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Subject: Welcome!

Sitting on PURPOSE 14-Day Challenge

Welcome to 14 days of Sitting on PURPOSE. This is more than a nature connection program; it’s a path, a journey. In many ways, it’s a hero’s journey, one that will lead you from the known into the unknown and back with unforeseen treasures. Doesn’t that sound awesome?

Sit Spot is the simple act of finding a particular place outdoors where you sit quietly and observe.

Doing this daily will:

  • reconnect you with the rhythms of the natural world
  • recalibrate and reconnect with your own true nature
  • rebuild and retrain the crucial ability to fully notice your internal and external landscapes
  • decrease stress hormones
  • increase a sense of wellbeing

The practice of Sit Spot has been found all over the world. Every culture, every tribe, and we’ll go so far as to say every individual, has a unique way of making the basics of the practice work for them. There is no wrong way to do Sit Spot! We do ask you, however to follow our guidelines by keeping to the the basic practices sitting for at least 20 minutes at the same location. Doing it this way will help create the brain pattern for good Sit Spotting habits.

For the next 14 days, your challenge is to do a Sit Spot every day. Sounds easy right?!

This process is so very simple AND can prove very challenging to keep up. Even those who say I feel “great while I’m Sitting!” still can have a hard time motivating themselves to go consistently. Fear not…We’re here to help!

You’ll receive a daily email with a challenge or assignment that will help bring a focus to your Sit Spot for that day. It’s also helpful to have the support of others throughout these 14 days. For this reason, we ask you to request to join the Sagefire Institute’s Sit Spot Community Facebook Page.  It’s the perfect place to share successes, ask questions, and get the support you need in order to succeed.

Tomorrow you will receive an email with instructions on how to find your Sit Spot.

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta
Sagefire Institute

Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 1: Finding a Sit Spot

Convenience! It’s better to have your Sit Spot in a “less desirable” location close to home (fewer than 20 paces from your back door) than it is to have one in the most “perfect” location a mile down the road. The closer it is, the greater the chance that you’ll go everyday.

Amenities! Look for a place that animals are attracted to; one that provides wildlife with water, shelter, and/or food. Transition areas, where fields meet tree lines, or where shrubs meet lawns, are often hotspots for a variety of species and afford you an excellent view. If your backyard has none of these to offer, make one! A bird feeder is a simple way to attract wildlife to your Sit Spot. 

Comfort! The number one reason people stop going to their Sit Spot is because they’re not comfortable – and the main reason they’re uncomfortable is because they’re not dressed appropriately for the weather. If you find yourself physically uncomfortable while at your Sit Spot, reevaluate what you’re wearing. You may need an extra layer of clothing, rain gear, a hat to keep off glare, or a blanket. 

Distraction Free! Sit Spot is a place for you to be with nature. Leave distractions (i.e. journals, phones, and pets) at home. However, if bringing a cup of tea or coffee will make your experience more pleasurable, by all means do so.

Now go outside and find a Sit Spot!

Sit there for ten minutes. 

Notice how it feels. Change locations if need be until you find your spot. This will be the place you sit every day for 14 days.

If you should have questions, you can look here for our FAQ’s

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta 
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 2: Intention

We’ve learned the hard way that if we don’t put a destination into our navigation system, we won’t ever get to where we want to go.

Let’s take a moment to think about where you want to go. What’s your intention for these 14 days of Sitting on PURPOSE? What do you hope to have happen as a result of sitting outside for 14 days? And, just as important as setting your destination, why do you want to go there? Setting an intention will prove especially helpful if you get lost along the way. It’s easy to give up and head home if you repeatedly get lost, but if you remember, “Aha! Yes, someone was going to give me a million dollars (or peace, or chocolate cake) when I get there!”, it keeps you in line in the direction of your destination.  

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta 
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 3: Gratitude

Starting today and continuing for the rest this journey, give thanks in some way while at your Sit Spot. There is no wrong way to do this; thanksgiving can be long or short, spoken in elegant prose or simply indicated with a gesture. 

Today, think about the small moments that you experience in nature that make life special. The smell of a pine forest or a freshly mowed lawn perhaps? Walking barefoot on a sandy shore or the sweet taste of wild raspberries? Allow your senses to guide you as you complete the sentence starter, “I love it when…” as many times as you can. “I love it when a butterfly uncurls its long tongue (proboscis) to drink nectar from a flower.” “I love it when everything gets quieter right before it snows.”

Go wild and really open up to your truth: “I love it when I drive down the highway and the smell of skunk fills the car.”

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta 
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 4: Owl Eyes

For most of us, seeing the world through a highly focused, limited field of view is the result of conditioning we received in grade school. Though such focused attention and vision may have allowed us to learn to read and write, when it becomes our dominant way of seeing, we limit our awareness of everything else. In fact, you are narrowing your ability to take in a bigger picture right now simply by reading these words. In order to develop a greater awareness of nature, or anything else for that matter, it is absolutely necessary to be able to use both focused and wide-angle vision, and learn to switch consciously between the two. To better understand this, try the following practice.

