Wednesday, August 7, 2013

PROJECT SOARIN365: The Journey Within

I have taken many trips in my life.  This month marks my fifteenth year as a food and travel writer. I had been blessed to gallivant around the Philippines, revel in the last Shangri-la that is Bhutan, be in awe of the vineyards of Argentina, and eat my way all round Asia and Australia. My heart skipped a beat jumping off a cliff on a paraglider, zip-lining through the forests of Laos, eating ant eggs, and rock climbing the limestone rocks of El Nido. No doubt, travel has enriched me immensely. It has allowed me to see the world, encounter fascinating people, witness and capture awesome stories. More importantly, travel lets you discover the depths of who you really are. But I’ve also learned the most challenging adventure is the journey within.

In the past few months, I’ve come face-to-face with the unsettling realization that I am not living my fullest potential. Blessed with the best education in the world, tremendous opportunities, good health, talents, specialized skills and creativity, I have much to give. In my reflection, I’ve realized that playing it small is a disservice not just to myself, but to God and others. During my prayer time, I felt a strong prompting to push myself. God is after all, asking for us in our entireity. The words “Todong-todo, Bigay-na-bigay, and Buhay-na-Buhay” (Your all, giving your all, and truly alive) have become my mission-vision and mantra of sorts. When you give your all in life and generously give off yourself, you become fully alive. It all works hand in hand.

With clarity, I began to see the aspects of my life where I could improve tremendously. These aspects of my life have hindered me from fully letting me soar to live my dream of eating my way around the world. So on my birthday, last July 28, as I walked on the beach things started falling into place. I have to take this journey within for the next 365. I call is SOARIN365. It is my goal to soar in 365 days. Can 1 year make a difference in one person's life? That is the challenge I am boldly taking.

For airplanes to fly long distances, they have to take off before they can soar. This is my 365 days of taking off before I can embark on bigger, greater adventures. My goal is not just the person I become after 365 days. It is also important to enjoy THIS wonderful journey of transformation. It also means repeatedly choosing each day to better myself, creatively having fun along the way! It is happily soaring in these 365 days! 

This process had begun for me in August 1st.

For the first month, my mission is: “Getting Rid of Excess Baggage.” Two things weigh me down, an unhealthy body and a cluttered home. I found myself reaching my all time heaviest weight. I had begun my journey to fitness a few months ago. Baby steps. For the first time, I joined the gym and actually visited it regularly for the past year. I enjoyed zumba, and started religiously attending classes with two of my favorite instructors. I discovered the joy of dancing, shaking my booty, and working a sweat. This independent spirit found it therapeutic and fun to be told what to do, and what steps to take next.  It was like playing Simon Says with my teacher, following his every move.  From fun, it has become a commitment. A friend invited me to join him boxing last September. I started out breathless after three rounds with our boxing teacher, now I can do eight rounds jabbing and upper cut punches. But for me the most daunting task is conquering the gym. I’ve always felt intimidated by the gym equipment and weights, clueless how to use them. So for the first time, I got a trainer to show me how. Being a food writer, it has always been my convenient excuse to give up decadent dishes. But in the past few weeks, I’ve realized committing to eating delicious healthy food choices can be done. Being a food writer is not an excuse. It is an asset on this path to good health.

I went back and forth on whether I should publicly share this Journey to Soar. I had taken photos but hesitated to share them, feeling vulnerable. But I have committed to giving my all, and part of that means sharing the process. I know other people too have their own struggles they want to conquer. So join me, as I post each day the journey to SOARIN365. I will post a photo each day to give you a glimpse of my daily choices. 

Come join me. Let's transform our lives and soar in 365 days!



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Copyright.MaidaPineda2013. No part of this blog may be published elsewhere, without consent of the author.

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