Indulge KC: Fall 2017
This past weekend, I attended an event that truly challenged me to rethink what it means to be well. The gathering is called Indulge, and it takes place twice a year in Kansas City in the fall and spring—bringing women of all ages together to celebrate, challenge and encourage one another in health and wellness.
“To INDULGE™ is to take the time to do all the things that make you feel like a Badass Babe Warrior™. It is a time for you to put yourself first, relax away from the demands and pressures of everyday life. It is an opportunity to connect with like-minded women. A day to sweat, inspire, connect.
It is so difficult to pull away from life and focus on ourselves but it is absolutely necessary if we want to give the best of ourselves to others. The hope is that INDULGE™ ignites something in you to define your own balance.” –Sarah Buchanan, Founder
I truly cannot express how wonderful Indulge was, and because I believe that experiencing the event yourself will be more beneficial than me rambling about the event to you, I want to share the most soul-engaging practices and takeaways that the leaders at Indulge provided to the attendants. If you are looking to engage in a few simple, yet thought-shifting practices, please read on. The “dream-living, empowering and smile-giving humans” that led the Indulge KC fall experience can be read about here, and I’ve credited them below if applicable. Some of the takeaways were developed through conversation or my own thoughts, so I’ve credited the experience as a whole.
- In a quiet space, write out a list of rules that you’ve set for yourself, things that you believe to be true about life or yourself, and beliefs that you have about what health and wellness are supposed to look like. For example, “only workout in the AM,” “don’t drink coffee,” “practice yoga even though you don’t enjoy it,” “don’t gain too much muscle,” “don’t weigh over 150 lbs,” “a workout isn’t a workout unless you sweat a ton,” etc. All of these rules have a “because” behind them (“Practice yoga even though you don’t enjoy it because everyone else seems to enjoy it and it’s perceived as cool.”) Be unapologetically honest with yourself and take 2 minutes to write out this list.
When the two minutes are up, take time to read over the list.
Guess what? You have created these rules. These rules are in your head. What are the reasons behind these rules that you have created? You have the opportunity to change these rules for yourself at any moment. The rules that you set for yourself become the way you live your life. This week, break one of your rules and document the experience.
It’s okay to have standards for yourself and certain rules that help you be your best you, but if a rule isn’t benefiting your growth in wellness, then maybe you need to rethink some things. Julia Harkleroad
- Remove SHOULD, COULD and WOULD from your vocabulary for one week. Julia Harkleroad
- In what looks like a Bullseye, list the people that you are closest to and spend the most time with in the most-inner ring. Working outwards, list the other relationships in your life based on how much time you spend with these people. Circle or highlight the people that support you and your passion, interests, goals, etc. Have you circled anyone in the outer rings? Is there anyone that isn’t circled in the inner ring? Is there a way to shift these relationships around a bit? Can you start spending more time with people that support you and your desire to grow and less time with people who don’t? Julia Harkleroad, http://relatekc.com/
- Practice gratitude with another person (coworker, boyfriend, family, etc.). For 2 minutes, go back and forth listing things that you are grateful for. Dr. Michelle Robin
- On the left side of a T-chart, list all of the activities in your life that juice you, or excite you and give you a sense of purpose and happiness. On the right side of the T-chart, list the activities that drain you or that you don’t really enjoy. Can you eliminate some of the activities that drain you? Is there a way to make time for more of the activities that bring you joy? How? Dr. Michelle Robin, https://www.drmichellerobin.com/
- Take time to list 3 goals that you have for yourself in the next year. Next, list 3 daily habits that will help you reach these goals (these might be new habits that you plan on creating, like meditating each morning for 5 minutes). Beneath your habits, list 3 values that are rooted within your desire to reach your goals. Finally, list 3 ways you can create opportunity for reaching your goals (example: “I am going to start looking for apartments in New York City because I want to be living there by next fall.”). Meredith McAllister, http://www.mod-wellness.com/
- KALOS. Don’t know what this is? Neither did I. Check it out. I cried at one point during the exercise. Wendy Zoog and Julia Harkleroad
- On a notecard, write down 3 things that you want out of life. Ask someone (preferably that you don’t know) to cross one of the three things out. Have them give the card back to you. What would you do if someone told you that you couldn’t have that one thing that was crossed out? What if you were told that you weren’t worthy of achieving it? Take time to feel grateful for the people in your life that genuinely support you. Don’t ever settle in relationship with someone that doesn’t believe in you or tells you that you aren’t worthy of everything that you want out of life. Who’s to say that you can’t have ALL 3 of those things and then some? Kayla Hargett
- Emotions psychologically last about 3 ½ minutes in the brain. Your brain literally processes them for this long. Thoughts, however, linger as long as you let them. Julia Harkleroad
- The way that you talk to yourself directly affects your body. Poor body image and hateful self-talk literally lead to weight gain and health issues. Learning to love and accept yourself is the best decision that you can make for your physique and psyche. Julia Harkleroad
- If you’re walking through hell, just keep walking and pushing through. Someone else is walking through hell too. Dr. Michelle Robin
- The opposite of addiction is connection. Dr. Michelle Robin
- 90/10 Rule: 90% of the time, be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. 10% of the time, drink the wine, eat the French fries, stay out late and dip the Oreos in peanut butter. Indulge
- You will not see results by just exercising. Wellness requires a focus on nutrition, self-love and awareness, mindfulness and support (from your inner-self and others). Indulge
- From a reading by Jane E. Brody, incorporating words from Dr. Michelle Segar.
Focus on the idea that “everything counts”—taking the stairs…[walking instead of driving], weeding the garden, dancing…
“We should count any and every opportunity to move that exists in the space of our lives as valid movement worth doing.”
“Consistency trumps quantity when trying to establish a lifetime of fitness.”
“Even those with the best intentions often set themselves up for failure by establishing rigid exercise goals. They try to do too much, and when they can’t keep it up they give up and chalk it up as another exercise failure. In place of a performance goal, [Dr. Michelle Segar, who directs the Sport, Health and Activity Research and Policy Center at the University of Michigan] suggests setting a “learning goal”—learning to be flexible and cutting yourself some slack when needed.
At Indulge, you show up as you are, engage in each exercise with a whole heart, fuel your body with foods that energize and replenish you, and leave feeling raw and impacted. The event helps you grow, and above all else, fuels your own personal fire. Needless to say, don't miss the experience next spring!