FIRST: Focus your vision on a fixed point in front of you.

SECOND: Soften your focused gaze and begin to take in as much as you can to the right and left of that point without moving your head or eyes. Allow your vision to begin to soften.

THIRD: With your eyes still trained on the original point (but not focused on it), also take in as much as you can above and below that point. 

Your field of view, though slightly less focused, should now be taking in quite a bit more than it was while focused on the fixed point. This is called “Owl Eyes” or “wide-angle vision.” 

For the next week, practice using Owl Eyes while at your Sit Spot. Experiment going in and out of it. Try using it in other places as well: at the gym, walking through the mall, while reading a book. See where it works and where it doesn’t. Pay attention to what it allows you to do while in nature. 

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta 
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 5:  Seeing the Metaphors in Nature

All that we see in life is a reflection of our internal world. Let’s play with this today by going out to your Sit Spot and observing. Notice how your life is reflected in the landscape, creatures, and weather that surround you. 

Say aloud what you see and describe it. Then repeat what you said, but this time replace the thing that you were talking about with “I am….”

For example, “I see a hummingbird. It’s full of energy, protective of its flowers, and alternates between high activity and brief periods of rest” becomes “I am full of energy, protective of my home and balanced between work and rest.” If anything doesn’t seem to fit, for example, if you were thinking “I’m NOT balanced when it comes to rest and play,” then ask yourself, where is this true? Or, what can you learn from this?

Allow this exercise to be playful or serious, frivolous or meaningful; whatever you are in need of today.

*Have you been giving thanks each time you sit?

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta 
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 6: Love thy neighbor

Today, notice the birds. What are the sounds you’re hearing, the colors you’re seeing, and the behaviors you’re noticing?

Can you name any of these bird species? 

Share some of what you’re noticing on the Sit Spot Community Facebook page.

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta 
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 7: Deer Ears

Deer, like many other prey animals, have the ability to turn their ears in such a way that they can locate sound in a 360° field. As humans and predators, our ears are arranged to take in sound from a much narrower field. By slowing down and consciously tuning into our hearing, we can easily expand the level of our awareness. To better understand this, try the following exercise. 

FIRST: The next time you’ve settled in at your Sit Spot, close your eyes and take a few deep, relaxing breaths. 

SECOND: With your eyes still closed, take in one sound that grabs your attention. 

THIRD: While maintaining an awareness of the first sound, begin to add additional sounds to your awareness so that you can hear as many noises as you can at one time. Notice how you experience these sounds in your mind’s eye. 

FOURTH: Open your eyes and go into a soft gaze. Practice using both Owl Eyes and Deer Ears simultaneously. 

Practice this both at your Sit Spot for the next week. Experiment using both Owl Eyes and Deer Ears away from your Sit Spot too. Try practicing while walking and notice how it affects the way you walk.

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta 
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 8: Art of Questioning

The art of questioning is a beautiful way to discover what we already know and shine light upon our blind spots in knowledge. You can begin to explore the art of questioning by selecting an object from your nature museum or going outside and finding something new and interesting. 

Your challenge is to ask 100 questions about this object. We know that seems like a lot! If you think you need help, do it with a partner. Pay attention to the ways in which you limit your ability to ask questions. Let loose, have fun, and allow a child-like curiosity to take over. 

*How did you give thanks today?

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta 
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 9: Know your Neighbors

Today, have your focus be on the mammals at your Sit Spot. How many different signs of squirrels, deer, and raccoons can you see? Where is the nearest mouse nest? What are they eating this time of year?

Share some of what you’re noticing on the Sit Spot Community Facebook page.

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 10: Fox Walking

Please watch this brief video on walking slowly and with intention.

fox walking

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 11: Sensory Meditation

Please listen to this brief Sensory Meditation- Practice this at your Sit Spot for the next week.

*How did you give thanks for today?

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 12: Inner Tracking

Inner Tracking, a process often paired with Sit Spot, is a series of questions designed to increase your awareness of the internal world of thought and emotion. The process helps you to become conscious of what prevents you from living and leading from your greatest gifts. It may seem simple, but is not necessarily easy. 

What is my intention / motivation?

If you want to master Inner Tracking, you’ve got to know what you’re tracking. That is, you must be clear on what it is you hope to create: quietness of mind, a deeper connection to nature, a better understanding of why you and your spouse keep arguing and what to do about it? First figure out what you’re looking to track, then set the intention before going out to your Sit Spot. Carry that intention with you as you travel there and then let it go, trusting that what needs to show up, will. Understanding your motivation is also important. We like to think of motivation as the intention behind the intention (i.e., the feeling that is driving the intention). Is that feeling pushing you toward a deeper relationship with something or is it causing you to avoid a deeper relationship? There is an example of this in the sample journal page in the next prompt.

