40-Day Video Sadhana
On August 1st, 2019, I undertook a 40-day practice, which I fashioned after the spiritual practice of self-connection and discovery called Sadhana. Instead of a meditation practice, I did daily Instagram Videos where I shared personal stories, insights, lessons, teachings, knowledge and a lot of spontaneous wisdom with whomever was inclined to watch, follow, and interact.
WHAT IS Sadhana?
Sadhana can be a daily meditation, visualization, affirmation, walk in nature, journaling, reading a spiritual text, kriya, yoga or other physical meditative practice. The varieties of ‘activity’ are many; there isn’t a prescription.
Simply stated, a sadhana is a practice that connects you to Yourself. Little ‘you’ is the ego/mind and big ‘You’ is your Soul/higher mind. The big You can also be called the Inner Self, Higher Self, Authentic Self, Soul, Divine Self, etc. It’s the part of you that is not your ego; it is not the masks and the acceptable identities that you create based on external inputs or conditioning.
It’s the You that you find in moments of flow, surrender, unconditional love, meditation, and transcended states. It is the connection between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind. It is a practice of becoming whole by understanding you are more than your body, your thoughts, and most importantly, you are more than what the world “out there” tells you you should be.
The principles of both a 40-day challenge or sadhana are the same: commitment, dedication, discipline, evolution, and creating a new foundation.
Why Do This AS a Sadhana?
The purpose of the 40-day video sadhana was to overcome my resistance to doing videos and as a practice leading up to a new keynote I was preparing for the Talent Concierge Masters of Talent Showcase. I’m quite an introvert and though I like speaking on stage, videos felt more challenging - especially because I wanted to do them with minimal preparation so that I could free-flow my thoughts and feelings to allow for a more natural experience for myself, and for people watching.
I approached these 40-days as a practice rather than a challenge as a way to honor a more easeful, integrated, and psychologically safe mindset around doing something that is uncomfortable for me.
The term challenge, while appropriate for the undertaking, usually activates my high-strung, competitive, masculine side: I can get unduly hard on myself when something is framed as a challenge!
So, I tried applying a different mindset. In and of itself, the shift in mindset was a challenge for my ego who is used to the ‘other way’ - the high stress, high stakes, overly perfectionist and overly judgmental way.
Even though it felt uncomfortable, I knew I needed to push past it, practice, and give myself accountability by making it public and engaging with a community. First and foremost, it required a reframing - mentally and emotionally - admitting, stating and challenging my own resistance with awareness and acceptance set the tone for the 40 days.
We are all working on dissolving the ‘old way’ within … we each have own flavor of inner critic and inner judge!
Getting Over Awkwardness — The first few days were awkward. I thought I should keep them short, i.e. 3 minutes, and that restricted my ability to flow! It takes me nearly 30 seconds to introduce myself, the video, the day … so it didn’t leave much time to touch on a subject in a meaningful way. Once I allowed myself to go longer, I became more comfortable, and the videos got better. Also - I dialed down the makeup after a few days … I didn’t need it, it was onerous and time-consuming to put on and once I let go of it, I relax more into myself!
Sharing Is Necessary — I didn’t share the videos to my feed for several days as I was too shy and embarrassed (and I’m not embarrassed to admit that!). Once I got over that, and shared them to my feed, I got a lot more interaction with comments and questions, and this boosted my enthusiasm for doing the videos. I did post them to Stories and created a highlight with each day’s video cover and a short description but it wasn’t enough to drive a significant amount of views.
Having a Plan — Though I wanted the videos to flow naturally, I had a general outline for the 40-days and what theme or topics I’d be covering. I planned this ahead for the whole 40-days on a weekly basis, with the first two weeks before more concrete than the last three weeks because I knew that I would achieve a comfort level with myself and gain feedback to help plan the final weeks later. I had a recurring-calendar entry for each day for the video; anytime I looked at my Google Calendar, I knew I the video was part of my day. Some days were random and spontaneous, which was great, but the fact that I had general guidelines helped me be more effective and focused (as I have a tendency to ramble).
Allow For Spontaneity — I had to wing it a few times when my schedule didn’t allow me to record at the same time each day, and when I got a sudden inspiration. Initially, I hadn’t planned on breaking up the last four weeks into the 4-bodies (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) but when that flash came through, I knew it was perfect - and it was. Weekends were also more spontaneous and fun. I introduced Ambrose, our new rescue pup, I did a video from my truck on the way to a float, and I even did a video after a couple of hours of landscaping when I needed to ground some big energies!
It Was Resistance (Not Fear) — When I first thought about the videos, I thought of fear. “I’m afraid” … but it wasn’t fear. It was resistance, and those are two very, very different paradigms. In reality, fear is a physical phenomenon linked to death of the body. And, it’s been shown that humans have only two fears as babies: fear of loud noises and fear of falling. Anything else - anything - is learned. This means that anything else is resistance, and it can be overcome!
I Opened Up In New Ways — This practice truly did serve as a way to connect more deeply with myself, except that I was sharing some of that connection with others. I talked about things I had never talked about, which was a beautiful unfolding of inner narratives that had been held back by unnecessary and hidden shame and criticism. When it came to speaking about spirituality, especially, I noticed a huge lightening when I talked about my awakening process, which has been and continues to be my core personal focus as it relates to my evolution, understanding and empowerment.
In the traditional, spiritual sense, my video “sadhana” served its purpose in connecting me even more deeply to my Self!
Did I like doing videos? I did!
Based on feedback, conversations and connections I made throughout the process I can see the possibility of doing longer-form videos on a Youtube channel or other channel like Patreon, and even doing some live videos on Instagram.
I felt comfortable in myself and in the messages and purpose: to show, by example of my own life and lessons, how to overcome resistance and live in your highest potential. We must share our stories. It’s how we know we are not alone! Connecting with others on their own path is such a gift and a blessing for all involved.
I enjoy sharing my journey, which is a daily practice of ‘digging my soul out from under my ego’, and connecting to many, many others who are also waking up and looking for understanding, integration, connection, and support. I can see a great need for normalizing awakening and demystifying some of the metaphysical and spiritual concepts that can easily put people off (as it did for me in the beginning).
The best way to make all that happen is to continue pushing myself past resistance barriers and into growth territory. I’ll see you on IGTV as I definitely plan on doing more videos on a regular basis!