My Lesson This Month

By talina{ZAR}

I have a check-in group of close buddies. We share our goals and struggles and successes via email, as we all work to live healthier lifestyles. I’m learning WAY more than I did before I participated in this group, because I’m doing more reflection through their eyes, and through the process of sharing my information, instead of keeping it all in my head.

Two months ago, my lesson was about keeping my eye on the big picture, instead of getting bogged down in the daily details. Go for the batting average!! Got it!

My lesson for last month was about learning that doing more isn’t always the best solution. Sometimes, the appropriate action is to do less. And DOING less doesn’t mean that I’m WORTH less. Got it!

Well, let the learning process continue!

My lesson for this month is about knowing that my best is acceptable. And that what constitutes “my best” is a moving object, because “my best” is not the same this week as it was last week. And will most likely be different than next week.

Last week I faced HUGE challenges, as I worked 12- to 16-hour days on a special project. Great for making money; horrible for getting exercise and walking my dogs. This week I’m facing challenges with weather-related depression and lethargy. Great for eating fewer calories; horrible for motivating myself.

So, this week, my best is walking my dogs every day, because I want to be outside as much as possible. Eating less than my allowed calories (even if it is because of lethargy). And not giving a fuck about whether or not my teeth get brushed after lunch. And skipping cardio exercise, while still doing strength training.

Okay, so when compared against my goals, my best doesn’t look good enough. It looks downright pitiful. Until I got this email.

“Doing your best at this exact moment is stellar!” – [my friend]

What? Doing my best is stellar? Are you sure? Cuz my goal sheet says otherwise.
That’s when I realized that my friend has something my goal sheet doesn’t – compassion.

Compassion allows us to recognize that each of us doing our best is not only good enough – it’s stellar! Doing our best is the absolute highest we can ask of ourselves. If I can’t see that as stellar, I need to adjust my thinking. And so I am working on that. I recognize my goal sheet for what it is – a piece of paper. When I created that paper, I fully believed I could achieve each one of those goals – and I could have, if life had stayed exactly the same.

Reality, on the other hand, has dictated a different path. Life didn’t stay the same, and my goals now seem unattainable. Well, some of them, anyway. What’s more important, though, is that the goals now look LESS IMPORTANT. I started the month thinking that attaining my goals was the important thing.

Now, thanks to my friend, I realize that doing my best is the important thing. While it’s nice to achieve my goals, it’s really just a way to measure myself. And if I don’t add compassion into the mix when I’m measuring myself, then I’m doing myself a disservice.

So, I may or may not achieve all the goals written on my goal sheet this month. I really will try to do so. However, if I don’t, my world will not come crashing down around my ears. Right here and now, I admit to being fully human. I accept that being human (rather than mechanical) means that I am unpredictable, that people and circumstances around me are unpredictable, and that life isn’t always going to be an exciting ride. Sometimes, the ride’s going to be bumpy, and I’m going to need to adjust to the changing terrain.

So, today, I am struggling with recognizing my best as stellar. Until I can truly hold that belief in my heart, I’m going to borrow my friend’s faith, and know that she sees my best as stellar, and that’s good enough for me right now.

2017 SJW Put to Bed But Our PoTENtial Remains!


We, the producers, want to express to everyone how much gratitude we have for you all who attended SJW this year!

We know there were some bumps in the road with parking, etc. and you jumped right in to help make it work. When someone was struggling, you reached out to one another. We asked for help and you stepped up when needed; thank you. We cannot express how much you all mean to us and how we appreciate your “get ‘er done” spirits.

You all bring so much joy, determination, adventure, compassion and just all around fabulous energy to the mountain each year. The smiles on your faces, the connections you make, the unfoldment of the journey for each of you is what brings us stepping back up to the plate every time to make sure Submissive Journey Weekend is there every year.

This year we connected with our roots and acknowledged those who came before us. They lifted us up and remain in our hearts as we travel forward. We spoke so much about growth, our struggles, our loves and our poTENtial. Keep that close in your hearts, encourage it to grow and share it with others. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the ones you connected with this weekend, strengthen those networks, share your knowledge with others, keep learning, keep growing, build those bonds and love yourselves!

Come grow with us in 2018!


Your SJW Production Team,

talina, cricket, Mags & zilah

Catching Up & What’s The Scoop for SJW 2017?

January 29, 2017

After much agonizing, we have made the difficult decision to move SJW to the fall this year. We’ll be meeting August 17-20, 2017.

A couple months back we were all set to make an announcement about dates for May. Then the forest fires in TN ruined all our plans. Once the rental agencies got done moving everyone around, the dates they offered us just weren’t acceptable. So, in lieu of cancelling for this year, we’re just moving to the fall and a new cabin.

Don’t worry, it’s only for this year! 2018, we’ll be back in the spring again!

Tomorrow we’ll be getting the website sorted and getting registration finalized.

On a serious note…..

I’m incredibly sorry we have been so silent. Honestly, I just didn’t know what to say or how to say it. I didn’t know how to tell you that we couldn’t have SJW in May, and so I said nothing. Boy, was that a bad choice!

Thankfully, Mags finally kicked my ass enough to get me to finalize everything and get this ball rolling. She convinced me you folks would be fine with the weird arrangements for this year, and that we’d just make it work. Well, can I say how much I love having my ass kicked by Mags? smile

We are doing everything in our power to cut the costs of SJW to the bare bone. It is my goal to get SJW down to the lowest price we possibly can, to make it available to a wider scope of folks. For this year, i can promise you that the prices will not be raised – and are likely to go down.

Tomorrow the team will be finalizing the numbers and setting up the website registration. At that time, we’ll announce this year’s price.

Oh, and if you’re still reading…….you get in on a special secret. We already have dates for next year: May 17-20, 2018. Mark it on your calendars, because the cabin’s already reserved!!