Where will your walks take you this year?
It has happened this time every year since 2013.
I try to talk you all into joining us for the YOU Challenge. Every year, Farmgirls make a promise to themselves and each other that during the month of May, they will take a walk. Every day. No matter what. 31 days of a stroll.
Sure, you take good care of everyone else. We all see that. But in MAY you are going to share some of that nurturing and love with YOURSELF. You are going to take care of YOU.
Friends, this year you need it. Maybe more than ever. Yes, you need to do this for YOU.
So what EXACTLY do you do? Four easy steps.
The first step is to leave a comment below and make the commitment.
Join the Facebook group, find a group of local friends, or buy yourself a notebook.
Some of us gather in a Facebook group to share our walks and our thoughts each day. It is 31 days of community and inspiration and motivation and beauty. We walk together. We encourage each other. We lean on each other. We pray for each other. We take pics of our walks and our neighborhoods. We share.
The link to the private Facebook group is here. To join, please answer the question you’ll be asked. The question is an effort to eliminate spammers. Here’s the link.
If you don’t “do” Facebook, you can also do this with some local friends. The main thing is to check with each other every day. You don’t necessarily have to walk together, but you do need to encourage each other.
Or, document your journey on your own using a simple notebook. Take your walk every day and then spend 5 minutes documenting it in the notebook. Where did you walk? How long did you walk? What was the weather? How do you feel today? What’s going on in your day?
Find some decent walking shoes.
Buy some fresh lemons to make the lemon water that you are going to drink every morning when you wake up.
After these FOUR STEPS, all you have to do is walk one time a day.
I think the hard part is deciding to do it. Once you decide, it’s a breeze.
So, find your walking shoes and come along.
BUT. This YOU Challenge is about you, so if you’d rather do something other than walk in May, that’s fine too. You get to decide your activity. Keep in mind that being outside is great because of the numerous benefits of being outside. But the main thing is to make a COMMITMENT to yourself. Commit to doing the same thing every day each and every day for YOU.
You in? Say you are!
Start by leaving a comment below making a commitment to YOUrself. All you have to say is “I’m in.”
If you need some more info or push to join, here are some excerpts from the previous years’ YOU Challenge posts:
“So let’s grab our shoes and put a song in you heart. Let’s go strolling together every day in merry, merry month of May. You, My Friend, are the You in YOU Challenge. Not your family, not your co-workers, not your church family, not anybody else. Just you. This month is dedicated to you, at least for a few minutes each day.
I know at first just the thought of taking time for yourself gives you a twitch in your eye. I mean, how can everyone get by if you take 30 minutes a day for you; hey, they’ll live. They’ll do fine. And that twitch will be gone by the end of the month. Your head will be clearer. You’ll breathe in more oxygen with each breath you take. You’ll feel better, physically and emotionally. And it’s so easy. Just go outside and put one foot in front of the other. The combination of fresh air, movement, and togetherness is magical. Doing something for yourself, declaring that you are worth it, is a transformational thing.
The original challenge was this: each and every day in May, lace up your walking shoes and head outside, no matter what. No. Matter. What.
Then, it evolved for some folks into doing something other than walking for themselves, swimming, biking, journaling, drawing, etc.
One year we added drinking lemon water in the morning before our coffee. That was refreshing and hydrating, so that’s a permanent part of it now.
And share. If you share your journey, you’ll bless us all.
And we all want to see where you walk! Take photos! And we want to hear how your walk was! And how you are feeling! Or if you are choosing to do something besides walking for you, we want to hear about that too.
I’ve particularly excited this year. I have been looking forward to it! In joyful anticipation, I got home this evening and mowed the overgrown path on my farm that I like to walk. It takes me through the rows of Christmas trees and out into the horse pasture. Whew, my winter months were full of heavy lifting; it has taken a toll on my soul. Of course, I say that every year: oh I’ve never needed this more; oh, this came just in time; oh, this and that.
But it is true every single year. I need this month of May challenge with my sisters. Shall we, Dear Ones? Let’s!
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” John Muir
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure some of them are just for YOU.” Me
It’s almost time to get your MAY BLISS on!
May is a month rich with celebration. May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and my birthday (the 17th, which also happens to be the National Pack Rat Day—no comment on that). But for all of us here, we’re adding another celebration to the month of May again this year: ourselves! It’s the month we are going to do things a little differently. We are going to put ourselves on top of our priority list. Gasp. Argh. What? No, really! We are.
