This November I led the first non doing November challenge I've ever run and honestly it was so eye opening. I was so grateful to all of the wonderful humans who participated in this 30 day mindfulness challenge with me and I was also really, really humbled by my own efforts to do less and be more of this month. Spoiler alert. It was really hard and I was so far from perfect. Anybody that has known me for more than a couple of days knows that I am a doer better than a beer or more so than a beer. So this challenge, involved everybody committing to using my stress loss journal, which is free by the way. Each morning as they set up to practice what I call the three keys, which is five minutes of meditation, five minutes of brain dump journaling and five minutes of movement. Each morning I sent out a helpful email with an inspiring quote and a journal prompt for them to consider for the however many days we did this 30 days.
The link to receive the free stress less and receive my weekly emails is in my Instagram bio if you are interested. It’s just @mariebarkerwellness if you want to sign up there for free. Anyways, this whole non-doing November idea came about in October after I received a not so fun email from my gynecologist, um, letting me know that I needed to have surgery ASAP. The reflection and self realization that comes about with any health scare, I guess can be really profound. And I realized shortly after I freaked out that this was going to be my spiritual assignment in the season that I was in. You know, because if you can't accept your reality, you go crazy. So I was kind of forced to accept my reality. And in order to explain all of this better, I'm going to take you back a little bit to when I was younger.
I'm also going to use third person because that makes it more fun. So see if you can relate to any of this. Here we go. See little Marie learned from a young age that if she achieved and worked hard, that she would be recognized and feel loved. So as a little Marie grew into older, wiser Marie, she still carried forward. Those tendencies to push, do, achieve, and succeed, which from the outside looking in is awesome. I mean, who doesn't want to achieve and succeed and feel recognized and loved? We live in a culture that celebrates busy-ness and productivity more than anything else, right? That's why when you ask people, how are you doing? They say, good, busy, but good. But older, wiser. Marie started to feel a bit burnt out again, a little more anxious than usual and a little more sensitive emotionally. And then this October when she got some life shaking news that she needed to have some precancerous cells removed from her cervix.
She sat up straighter and paid attention. You know, and at first she was scared and then sad, but then she felt that peace because she knew that this was an opportunity to rest, heal and finally let go of her old workaholic tendencies. And what she, I came to realize is that this season of rest and recovery is my own personal spiritual assignment. And instead of resisting it or pushing past the clear signs that I really needed to chill out like I for many years would have done. I listened, I actually surrendered to it. I allowed it to happen. And I learned to enjoy this season of slowing down, even though it wasn't easy for me. You know, not working out every day for the first while and not being busy was hard for me at first because I personally use work and being busy as a way of coping.
That's, that's my coping mechanism, you know? But I am saying that because I did commit to my own healing and I'm so committed to it right now, I recognize that this surgery and recovery period was a gift from the universe for me to learn, to let go, to learn, to surrender and to learn to relax and just enjoy. Like I don't let myself enjoy as often as I could. So that's exactly what I set out to do. And I thought, Hmm, how fun would it be to have other people who probably also need this as well? Focus inwards. This season with me, you know, I love bringing people together so that we can experience meaningful life stuff together. And this was no different. So that's exactly what happened a few days into the challenge. I was receiving DMS and emails back from the people participating and they were saying stuff like, this is exactly what I needed right now.
Or I can't believe how much more calm I feel already or I'm becoming a better parent just one weekend. Or the three keys are so simple to implement and they're making all the difference for me. And that's like all of these things made my heart so happy because I personally used them and I know how well they can work. So being able to share that with others and help them to tune in and um, you know, focus on doing less and being more this month was really, really awesome. I mean, knowing that I had a whole other tribe, like I had this whole tribe of other humans who are focused on being rather than doing as best as they could. It made it easier for me personally because the accountability piece is everything but old habits do die hard. And as soon as I was mostly healed from my surgery and I started working out again, I got into a new program that I'm loving by the way.
I found myself taking on more projects and I found myself getting busier again. But the cool part this time is that even though this month it was a struggle for me to slow down and do less. Yes. The host of non-doing November's struggles to slow down and do last. We teach what we need most. I was more mindful about it than I ever have been, and even when taking on more onto my plate, it was coming from a place of choosing to do those things rather than feeling like I needed to do more in order to be more or receive love. You know, not non doing November helped me and I'm really hoping a few others to let go of some of my old beliefs that I had about myself as well as some habits that really weren't serving me anymore. It helped me to prioritize my own mental and physical health more than ever.
And at the time that I'm recording this, I can honestly say that I feel the best that I have in a really long time. I have more clarity, I feel more grounded. I'm more at peace with myself with who I am, with who I'm becoming, with, where I'm going, than ever before. And I do not doubt that it's because of the compound effect of my efforts and attention on doing less and being more this month, you know? So, okay, here's how to tell if you could use a little less doing and a little more being in your life. I'm just going to jump on a limb here and say you probably need this, but let's just play along. Do you ever answer, how are you with this statement? Good. So busy but good. And then you try to casually laugh off how crazy you feel because your plate is overflowing with to-dos and it's driving you up the wall.
First of all, you're not alone. We live in a super fast paced rat racy keeping up with the Kardashians society. And if you tell people you are practicing non-doing they are going to look at you strangely or they're going to think you're being lazy or weird or just wasting time or all of those things, you know. But the fact is that practicing non-doing takes a great amount of dedication and heart and we have both of those traits. If you're listening to this, I know that you have both of those traits and we're also fiercely committed to our own internal peace, right? So we are also committed to practicing non doing or we need to be committed to practicing non-doing. And if you're listening to this going like, okay Marie, I'm down. I'm like, I want to practice non doing. What does that look like? Here's an example.
Sit or lie down on the couch, stare at the ceiling, breathe in, hold your breath, breathe out, pause, continue doing that about 10 times. Congratulations. You have now practiced non doing ah, I think I'm funny, but I read this quote the other day and it felt so fitting to this. Okay. Most people think nothing is happening, but read it another way. Nothing is happening, nothing is happening. Okay, so something to consider that quote. Journal this out. Okay. Just journal it out because I want you to consider it, but I think it's more practical if you actually put pen to paper. So journal about this. Do you wear busy as a badge of honor and what comes up for you when you think of doing less, does that challenge you also? Are there things in your life that you can automate? Delegate or even get rid of, eliminate, you know, in case you're interested in starting up your own morning practice of the three keys, which I obviously highly recommend, it's what I practice.
It's what I preach. It's what I use to help my people in my tribe get better results and calm their minds and um, you know, do less and be more, you can sign up super easy. You can sign up for the free journal by just going to my Instagram bio @mariebarkerwellness. Click the link there and just enter your email and you'll get, you'll automatically be sent the stress loss journal, no questions asked and then I'll send you a weekly email after that I choose to stay subscribed and I send out really valuable stuff. I treat sending you emails, uh, very secretly, very important to me that I show up with integrity and um, with genuine helpful emails every single week. So that's all for me for right now that has been my experience with non during November so far as we wrap up here in the next couple of days.
I'm really excited for more of the testimonies to come through from people who participated all month. And I'm so excited for those of you who are listening to this who are participating in non doing November, I'm so excited to hear from you and I'm so excited to see what this can create for you longterm. I mean, I've been meditating and journaling every morning and practicing these things for years now. Like just imagine where you will be in three months, six months, a year after practicing it so consistently because man, it is just, it creates magic in your life. So until next time, take care of my friend and don't forget that you are worth the effort. You do freaking deserve to be happy and everything that you need to live an epic life is already within you. So go out and make it happen.