From March 15, 2020 through December 10, 2022  – 

What does 1000 Day Commitment really mean?

Our 1000 day yoga journey began March 15, 2020 when Stanford University shut down due to Covid protocols. Twenty yogis of various experience levels, backgrounds and ages (55-75 years) all said, “Yes.” Together, we have now practiced virtually for nearly three years.

When Mayor London Breed shut down the City of San Francisco many of us thought this was a two to three week break and we would all return to campus very soon. And soon we had a 100 day yoga challenge. And for many in the cohort this first 100 days was indeed a memorable time. We eased into the 1000 day challenge.

A Journey of Presence

Today, December 10th, marks our 1000-day milestone. We have been transformed – physically, emotionally, relationally, spiritually – a transformation rooted in the once unimaginable, now completed 1000-day commitment.

During Covid, a father and two brothers of cohort members passed away. Loss was keenly felt during this world wide pandemic. Never before in our lifetimes had the entire world participated in the same experience.

Asking myself how I’ve changed?
Am I more settled? More grounded?
More accepting of what is?

I know I feel a deeper sense of what I call integration. When my body, breath, emotional and mental states, intuitive and greater consciousness all connect… I feel lighter.

Carol S. a Fellow of the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute (DCI) shares her experience:

“Our DCI Yoga practice is a lot like coming home. It calls me to be present, returning to my internal ‘home’ to stay in touch with my body, mind and spirit.”

Rocky and the 1000 Day Cohort

Consider Your 1000 Days

What is something you would like to pursue for 1000 days?

1000 days of photography?
1000 days of creative writing?
1000 days of hiking? 1000 days of painting?
Singing… swimming… running… walking… mindful eating?
Meditating… prayer?

Perhaps a specific activity in service of others?
1000 days picking up trash in your neighborhood?
A social justice initiative?
Learning to play a new instrument?
Learning a new language?

1000 moments of intentional kindness?

Your choices are limited only by your imagination and your desire to learn something new.

A Process of Integration

Give yourself the challenge of doing one specific thing for 1000 days. Observe the process with daily or weekly journal entries. How are you growing and evolving as a result of your challenge? Does this one committed activity provide you with a sense of mastery?

I have heard people express they are good at a lot of different things and long to feel a deep finesse and proficiency for a certain task or subject. By giving yourself a 1000 day challenge you create the time and space to acquire advanced knowledge and embody the experience of your chosen activity. Your skill level increases your confidence and you may truly begin to feel like an expert.

Our Kundalini Yoga sequence changed weekly giving us seven days to embody the movement and breathwork leading to a deeper understanding of our physical and emotional bodies. We become aware of the moments of clarity when body, breath, mind, intuition, emotion, and greater consciousness all connect and integrate. Consistent. Present. Focused. Day upon day x 1000 days.

Again this sense of “Integration” is a powerful way to be in the world. And as we integrate with more consistency on our mats, we take this balance, this grounded equanimity into our lives off the mat.

What Is…
What is Yet to Be…
And the Space Between

Envision your 1000 day pursuit.
How will you make it substantive… create milestones… stay focused with discipline, continued interest, and passion? This is all part of a one-thousand-day journey. Will you choose to do it alone or build community with others? It is an experience staying present to the daily pursuit, celebrating the milestones, and continuing to make it your own unique experience.

Everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end. We have the opportunity to experience “liminal space” between the end of our 1000 day yoga challenge and what is yet to be.

Liminal space is that gap… when one experience ends… before the next begins. It is a wonderful and often uncomfortable place of ambiguity where curiosity invites one’s next becoming to catch ground.

Always a Possibility to Begin

Something magical happens when we begin a new commitment. When we commit to a specific choice we are often helped in unseen ways as we make this activity the highest priority of each day. It must be the peak priority, otherwise it is too easy to forget or just not honor your commitment.

What will your 1,000 days be all about? Your 5,000 days? Or 10,000 days? It is never too late to commit to transforming your life.

It may have been thirty years or more since you’ve made a long term commitment… ages ago in your college or career-building years when life was new and full of possibilities. This is a reminder that you CAN create that feeling again.

It all begins with a “yes” and ONE committed step.

 

Sat Nam.

*Sat Nam in Sanskrit translates “my truth is my identity.”

 


 

A special and very heart-felt note of appreciation to Chip Conley of The Modern Elder Academy for inviting me to share  an excerpt of this post on his MEA Wisdom Well blog. Chip spends much of his time at his MEA Academy on Pescadero Beach outside Todos Santos, Baja Sur, Mexico. Chip is a Stanford MBA and a fearless entrepreneur. Chip and his MEA team are creating a movement; demonstrating the value of an aging population and the wisdom we bring to the workplace.  As an American hotelier, foundation builder, grant maker, best selling author, in demand speaker and sought after facilitator, he is a people magnet. Chip speaks to my heart as a leader in the LGBTQ space as well. Chip co-facilitated my November, 2022 MEA memorable retreat on the Power of Purpose with author Richard Leider. 

Rocky Blumhagen, MEA Alum, “28 Degrees Cohort” Stanford DCI, (Distinguished Career’s Institute, Fellow/partner Class of 2019) is a yoga and mindful practitioner. To read more about Rocky – Click Here

Read more of Rocky’s posts on Chip Conley’s Wisdom Well blog.