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12 Labors Update

DSC_0810No, I haven’t forgotten about my 12 Labors! I started in August and will finish in March 2018, just before Emerald City Comicon in Seattle.

Refer to post Labor #1 Compassion and Understanding for all the details.  Quick recap: as part of my journey as Wonder Woman, I have assigned myself 12 Labors (as she did in the comics). To review, my 12 Labors are:

1 Compassion & Understanding
Makeup and personally deliver 5 Blessing Bags for the less fortunate.  COMPLETED

2 Practice, Discipline & Patience
Archery, on-going practice, once a week

3 Meditation
On-going, 15 minutes, twice a week

4 Forgiveness (Meditation)
On-going, in addition to Labor #3, guided Jake Kornfield meditation
A. ask for forgiveness B. forgive self C. forgive others

5 Breaking my armor
On-going, look strangers in the eye, smile, say hello, hold doors, open doors, sincerely give strangers complements.

6 Tolerance, Acceptance & Ego
This is a tough one to quantify. My goal is to be continuously mindful of my 12 Labors.
Remember to be kind, for everyone I meet is fighting a hard battle.
Try to see through others poor behavior and recognize it as their insecurities.
Not make things about me.
More acceptance and less judgment of others.
Live my truth.

7 Thou shalt not kill (especially spiders)
Just as superheroes don’t always see their enemy coming, this is an ongoing threat that will challenge me at random and unexpected times. I am afraid of spiders and dislike them very much!

8 Acceptance (as well as Endurance / Stamina)
Watch all seasons of Curb your Enthusiasm
While watching TV may not seem like much of a trial or labor, please understand, I cannot stand the character, Larry David! My goal is to work on accepting Larry David as he is.

9 Still under development

10 Cooking Skill Challenge
In the culinary world, soufflés are particularly challenging. I shall try and master one.

11 Diet
No carbs (bread, pasta, pastries, etc.) past breakfast every day for 1 month
Drink 64 oz. of water every day for 1 month

12 Physical Strength
Through my workouts (5 x a week) I will build up to:
5-minute plank: combining a center plank and one on each side
5-minute pool cardio challenge: working against a tether and w/pool weights
20 lbs. side laterals: a 20 lbs. dumbbell in each hand, 10 + reps.
Active caloric burn of 520 for 7 days in a row (300 + calories at the gym alone)

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I’m into my third month of seven. A few of the on-going Labors are working out differently than I had originally planned. For example, both Labors 3 & 4 (Meditation and Forgiveness), I am incorporating into my time at the gym. The gym I go to has a dark room (dim lighting) with cardio equipment and mats for stretching. With calming music playing on my iPod, I am able to meditate while walking on the treadmill or stretching on the mats. I call it a moving meditation. A common misconception about meditation is that one has to be still, laying or sitting down. This is not true (for everyone). How one defines meditation is largely personal and highly individualistic. I am able to achieve a calm yet focused state of mind, eyes closed (holding onto the treadmill bar), with peaceful breathing. I purposely choose a treadmill or spot on the mat away from others for this practice.

So far, I have stayed true to Labor 7 and have successfully not killed any spiders. AND it’s spider season, so I’m quite pleased with this one!

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While on our trip to Prague and Budapest (August 2017) I continued the thread of Labor 1 (Compassion and Understanding) and gave spare coins to a few of the less fortunate. Even though there was a language barrier, I gave them eye contact, put my palms together in prayer and bowed my head to them.
A week ago, I stopped to help a woman who I passed on the street. She was having a hard time, so I offered my assistance and a few dollars. I found myself flooded with compassion, much like Wonder Woman does just before crossing No Man’s Land (in the movie). I need to walk the walk regardless if I have my costume on or not. It’s a mindset and a desire to do the right thing. Not just when you may get recognized for it.

Currently, I am falling short on Labor 2 (once a week archery practice) but I did pick up a bow at a local fair in Budapest and shot a few arrows with the help of the on-hand teaching assistant. The target was about two feet away and was really designed for children, even though they did have a recurve bow for adults (which is the one I used). So, I suppose that counts for something.

I have watched two episodes of the current season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Even though the intro theme music still makes me cringe, I am able to see Larry David for what he is . . . a nit-wit. I dislike many of the characters on the show, but there are some funny moments. The endless cussing gets a little old, for lack of creative dialogue and I don’t appreciate the misogynistic and sexist themes. So far, I’ve learned that this is not a show I would normally watch (which I kind of already knew). But I am starting to see the character of Larry David as a gross exaggeration, a cartoon, and circus-like. But because the show is set in present day, it’s disguised as plausible or realistic and it’s anything but. I am starting to see through the absurd ass hole facade and not invest myself in the show or its characters.

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I am working up to Labor 11 (see above). And I’m working hard toward Labor 12. I’m currently doing a 4-minute plank, 15 lbs. side laterals – consistently, and I’m already going past 5 minutes in my pool challenge.

Labors 5 & 6 are on-going. I ask for guidance and strive to be: A better person today than I was yesterday and a better person tomorrow than I am today.

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