What did I notice in nature?

While you are at your Sit Spot, observe the world around you and answer the remainder of the questions when you return indoors to journal. Use all your senses to convey what you observed while at your Sit Spot. Describe more than what you saw. Write down the smells, sounds, physical sensations and even tastes you experienced while there. Take note of anything that captured your attention: animals, winds, rain, temperature, tracks, etc. Feel free to include anything you noticed about interactions you observed or patterns you became aware of. 

What did I notice within myself?

Just as you’ve made observations of the outer landscape, now do the same of your inner landscape. Take note of any strong feelings, sensations, thoughts, judgments, and challenges that presented themselves to you on a physical, intellectual, or emotional level. There is no one right way to do this. Experiment and see what works best for you.

What is this teaching me / telling me?

What did you learn from your observations? What does it tell you when a bird that was singing one minute suddenly goes quiet seconds before a hawk flies by? What does it tell you when you observe 10 times more animal activity during the second half of your Sit Spot than you did during the first half?

Where do I see this reflected in my life?

When you set an intention for a deeper knowing and turn to nature for answers, you get the wisdom reflected to you in a pure and nonjudgmental way. Because you’re the one making meaning from what shows up at your Sit Spot, you can trust that the answers you get are yours and not another person’s judgments, projections, or values.

What questions and things do I want to pay more attention to?

What questions do you have as a result of your visit to your Sit Spot? They may be about something you saw: a bird, tree, or plant. They may be about what was going on for you internally, such as, “Every time I try to get quiet, why do my concerns about money start showing up?”. You may also want to jot down a few things to pay attention to at your next visit. For example, “At my next Sit Spot I want to see if that track I saw had four toes or five and if there were nails at the end of each toe.” Or, it may be something from your inner landscape that you will want to pay more attention to, such as, “I’ve noticed that when I give thanks at my Sit Spot, I find it easier to sit quietly. I want to test this and see what happens.”

It’s time for you to practice the art of Inner Tracking. In a journal or on a piece of paper, write down these questions. Fill out the intention / motivation piece before you go out to your Sit Spot. When you return from sitting, journal the remainder of the data. Do not bring your journal out with you!

What is my intention / motivation?

What did I notice in nature?

What did I notice within myself?

What is this is telling me / teaching me?

Where do I see this reflected in my life?

What questions and things do I want to pay more attention to?

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 13: Know your Neighbors

It’s time again for some neighborly research! 

Today it’s plants and I ask that you notice the colors, textures and smells of the low growing and trees near your Sit Spot. 

Describe the leaves. Are the edges smooth or does it look like it has teeth like a saw? Are they round, oval, lance like or heart shaped? Do they have flowers or fruit/nuts? Do you know any by name? 

Share some of what you’re noticing on the Sit Spot Community Facebook page.

*What did you give thanks for today?

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Day 14: Nature Museum

It’s a natural tendency for people to walk in nature and pick up items that are beautiful and interesting. Sit on any beach and watch children go shell and sand dollar hunting. Watch any child on a woodland path and see how many rocks, twigs, and pine cones they can stuff into their pockets. We invite you to foster this desire to collect and gather. 

Bring objects inside and put them in a place of honor. Display them in a pretty bowl in the center of your dining table or on a bookshelf. If it’s in your nature, take pictures of what you have collected and share them on the Sit Spot Community Facebook Page.

This nature museum has an important role in your development of a deeper awareness and the art of asking good questions. 

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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Completion email (on day 15): Honoring’s and Commitments

Way to go YOU! You completed 14 days of Sitting on PURPOSE. It’s important to take some time to reflect upon your accomplishments and to honor yourself for your achievements. Focus on what you DID accomplish (not the day(s) you missed or the assignments you forgot). Think of all the moments you did get to sit and the lessons you extracted from the assignments you were able to complete.

This is also a good time to consider how you’d like to continue to develop and strengthen the threads of relationship you’ve been creating and developing between yourself and your Sit Spot. Remember that this is a journey and there is still so much more to discover, both in the natural world and within yourself. 

What commitments do you have for the future for deepening your connections? Make sure they are measurable with clear parameters. 

For example: I will go to my Sit Spot at least twice a week for a minimum of 30 minutes each time, for the next year. 

Write it in a sticky note and place it where you’ll see it as a friendly reminder. You may also want to post it on the Sit Spot Community Facebook page as well so that others can continue to support you on this new path. 

Have fun and happy Sitting!
Lynn & Michael Trotta
Sagefire Institute
Posting comments and photo’s? #sittingonpurpose #sagefireinstitute

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