Challenge Accepted?

Alright, one week left of March, and we are throwing out a little challenge.  Our theme this month is all about spring cleaning for the heart, so let's make this last week count.

What if this was the week where you decided to make those changes you have been thinking about for months, maybe even years? What if this is one week you truly shut off society's broadcasted hum? What if you did more for you this week? What if you carved out space to think? What if this week you lived so different that people began to ask for explanation? What if that explanation was simply that "I decided to kick living up a notch."

So, you are thinking: "Ok, I am game! What do you suggest?" We have jotted down a few ideas to get you started with the hope that it sparks your gray matter and ideas begin overflowing. Four choices on this menu so hopefully one will resonate, then make the decision to carry it out until April 1st! Ready?!

#1 Pick one form of media that you will limit this week.

But aren't we on the internet right now? True enough, but what if you limited your usage this week? Why? Well, when we free up brain space and change our routine our creativity is heightened. So pick one form of media in your life that you will limit this week: Facebook? iPad? TV? Movies? Netflix? Texting? Internet surfing? Gaming? Email?

Maybe start with the one that takes up the most time in your life (and really shouldn’t). Once you have decided, set some limits. Perhaps try no more than 5 minutes on Facebook per day, or 10 text messages per day. No more than 10 minutes on email. No more than 30 minutes of TV per day.

What do you do with the "extra time"? LIVE! Meet new people, take a walk, see nature, sit on the beach, take time to hug someone, do some yoga, paint, write, cook! Just decide to use the time to let passion flow. Warning: you may never go back to your old ways.

#2 Limit contact to only those people who feed your soul positive.

Big step here, I know. But trust me; this one thing could change your whole world. The trick is that we challenge you to not only limit contact, but give yourself a time-out from talking about those negative influences too. Identify those people who feed you good and make it a point to spend time with them. Go get coffee, make your favorite dinner and invite five people who inspire you to share the meal, write them a letter, make calls, buy a plane ticket to visit. Just make sure those you choose to spend time with are good for you. What about work or home? Well, work on ways to be as positive as possible in those situations you find a little more difficult. Taking in good from people who feed you good is the key.

#3 Wear 10, Give 10.

Try this! Decide to only select what you will wear for a week from no more than 10 items of clothing (excluding undergarments in the count, of course). Liberate your time spent staring into that closet. Maybe pack a bag and live out of that for the week. Or rope off a section in your closet and live from only those 10 chosen items that you leave hanging. Throw a sheet over the other stuff if you feel you will be tempted to wander beyond the ropes. When we clear out the clutter, we suddenly realize we really can do with less. In-fact, less truly is seen finally as more.

At the end of the week, select ten items you could donate from that ol' closet. You might just find more than ten after living with less for a week. “What if people notice I have been wearing the same things?!” Challenge them to live differently by explaining your actions. Perhaps you take this challenge to your work place and make it happen for two or three weeks: throw in a thrift store only day with prizes for the best dressed!

Remember the key is to unclutter your life so there is more room for you to breathe and let your heart speak.

#4 Give yourself a DAILY time-out!

Alright here you go: big challenge. Each day give yourself a one hour time out. AN HOUR?!? Yes. And this is going to be alone time. Don't take this lightly; this hour could unlock your heart in some bold ways. This is a time to just be. You will shut out the world and only do it for you. NO giving to anyone but you. Journal, listen to music with your eyes closed, take a bath, get a massage, take a nap, shut the door and just read. This is your time. Design it to be quiet time so technology other than music isn’t invited as a rule (easy to tie in with Challenge #2). Even writing needs to be on that thing we call paper. Decide to quiet the world, and take a rest from being busy. Funny how naptime ends after kindergarten, yet we need that now sometimes even more than we did at age five.

Well, there you go. Four different places to begin a few changes. Pick one, or think up your own, and then make it happen. Shifting just one or two behaviors can be a powerful tonic for the heart and our creativity. So what do you say, ready to kick living up a notch?

And as always, feel free to share your journey with us! We’d love to hear!

Heidi Rickard is the Creative Director for The Authenticity Project, you can contact Heidi at