Showing Up for your Life

written by Jim Holzknecht
Woody Allen once wrote “Over 90% of success is just showing up.” Do you have a goal which you are not showing up for? One where you are not in action on? Or where there’s something you’ve given up on? Or maybe one where you haven’t even started yet because you are waiting for ”the perfect time” or until you have “more information” or until you have “more support” or some other version of that? Consider that whatever resistance you have created for yourself around that goal, that there could be one simple solution which will get you moving toward your goal. A solution which will enable you to start consistently showing up for your life: “committed daily action.”

I learned first hand how powerful a committed daily action could be during the production of Beyond Belief. For several weeks in 2009, I was feeling very tired and run down. The challenges of a rigorous production schedule were starting to take their toll. I wanted to commit to a healthy practice which would be challenging and which would give me more energy during the day.

I discussed this with Becky Hays, my co-producer of Beyond Belief, and we decided to do 21 straight days of yoga. We selected 21 days, initially, because many experts say that if you want to form a habit, do it for 21 consecutive days.

I had practiced Bikram Heated Yoga very inconsistently prior to launching our 21 consecutive day challenge, so I chose to do that yoga style while Becky chose to do Ashtanga. On June 22nd, 2009, after a production meeting, we both launched our 21 day yoga challenges. Let the yoga challenge begin!!! Little did I know that this simple action and commitment would change my life.

Throughout the 21 days, my mind raced with a myriad of reasons why not to go to yoga that day. Excuses abound from grocery shopping (which I intensely dislike), to some pressing work related task, to personal obligations, etc. On and on, the list of rationalizations, justifications, excuses came up demanding that I be anywhere else but the yoga studio.  Fortunately, I chose to honor my word and commitment to Becky more than the static interference being broadcast in my head.

After 21 days, I was feeling better and had more energy than I had in quite awhile, so we decided to extend our yoga challenge to 30 consecutive days. The protest and noise in my head continued, but I noticed that it was getting fainter. It didn’t have the charge and the volume that it once did.

At the 30 day point, I had a conversation with Becky and we decided to do extend our two person team challenge for 60 consecutive days. Even though we practiced yoga at different studios, she practiced at Yoga Yoga and I practiced at Bikram Yoga Davenport (BYD Austion) just knowing I wasn’t alone in the daily challenge was somewhat comforting.

After 60 consecutive days, in August 2009, I opened my big mouth and said, “hey, let’s keep going until Beyond Belief gets released.” As soon as the words left my mouth I wanted to pull them back in but it was too late. She quickly responded, “OK, let’s do it.” At that time, the “anticipated” release date was October 31st 2009 but given the amount that still needed to be done with the film, that milestone was somewhere between a dubious pipe dream and wishful thinking. My mind protested vehemently “what have you just committed to?” It screamed “another 60 plus consecutive days of yoga are you crazy?” Despite all my mental protests, I kept showing up, one day and one posture at a time. One of the most challenging postures for me was often just opening the front door to the studio, day, after day, after day. October 31st came and went and there was still a lot more work to be done on the film so our ever-growing challenge kept expanding and rolling along.

The film was released on December 15th, 2009. The release date marked my one hundredth and seventy seventh consecutive day of Bikram Heated yoga. As fate would have it, I kept the streak going after the December 15th, 2009 release and at the time of this article, will mark my 300th consecutive day of Bikram Heated Yoga.

For me, with each consecutive day of yoga, I get to expand what I previously thought was possible for myself and hopefully empower others to see what might be possible for them as well. This challenge has been one of the most rewarding and challenging things I have done in my life and it has helped to be a daily reminder of the importance and power of committed daily action. Whatever goal or intention you have, I invite you to commit to do something toward it each day and to start showing up for it, you never know where it will take you.

Jim Holzknecht and Becky Hays produced the groundbreaking film Beyond Belief, featuring over 20 world leaders in personal transformation.