I know many of you are tired of working, chauffeuring, gardening, cooking, cleaning, rushing around trying to be superwoman. You take care of your careers, your families, your house, your yard, your kids, maybe your parents, your church, your community, your friends, and basically, the world. Who has time for SELF with all that?
Well, during May you are going to resign as manager of the universe.
You’re going to TAKE IT outside. For 31 days, every single day in May, you’re going to take a few minutes (or longer) to get outside, take a stroll, and find joy. Research now supports what we’ve known in our hearts forever: outside is good for us. It lifts our spirits. And movement gets our “happy hormones” going.
So, come along!
No, it won’t be easy at first. We’re not used to putting our needs or desires before others. For some reason, us Farmgirls tend to give, give, give until we are “PLUM GIVE OUT” (that’s colloquial for tired, very tired.) At that point, we are empty, we are exhausted, we are discouraged. The month of May is our opportunity to replenish ourselves and to practice extreme self love.
I decided a while back that THAT is what is wrong with our society. Most of us are indeed following the rule: “love your neighbor as yourself.” The problem is that we don’t love ourselves so we don’t love our neighbors. I can’t remember a more negative or hateful time in society. Maybe it is because when I moved to the middle of nowhere I turned off the news. Perhaps I’m no longer de-sensitized to hatefulness. I notice it now.
For some reason, out society teaches females that self-sacrifice and martyrdom is appropriate when it comes to our families, our churches, our jobs. Every one comes BEFORE us. To be worthy, we have to be exhausted.
Guess what? Not during May! You are moving yourself from the back-burner to the front.
Get excited because this tiny step you are about to take, it going to mean a lot to you this month.
- You don’t feel like it? Get out there. You’ll be glad you did.
- You’re too tired? Get out there. You’ll be glad you did.
- You don’t have time? Find it. Get out there. You’ll be glad you did.
- Your back or feet hurt? Get out there. You’ll be glad you did.
- Your family needs you? Tell them you’ll be back on duty when you return. Get out there. You’ll be glad you did.
It doesn’t matter how far you walk. Just walk!
Put on foot in front of the other.
Get some fresh air.
And that’s the YOU Challenge.
This is the day I challenge you to move yourself up on your priority list. The day I challenge you to put on your walking shoes every single day for the next 30 days and walk. Yes, My Friends, the “YOU Challenge!” is finally baaaaaaaack. Stand up and hoot and hollar ’cause it is MAY and we’re walking together.
“The motivation behind this walk is YOU. It’s not for your dogs, or for your kiddos, or for work (like mowing the lawn), it’s for YOU and YOU alone. It’s not for your friend with cancer, or the local band fund-raiser, but for YOU. Period.
That’s huge. If you’re like me, you find it very hard to do something JUST for YOUrself. Instead, you’re running around ragged, doing for everybody else.
Just taking this tiny step and lacing up your shoes and head out the door FOR YOU is a small step, but has grand results. See, what you’re doing is making yourself a priority in your day. That’s a habit that is worth forming.
The instant you decide that you’re worthy and deserving of doing something just for you, your life will change. For the better. Small steps, grand results.
And see. Maybe at the beginning you’re just going through the motions, maybe you don’t quite believe how awesome you are yet. Take those motions every day, for 31 days, and whether or not you believed it when you started, you’ll believe it at the end. It’s kinda magic.
After a month of daily walks, your brain will thank you. Your mental health will thank you. You’ll be less grouchy. You’ll be easier to live with.
And. Walking every day is good for your heart, your legs, your hips, your everything. Movement will keep us moving.”
“It’s a simple thing: get out there and walk for YOU!
Doesn’t matter if it is for 5 minutes or 50 minutes.
Doesn’t matter if it is slow or fast.
Doesn’t matter if you stop and sit down whenever you want to.
Doesn’t matter if you are alone or not.
Doesn’t matter if it is prayerful or playful.
Doesn’t matter if it is rain, shine, foggy or hot.
Doesn’t matter if it is inside or outside.
The only thing that matters is that YOU do this thing every single day for YOU.”
So, please join us this year!
Where will your walks take you??
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl in the Country, Rebekah