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Vulnerability, courage and a lesson in rising strong. My monthly Misogi challenge blog who dis.

Secondly, what in the holy hecker is The Monthly Misogi Challenge and why?

That’s a great question and I’m glad you asked; The Monthly Misogi Challenge is my take on a traditional Misogi and it’s a little something that’s been brewing in my head for the past month or so. Put simply, it’s a smaller, less intense version of a proper Misogi that still aims to give the individual growth through discomfort, strength through vulnerability and ownership in one’s life. It can be whatever you need it to be, based on your personal situation.

A traditional Misogi is a water cleansing ritual hailing from Japan and typically involves a pilgrimage to a sacred waterfall. It was since made more popular in western culture by Jesse Itzler, a high powered serial entrepreneur, NYT best selling author and all round go-getter. His version of a Misogi? Do something so challenging once a year that it has a positive impact on the remaining 364 days. It forces you into major discomfort and that my friend, is where the magical tings happen (tings was on purpose for you spelling police).

For me it was born out of being in a dark headspace where the only option was to make the necessary changes, but that said it doesn’t have to be. It might be that you just want more fulfilment in life. I'm sharing this journey to take ownership and if you own your story you get to write the ending (apparently! Let's try).

Rather than go all out on one massive challenge for the year, I've decided to reverse engineer my life, starting from where I'd like to be. This has allowed me to create a Mini-Misogi for each month or as my good friend Matt (aka Rip) termed it on a late night phone call, "The Monthogi." I hope I’m not appropriating this ancient term, but if you hear the term “Monthogi, it’s coming from an affectionate place! The aim is to challenge myself in areas that I know will lead me to a better life and a better mindset. Each month is an opportunity to really unearth areas of growth and having a specific focus will be a powerful catalyst for change.

NOTE: The Monthly Misogi doesn't have to be a massive physical or mental challenge every month. It just needs to be something that will challenge you and make you uncomfortable. Choosing a challenge based on different areas you'd like to work on in your life is a great start i.e. business, fitness and relationships are great places to start.

I’ll explain in a separate post my thought process when creating and choosing each challenge and I'll provide a few simple questions that will hopefully help guide you to create your own.

I’ll also be trying my best to share some of the journey when I feel comfortable.


My why’s and reasons for the Monthly Misogi

1. Dropping perfection

A big part of embarking on this Misogi journey is to break free from perfectionism. I’ve always admired those with the courage to put themselves out there in a powerful way, whether it be showing their work, standing by their opinion (whether I agree or not) and prioritising done vs perfect. I on the other hand overthink every little detail; Will people think my work sucks? Will they think I’m being disagreeable? Will I lose friends for having certain views? I really admire those who have the “no fucks attitude.” Maybe they can give me a few pointers?!?

The more I read and learn, the more I’ve come to realise that my perfectionism is a façade used to carefully disguise my fear. As Liz Gilbert truthfully puts it in her best selling book Big Magic, “Perfectionism is just a high-end, haute couture version of fear. Underneath that shiny veneer, perfectionism is nothing more than a deep existential angst that says, again and again, I’m not good enough and I will never be good enough.” She goes on to say that perfectionists often decide in advance that the end product will never be adequate so they don’t even bother in the first place.

"Perfectionists often decide in advance that the end product will never be adequate so they don’t even bother in the first place"

That resonates a little too close to home, so I am making a change. So often our decision to try something is dependent on whether or not we think the outcome will be a success but I say (I am wholeheartedly giving myself a pep-talk here!) that we fail forward and we try. We try simply because it’s been on our heart or mind. We try simply because we want to explore a new option or have a new experience. We try because it’s part of living and that alone should be a good enough reason.

2. Courage and Vulnerability

I recently had a relationship come to an end. Unfortunately it wasn’t a conscious uncoupling, it was simply done and completely out of my control. Through the ensuing emotional roller coaster, I found myself being different. I found that I was reflecting on the lessons (there were a lot!) that she had taught me which perhaps in some small way provided me with peace (not straight away mind you haha). There were a few learnings, however the one in question here, relates to courage and vulnerability. For the first time since my marriage and against all of my best efforts, I was vulnerable. She created a space in which I could learn to give love again and also receive it and for that I am grateful.

Truth be told I was miserable being so guarded and on the off chance someone happened to by-pass my security, all they’d get is a projection of me. I refused to take accountability and instead I blamed my emotional unavailability on previous relationships and my depression; I let myself off the hook and I prolonged the suffering. So I refuse to lose my vulnerability as I’ve come to realise that true vulnerability is strength and that without fear, there can be no courage. Brene Brown, author of Atlas of the Heart, separates courage from bravery. In her 2011 TedTalk she states that the word courage is derived from the latin word “Cor” meaning heart and that its original meaning was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Damn…I rate that.

The word courage is derived from the latin word “Cor” meaning heart and its original meaning was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.

3. Ownership, building confidence and building my brand

Another reason for the Monthly Misogi and the actual writing / blogging / sharing of it is purely an exercise for my healing and being accountable to growth. As I mentioned earlier, it's also a way of owning my story so I get to write the ending. In order to build your brand, you HAVE to put yourself out there. I’m quite a private person by nature; I don’t share much on socials but a lot of creatives who I look up to consistently show up and SHOW THEIR WORK. They show the process and importantly, the fails too. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits states that “Confidence is built by having undeniable proof that you are who you say you are.” and that "Every action you take, is a vote for the person you wish to become." Showing up for myself and dropping the small exaggerations that I feed my ego with is the start and I hope that this journey takes me to a new place.

4. The Monthly Misogi

Simply because I want to. I want to change. I want to improve all areas of my life. I want to do the things that scare me. While climbing a mountain or improving my business may not cause an existential shift there, having integrity over my words and actions will. We all have that seed within us; that little something that wills us toward our purpose and that is waiting to grow when we give it the right conditions. That little something that knows we could be doing so much more and living so much more. These modified Misogi challenges are my way of unearthing and watering that seed. At its most simple, this is an experiment in levelling up and playing the game of life rather than watching from the sidelines.

Righto fam. It’s late and I don’t even know if that made sense haha. Reading it back, I'm unsure if I structured it well or said what I wanted to say in a clear way but fuck it. Done is better than perfect hey!!

Drop me a line if you found this interesting.

Charlie Mike: Continue Mission fam.

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