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Black belt testing goals. Morning mile. Walking meditation. Great Lake appreciation. 90 Days.

Trying, like many of us, to rally following the spring stay at home orders, I set myself a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant & time based) goal to both move and meditate. For 90 days, I would take a morning walk to the lake, no headphones, focus on my breathing, take a picture and post it on Facebook. All of the photos, except four during vacation, were taken at the same small park using an iphone.

My takeaways weren't new ideas but good reminders.

  1. Combining something you should do with something you want to do, makes the 'should do' easier. My arthritic hobble can make walking a chore. The photographs and the lake turned it into something to anticipate with joy.

  2. Being present means slowing down. It also avoids blurred landscapes and snapshots of my fingers in the frame.

  3. There are many ways to meditate. Find what works best for you. Start slowly and build.

  4. There is something uniquely beautiful about every day. Look for it!

  5. Don't compare yourself to others. But do create/accept challenges and keep questioning what it means to be your best self.

  6. Perspective matters. I'll quote my father quoting life lessons by his favorite photographer Fred Picker, "The hardest part about photography is finding the right place to stand." Sometimes, I need to step back and reflect on the big picture, while other times I need to zoom in.

  7. How I start the day influences the remainder. Good choices build on each other.

  8. Accountability helps. Thanks to everyone who liked and commented on my daily photo posts!

  9. Time is a resource. Be deliberate in how you spend it.

  10. Having a black belt is different than being a black belt. It's a wonderful accomplishment requiring three years of effort to get your black belt through our curriculum. It doesn't end there. Being a black belt means continuing to train and model the oath and tenets in our everyday.

Below is a meditation video with pictures from my 90 day challenge. The song is appropriately called, A Walk with You.

Thank you for sharing in my black belt journey and your continued support of our nonprofit martial arts program! Mrs. Palmisano, Executive Director

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