The Challenge: Day 12

I am writing this blog from a friend's apartment in rainy New York City. Consistent with my personality at home in the SoCal sunshine, I have been on the go for the last few days! Determined not to let the rain get in my way, I hit the streets to visit the recently opened 9/11 Memorial, then ventured to SoHo for a shopping spree, and also managed to find my way to a famous pizza place located under the Brooklyn Bridge.

By the time I arrived at Grimaldi's for a quick bite, I was exhausted, damp and on the verge of grumpy having not eaten all day. Much to my surprise, I was greeted by a sign on the front door that said, "No ordering by the slice!" OK, fine. Table for one, and let's also order the entire pizza. The bald Italian with a thick accent chuckled at my disheveled blonde mane and suggested I grab a seat at the bar. First order placed was for a cold Heineken. Next, I let him order my pizza. He shyly smiled and his demeanor put me at ease. It was as if his eyes were saying, "Calm down and just enjoy your beer. We're all family here."

I took a long lunch and enjoyed observing everyone around me. The bartender conversed with the owner in Italian, they heckled the employee who showed up late to his shift, the old man next to me ate his whole pizza with a glass of red wine and the three German boys at the end of the bar were pretty proud of taking down their entire large pizza. Later that night my friend asked me what my favorite part of my day was and the one vivid memory that my mind shot to was the scene at Grimaldi's.

So today's challenge: "Take the time to live with your eyes wide open."

The Challenge Day 12


Physical: How often do you exercise outdoors? When you do, do you observe the life and landscape that you are passing by or do you just zone out and listen to music? I challenge you to take on some outdoor activity and observe life unfolding all around you.

Spiritual: Self-awareness is key to experiencing a more fulfilling spiritual connection. We can easily say words of prayer, attend a church service or even glaze over the words of a self-help book. Spend the next couple of days spending your time intentionally in your thoughts and focus your actions towards spiritual growth. Calm the “To-Do” list, turn off the noise and be present in the moment.

Personal: I realize that I have a tendency to repeat the theme of "slowing down" and perhaps that’s because it’s what I can relate to most often, but I would venture to guess that in today's world of hi-tech instantaneous results and communication that we could all use a regular reminder to slow it down. If you can take an hour, or even just five minutes, practice some deep breathing and stretching. Cleanse your mind of the chaos and hit the “reset” button. Perhaps you will be able to observe the daily happenings with fresh eyes and clarity thereby seeing things for the first time that have actually been there all along.

Images courtesy of Blogs.villagevoice.com, Healthjigsaw.comFollow Brittany on the 30 Day Challenge by clicking here.

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