In this guest blog, Mary Tice, CfG Member, talks about her experiences of finding balance.


A pixel art buddhist in orange robes mediates cross legged against a dark background


Perkiness, Fogginess, Balance

I like to think I’m a pretty easy going, happy person. I suffer from a chronic illness complete with fatigue, brain fog, depression and anxiety but I do my best to find the silver lining (like always having an excuse to wear yoga pants and nap for example). However, my perkiness has gone down considerably with my recent decision to nix coffee as has my usual easy going nature. Who knew no coffee in the morning could make a sane person snap at her furbabies as they demand snuggles upon waking? So when I first heard about the Coaching for Geeks’ 30 Day Level Up Challenge, I knew I wanted to use my time to find a bit of the old, balanced Mary again.

30 Minutes, 30 Days

Each day, I spend 30 minutes meditating. Some days I listen to guided meditations, other days it’s a mantra I chant and others it’s being completely silent. I’ll meditate before I leave for work, in between office runs or before bed. I’ve sat on the gray, cold beach alone with the waves and birds.

I’ve been pounced on by my cat while chanting because she wanted the cord to my headphones. I’ve been unable to solidly focus on my meditation and I’ve been so focused that the time flies by. Every day I check in with Robin and the group, sharing thoughts here and there. It’s been tough, but I want that prize. Oh and balance, enlightenment and stuff…

So the question is as I near the end, what has it done to really level up my life?

Well for starters, I’m a far nicer mommy to the furry ones in the morning. I don’t mind (as much) having them all run underfoot while I’m trying to make myself breakfast, go for walkies or dispense kibble. My agreeable temperament seems to be (mostly) back. My anxiety has only flared up a couple of times in overcrowded stores. And I’ve noticed I’m actually fairly mindful during my day with limited multitasking and plenty of “stopping to smell roses” moments, I just wasn’t taking that mindfulness to the next level.

But probably the most notable improvement is my focus. I have gone from feeling restless at work to blowing through my goals for the end of the year. My writing once again flows from my pen/keyboard. And I’m not as forgetful. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still scatterbrained as all get out, my brain just isn’t as foggy as it used to be. (Mostly I just remember to take my vitamins and supplements or where I parked the car and not so much what I was going to say next, but baby steps.)

The Future

A Cel Shaded Time Travelling Delorean as seen in the Back to the Future movies


The big question is, after these 30 days, will I continue to zen out each and every day for 30 minutes? Honestly? Yes and no. 30 minutes of meditation is too much for me on a daily basis, but I will continue with shorter times each day, like 10-15 minutes with longer sessions as needed or on the weekends when I have more free time. It’s not that I don’t enjoy meditating, I just also like reading, working on my blog and chatting/watching TV with my hubby during those few precious hours I’m not at work or sleeping. And because I am now actively trying to include more mindful moments throughout my day, I don’t find myself needing much extra time for solid meditation.

This challenge has been amazing at helping me level up my life. Challenges are challenges because they do just that. They challenge us to be better. They are hard. You want to give up. But afterwards, you always feel improved in some way. I can honestly say finding the time to fit in my daily meditation is difficult.

There are days I don’t want to do it. But yet I persist. Because at the end of the day, it’s only 30 days. And everyone owes it to themselves to set aside 30 minutes for 30 days to level up in some way.

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Mary Tice – Level Up Challenger, CfG Member, all round superstar



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