Last weekend I participated in my second Integrity Day (you can read about my virginal Integrity Day experience in this previous post). I can attest it was another productive, inspiring, and awareness building experience. This time I chose to tackle a major outside project for the day and enlisted my partner Kim in the Integrity Day activities so she could experience firsthand the power that comes from the structure and people participating in the day. Not to mention, I wasn’t spending 8 hours doing manual labor without her!
For several years we have been kvetching about the front and back walkways on our house. Everytime we looked at them we complained. Everytime Kim got out of her car on the driveway she had to step on the grass (or mud, or snow) because the walkway was not only cracked but too short. Out back it was sloped, sunken, and ugly. More than one grill and winefest on the deck resulted in us lamenting those 6 stepping stones. Nothing but lost energy and negativity. So, we decided to commit to ripping out and replacing these two walkways on Integrity Day. Lord knows, left to our own motivation and devices we would still be complaining about it next spring.
What I learned most this time around was how the power of the group and check-ins helped us keep the exhausting and time-intensive task lighthearted. It forced us to work differently together. Instead of having one of those household chore days with your honey turn into a “someone ends up mad at someone” sort of day, we approached the job with much more focus on the common goal.
Whether it was newfound perspective or knowing that we had to check in with the group and didn’t want to sound like a bunch of whiny crankypants, I don’t know. What I do know is that breaking the job down into 2 hour milestones to share with the group made all the difference in keeping us alive and kicking through completion of the project. We were able to avoid overwhelm and to attend to the details (like tamping and leveling sand and stone) for hours on end without throwing in the towel, getting sloppy, or blaming each other for things that didn’t go as planned. In fact we navigated the whole day and a quick trip to Home Depot without so much as raising our voices (except for chants of “please stop raining!”).
In addition to the accountability and support for the task at hand, the group of participants on the call are also there to ask the tough questions (acting as a voice of reason that can often get lost when results driven, high-achieving women like me get on a roll) — “is it reasonable to accomplish that much in two hours?” and “are you listening to your body and scheduling in breaks so you don’t cripple yourself?”.
Perhaps one of the most satisfying aspects of the group is that I get to support other people, many who I have never met before, in getting what they most need from the day. Some on the call were tackling major projects like we were. Others used the time for extreme self-care and alone time. Either way, the energy on the call mounted as the day progressed and we zapped tolerations and completed projects.
If you have the need to devote time to some projects, tolerations, or self-care and would like to experience the power of an Integrity Day, let me know.