 responses to “shine day 19: spark your self-acceptance with something new”

  1. Julie Daum

    I wrote a list a couple of months ago, based on your blog, and it felt overwhelming, and i haven’t yet accomplished all the things i would like to do on it. So, it is funny, that starting yesterday, I decided that I was going to spend a whole day doing just what i wanted, not what other people needed me to do, not what i thought i should be doing but just what i wanted. i am on vacation with my family, and we have been gone almost a month, and while being on vacation should make it easier to do what I want, it isn’t for me, while i would not see myself as a people pleaser and amongst my friends, i am known for taking solo vacations and overnights away from my family to reconnect with friends, i have a hard time, while with my family, doing what i want, mostly because our family is a democracy (although i always say it is a monarchy and i am the queen) and as the children at home now are 3 boys, 2 of whom are teens, they never want to do what I do, for instance, on vacation, not one museum or art gallery has been seen. i am not a complete martyr, we spend 2 days on the Oregon coast at a very expensive hotel, that I loved, and the boys were not crazy about, but after spending the day at Disneyland yesterday, I decided that I was not going to accompany them to Universal Studios, I had enough of the theme park line-ups and I don’t do rides anyway, to do take this day for myself. I started last night with a Cirque du Soleil performance, by myself, and then today, had a leisurely breakfast by myself, went to the movies. I watched 2 movies in a row, none of which my boys would want to watch at all, and then I had an early dinner in a pub, and then read my novel by the pool. What a great day, and no regret or feeling guilty. and I enjoyed it very much.

  2. Susannah

    1. What are a few of the things that made it on to your “I want to try this” list?

    Learn to ski, a new yoga pose, bake bread, sew a skirt and make a Christmas pudding.

    2. What did you try today? How did it go?

    I was going to start knitting something that wasn’t a scarf or a hat, but apart from the fact that it’s too hot to knit, I already did something new, as I finally succeeded in a yoga pose that I hadn’t managed to do before, so I was very proud of myself – mostly because I thought I couldn’t do it, and the teacher said ‘Susannah, I think you should go for the full pose’, so I was proud that he thought I could do it, and proud because I really could!

    3. What did you learn from this experience?

    In this case, that I should really just try things and not be scared. So I’ll start arranging to do the other things too.

  3. Marissa

    What are a few of the things that made it on to your “I want to try this” list?

    I want to get back into rock climbing. It made me feel strong, empowered and happy in my skin. I also want to keep up with my blog and spread the word about my blog in my community. I feel so much passion when I write, and I feel alive again when I’m researching topics and editing my posts. Another thing on my long list is taking a road trip when I graduate from my (next) Master’s program. It’s two years away, and I think I’ll be in a better place mentally and physically by then. I dream about how wonderful it will be for my husband and me.

    2. What did you try today? How did it go?

    Today I worked on my blog and handed out fliers at some local vegan establishments. I networked at a vegan event, and spoke with some activists after a talk about my work and my shared commitment to their cause.

    3. What did you learn from this experience?

    I learned that people are excited to hear when someone is passionate as well, and that they are often open to your ideas and to passing along a resource.

  4. Jenn

    wow…. this shine project is certainly making me stop and think about where i place my energy & truly realize how much is given to my job. Even though i have developed some boundaries – i don’t work as often at home for free – the job takes up a lot of my mental & emotional energy. & then i wonder why other things in my life aren’t successful.

    So this is what i am going to try. I am going to try to take a day off this week – just for the heck of it. & i will start there…..

  5. Amy

    Some of the things I put on my list are, Learn French, Join a book club,
    Learn to ride a bike on a busy street(I would love to be able to travel more by bike but I often freak out if I am riding alone and there is much traffic), and Attend Knit Nights regularly.

    Sundays are super busy for me and I didn’t have time to try anything new today.

    I am super introverted and despite having moved to this city more than three years ago I probably know fewer 50 people and have maybe one friend( not super close) besides by husband. So a lot of the things on my list are about getting me out of the house and finding a community for myself–which terrifies me especially if I have to go alone.

  6. LadyEm

    Ooh, this is probably a good one for me given I’ve just seen my ED specialist this morning and we have discussed widening the range of foods I’m comfortable eating.

    Steak! I used to *love* steak, medium rare with handcut chips and a side salad. Now, I’d only be comfortable with the salad, the chips would be out of the question and I’d be eyeing the steak suspiciously.
    However, it was a food that I used to love and not think twice before eating, so I will put steak on my list.

    Meditation. I’m growing increasingly interested in Buddhism , meditation and yoga. So, I’ve been in touch with my (not so local!) Buddhist centre and am going along to a group meditation session tomorrow.
    I’ll report back on how both experiences went!

    Chocolate Brownies! I’ve never baked brownies before but a really good brownie takes some beating! I’d love to learn to bake a delicious brownie. As for eating it, I’ll work up to that. I could try a small piece though.

  7. Cecile

    OK, let’s go:
    – use more fresh herbs. I did this one immediately and enjoyed a fresh leaf of mint. Good that I did it, otherwise I would probably have waited too long to dare to use this brand new plant… On the day after I enjoyed a mint tea.
    – begin to sew with a sewing machine.
    – define appointments with myself throughout the year, note them in my calender, in order to be sure to re-centrate from time to time.
    – expand my soul emergency box, with more physical inviting items (bath salts, tea, music,…) and add quotes, exercizes e.g. from Beautiful You. Open this box from time to time (note in calender!) even if I don’t feel the urge, only to remember the box and come to the idea to use it when needed.
    – following the example of your Summer of Intentionality, launch my 4 seasons of intentionality, not a very big list, but some items I’d love to do/experience.
    – get into Delight’s experiences and test new things with her. Some weeks ago, she wanted to try the taste of French fries dipped in orange juice. I was a bit horrified but I let her try – afterwards I regretted that I did not try by myself. There is so much I can learn from her, beginning with such positive curiosity.
    – try something artistic that is new to me.

    I made a birthday list last year. Since that time my life changed quite a lot, but I did not actualize… I forgot about almost all items! Some things I did, several I cannot do anymore and for a while. Lesson learned: keep the list in a place where I’ll see it regularly!

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