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.

We have 2018 Dates!

We know you have all been anxiously awaiting the dates for this year and we finally have them to give! SJW 2018 will be August 16-19th and we will be in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Hold onto your hats kids because the early bird price for this year is $200 until May 1st. After May 1st the price will go to $225. Attendance this year will be capped at 40 people so get your registration in sooner rather than later! The first floor of the cabin is handicap accessible this year. We are working toward becoming more accessible as we grow. Below are a few pictures of the new cabin.

We can’t wait to see you all on the mountain!


We need YOUR help for the website!

If you have attended SJW in the past, what we need from you if you are willing to help out, is a comment, recommendation or reference (however you think of it) for a new section of “Notes from Attendees”. We want new folks who come to the website and the mountain to be able to hear from previous attendees. They can read about what the experience was like for you, what you came away with, any tips you have, etc. If you wish to include your name/Fetlife name with your note, please sign the note as you want your name to appear.

Please email them to:

We hope you are doing well and thriving!

Your SJW Team

Don’t Despair, We Are Working Hard On 2018!

We know you are all excited and anxious for the 2018 dates; we are too. We haven’t forgotten and are working hard to get dates and location set up.

As many of you know the fires earlier this year in Tennessee created cabin and scheduling issues out of our control. We got the cabin that we could at the time but it was definitely not a good fit for us. So, we are scouring locations and gathering information once again to try and find a place that suits our needs; chief among them being handicap accessible and having appropriate class space. We listened to your feedback in from the surveys and what you have told us directly and are working to make as much as possible come to fruition.

We can tell you that it looks as though we will be having SJW in the fall again in 2018. We are working to have the location and dates for you by the end of January so that you can start planning too!

We appreciate your patience with us as we go through the location changes and grow; you all are awesome in your support!

In service,
Cricket, Mags, Talina & Zilah

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