I am challenging myself to be a better student, a better disciple. A fellow is defined as “a member of a group of learned people who work together as peers in the pursuit of mutual knowledge or practice.” I encourage all of you to join this fellowship with me. I will be charting my physical (and spiritual, and mental) progress over the course of 90 days. I have created a linear periodization program–which is a fancy, workout-y term to describe a program that details workouts, their intensity, type, and time. I encourage you all to create a program for yourselves. In my program, I am practicing yoga twice a week, doing martial arts three times a week, and doing a “wild card” workout once a week as well as a stretch day once a week. On the fourth week of each month, I do a “recovery week,” which is a vital component of any vigorous workout program. During these 90 days, I will test my endurance, body measurements, and weight for a formal account of the work I perform, but ultimately I hope to feel differently internally–and, of course, become a better disciple.
Some of the things I challenge myself to do during this 90 day period (and after) are:
- Reading and writing at least one poem a day
- Meditating twice a day
- Drinking at 64 oz. of water a day
- Saying something kind to at least one person a day
- Go to bed by 10:30 PM
I do not wish to contribute to the “healthie” movement necessarily (though some of those movements are truly inspiring); what I wish to do is to inspire us to dedicate ourselves to practices that we value. Exercise is so much more than six-packs and body fat percentage–particularly if you practice something that you truly enjoy.
I hope that at the end of this fellowship, we are better able to think, love, and appreciate. This whole thing is cyclical–which is what a lot of those in the medical and fitness industry fail to stress (read Marion Nestle’s Food Politics for more on why that is). If your sleep is off, most likely your diet is off. If your diet is off, your emotion is off. If your emotion is off, your spiritual is off. Your work is off. You just off.
It’s very difficult to live a balanced life in this society. Some of this is due to the external (employment, lack of employment, family, etc)–but a lot is due to the internal. We can control a lot more than we think we can. We have so much more power than we think we do.
- Dedication to a goal or series of goals (whether that be physical, mental, emotional, or otherwise). Ideally, the goals you choose will be interdependent.
- A list of aspirations / duties you wish to add to your daily / weekly routine.
- Measurable progress towards a goal outside of the ones we’ve set here (for example, a boost of productivity in your office due to an improvement in your eating habits.)
- Contribution to the fellowship lab / community via kind words, book recommendations, suggestions, etc.
- You must contribute to posts (via comments section) at blacknectar at least twice a week.
How to Apply:
You can do one of the following things:
- Say something like “I’m in!’ followed by the hashtag #FPW and send to blacknectarblog on Twitter.
- Email info [at] blacknectar [dot] me to say that you’re in.
- Post to my wall on Facebook.
- Comment on this post!
Also, in your response, please indicate what goals you’re intent on practicing, what you expect to get out of the fellowship, and what you need from the lab (us).
Send emails to submissions [at] blacknectar [dot] me after you’ve indicated that you’re joining the fellowship. Include what you want to include: photos, motivational images / sayings, book recommendations, relevant articles, training tips, etc. I’ll post what you send me. Be sure to check back here weekly for new material. Please do include your name (it doesn’t have to be your full name, it can be your name and your surname initial.)
At the end of the Fellowship, I would like all the participants to submit an essay, poem, or photo series detailing the start of your journey and its end. What were some of the challenges that you faced? What did you learn from? Was there a moment where you felt especially triumphant? How did the fellowship help to sustain your practice? I am beginning my fellowship on April 20th, but feel free to join whenever you’d like. Applications are selected on a rolling basis. However, when you indicate that you are participating, that is your start date.
How to Contribute and Comment:
Hover over “Fellowship in Physical Wellness” under “LGF Little Girl Found” on the main menu. When you hover over “FPW,” a month(s) will show up. That page will detail lab progress for that month–the comments section will always be open.
At the end of your individual 90-day period, make sure to let the lab know. Participants entering within a week of one another will be placed into one group. Each group participant who completes their 90-day program will have a chance to win a prize–prizes will be based on that individual’s particular goal–for example, if Maria in Group A likes yogic practice, she might win a book on meditation or a yoga DVD.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Awakening by Joseph Goldstein
By Any Greens Necessary by Tracye L. McQuirter
*I include the above video underneath “Inspiration” because I feel that Hill is emoting a lot of things that are a direct reflection of a healthy spiritual practice. At 25 (in this video), she knows a lot of things that people in their 40′s and 50′s cannot reckon with. Let me know, if you choose to watch, if anything was said that inspired you to reflect.
**As always, be sure to consult your doctor before embarking on any exercise program.
Yours in wellness,
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