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Friday, January 16, 2015

15 Days to Freedom New Year Blog Challenge: Day 1. Setting me up for daily success. Yes!

Aaah.. my journey to courage and freedom has now begun! 

The ever wonderful Natalie Sisson the Suitcase Entrepreneur announced a week ago that she'd have a 15 days new year blog challenge. Wow, how can one resist? This is what I obviously need. A guidance and motivation to blog consistently, with a purpose. It's new year! I love what I hear (hey, it's not everyday that I like the chatter in my head). And it's just precisely the right timing as I'm revamping my artful website and I had always wanted to restart this blog, renew and refresh.

And the teacher appears when the student is ready! :-) So let's take on this challenge.

Day 1: Setting yourself up for daily success

First of all, you need to know that I live in Jakarta, Indonesia, and what you're going to read here might sound unusual for those of you who live in other continents (ok, I'm warning you!).

Secondly, I have a full time job which I'm passionate about - but let's be honest here (be brave, girl!) I also have another passion I was born with, an artist by blood, and it's something I can't deny. As a "double agent", I'm in constant search of ways to live the multi passions, to make them work side by side and support one another.

For Day 1, Natalie challenges me to detail up my daily plan for success. And my answer? After some years of constant search I mentioned above, I noticed that I would perform best when I start the day with these habits. (P.S. thank you my dear journals!)

I wake up every morning at around 04.30 then spend approximately 30 minutes to do my morning prayer, meditation, and a sequence of 8 movements Tibetan yoga called Kum-Nye. Then, before anything else, I would take a turmeric 'jamu' (Indonesian traditional herbal healing drink) - fresh from the jamu seller in the traditional market in the neighborhood (yes, I'm very lucky!). In my tradition, turmeric is believed to keep your guts healthy - which means the start of a healthy body.

Then it's time for creative practice. I like Julia Cameron's "morning pages" exercise - writing three pages each morning. Lately, I adapted that exercise to three (sometimes more) pages of doodles, and just let my hand move freely, guided by intuition. I tell you, time passes quickly when I do this exercise. But I still need to read and write, too. So normally I would also do an exercise I have been doing since my year at the secretarial school 18 years ago: retyping "Editor's letter" or interviews / articles from my favorite magazines. It was my sure-fire way of learning, practicing and writing in English. Many years ago I used to play Bach's partitas on the violin every morning, but now this brain-tuning activity already evolved to listening to Bach, Corelli, Telemann, or Handel's while doing my three-pages of doodling exercise. I still sometimes play the violin when I have plenty of time in the morning, like Saturday or Sunday. The reason: time flies when I have the violin under my chin, and it's very difficult to stop once I play. So, anyway, I have to choose.

Cold shower with fragrant soap is my favorite, especially using a traditional javanese fragrant herbs + spices + flowers soap called "lulur". It's a total aromatherapy effect which can boost my good mood in the beginning of the day. And then I will put on (sheer) make up - feeling pretty is also a good mood boost!

Next, even when I wear dress, I will put on my comfy sneakers and walk for about 40 minutes to work. Passing through the traditional market, colorful residential areas with nice people hanging out on their street food stalls or home-based grocery stores - and most of the time I would stop by a street stall and have mung bean + sticky black rice porridge for breakfast there...on the street. Cheap, delicious, and healthy. The tummy is full and I am happy, and I continue to walk to work while enjoying the scenes, sometimes stopping by another street food stall which sells fermented cassava (very delicious according to me, and in any case it's very good for your stomach), and always, always by default it's time where I can walk and contemplate. Sometimes ideas popped up so I always have my notebook and a pen within easy reach in my strap bag. Most of the time, I would also listen to audio books while walking. I found that uplifting books are perfect for morning walk, and I listen to business book while walking home from work in the afternoon / evening.

Arriving at work, I would make myself detox tea and continue with lots and lots of warm water during the day.

I swear by this routine because I always feel good after doing all those practices. And I give a lot and a lot of thanks - for a good start of the day and for daily success :-)

See you soon again in the challenge day 2!

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