40 Days – Weeks 4 and 5

I just finished up Week 5 of Baron Baptiste’s 40 Days to Personal Revolution. I took the week off from posting last week, so today I’m reflecting on both Week 4: Restoration, and week 5: Centering. If you haven’t been following along, you can read more about the 40 days here.

Week 4: Restoration

The rules for week 4 were Relax with What Is and Remove the Rocks. The theme for the week seemed fitting for the season. With all of the flowers in bloom and the vibrant color and greenery appearing. Everything in nature seemed to be restored and full of energy.

In the reading for Week 4, I was struck by Baptiste’s assertion that, “Transformation comes not by adding things on but by removing what didn’t belong in the first place,” (1). For me, it has been valuable to spend time to take a step back and evaluate what I need in my life, compared to what I am keeping out of habit or out of fear.  As part of my journey to step outside of my comfort zone, I have been continuously looking for things to remove from my life as I add in new adventures.

One of the focal points of Week 4 is the diet, which includes 3 days focused on eating fruit. At first, I was adamantly against this. I have overhauled my diet many times in the last seven years in an attempt to feel healthy, and I met the prospect of more restrictions, even for just a few days, with a lot of resistance.  In the end, I decided to give it a try, but I modified the plan from how it was written to ensure that I was receiving enough of the nutrients that work best for my body.

I did not have any major epiphanies during or after the three days, but I did have a few interesting results. First, I realized that I can live without chocolate and plantain chips. I actually haven’t bought plantain chips for the last two weeks and, going forward, I’m going to incorporate them only as a treat instead of a daily snack. The chocolate, on the other hand, rapidly made its way back into my diet immediately following the 3 days.

Although I did spend a considerable amount of time cutting up fruit, I also noticed that I focused on food in general less during these three days than I do typically. The simplicity of the fruit focused diet left me with space to relax a bit and consider other aspects of my life.

Week 5: Centering

The rules for week 5 are Don’t Rush the Process and Be True to Yourself.

I struggled with the Yoga and meditation in Week 5. I reached my edge for what is practical to incorporate into my daily routine. The time commitment, 75 minutes of yoga and 50 minutes of meditation daily, did not leave me with enough time to sleep or relax. I’m also getting tired overall, with a lot going on in life, continuously practicing yoga for many days in a row, and trying to carve out some time for running. I could tell I wasn’t sleeping enough when I started falling asleep during meditation.

There were several days that my body was just too tired to complete the whole yoga practice, or where sleep was just more important than completing the routine. I wanted to maintain the habit though, so on these days I completed thirty minutes of yoga instead of the 75.

Surprisingly, it was also in Week 5 where I really started to notice some of the cumulative gains of the 40 Days. I’m getting stronger in the yoga poses, and I’m looking forward to getting on my mat every day.

The habit of daily morning yoga and meditation is becoming part of my life. There were a few days that I practiced at night, and it felt strange not to start off with yoga in the morning.

I’m starting off week 6 today, and I’m already struggling with another increase in the time commitment. I’m looking forward to completing the 40 days, and dialing back to a practice that works best for me each morning. I’m still looking forward to the challenges of this week though, and I’m very interested to see what other changes I may notice when I am able to look back on this project in its entirety.

(1) Baptiste, Baron. 40 Days to Personal Revolution. 2004, Baptiste Power Yoga Institute, Inc. p30.

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