Assignment #3: Let’s Go!

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Your next Live Sincerely Project assignment: Choose and commit to your personal pledge focus. Share your specific commitment and ideas in the comments below!

What speaks to YOU?

What speaks to YOU?

If you are following along with the assignments in order, so far we have pledged to live sincerely, and added a picture of ourselves (and/or a sign!) as we start this journey. Now we will delve into getting to the heart of it: making our own individual efforts more personal and specific.

Take a look again at the Live Sincerely Pledge. There are a lot of pretty big concepts and life efforts contained on that one page! However, thinking about it in the context of YOUR life, there likely are parts of it that resonate with you more than others, or seem more needed or relevant for your own growth.

You assignment here is to pick a smaller part of the pledge (a line, couplet, word, concept, section, etc.), to be your current personal focus. You can obviously always change this, but this is a small place to start. You might want to pick something short and easy to remember, as a mantra to chant while you run, to write on a tiny sticky note at your desk, and to refer to in day to day life… or you might want to pick a longer piece, something to really meditate on, to dig into, to write about, and to find new meaning in for you. It’s up to you!

When you have decided, we invite you to make it real by sharing it. Add a comment below answering:

What specific part of the Live Sincerely Pledge will you work on first, now, today?

Extra credit ideas:

  • Why? Give us the back story! ~ Include in your comment the reasoning behind your choice.
  • How? Share your ideas and inspire someone else! ~ Include in your comment the action(s) you plan to take related to your pick.


  1. Jessica says:

    I’ll start! :)

    *What specific part of the Live Sincerely Pledge will you work on now?
    This block, with my smaller mantra in there too:
    “Accepting the reality that there are circumstances I cannot change,
    I WILL SEIZE MY POWER to actively change that which I can control
    with hope and creativity.”

    I am shoulder deep in circumstances I can’t change right now. And I am aware that I could quickly get sucked down into a black hole for an it’s-not-fair-and-I-have-no-ability-to-make-anything-better-boo-hoo pity party. So I chose this section to work on, to help me feel empowered, still: I want to remember to both acknowledge and accept that LIFE IS NOT FAIR or easy, for anyone, and then also SEIZE MY POWER, where I can, rather than wallowing. I want to proactively focus on retaining hope and creativity, as I know they hold the key to weathering stronger storms ahead. Also, in general, I want to live this way to honor Vanessa, who said at least a bajillion times over the last 6 years that she doesn’t want anyone to look at her as up on some pedestal of inspiration to admire from afar, but instead see in her ourselves, with a reminder that no matter what we have going on, we all still have so many choices and chances to be a better person and make life what we want it to be. For V, for me, for everyone I love, I want to be my best self.

    Well, writing (aka blogging here), for one! ;) When I write about the harder parts of this current journey, giving a voice to the parts I can’t change often helps me accept them as the reality, rather than staying in the disbelief that my brain starts with. I also plan to engage my crafty, organizing, creative side way more in the coming months. This is not only in doing actual creative pursuits like sewing and designing and coding and building, but also applying more hope and creativity to challenges and roadblocks. I want to cultivate a belief in myself that for every challenge or roadblock, there absolutely *is* SOMETHING that I can do (perhaps needing to think about it differently to see what that is)… and then seizing my POWER to go DO IT.

  2. lisa says:

    “Be loving and generous” Your web site was found by me when our best friend was dying of terminal brain tumor. Your site and another woman with terminal cancer taught me to be loving and generous. I am now loving on Steves widow by staying in contact contact. Calling and sending virtual hugs. whenever she needs something done to the house, me my husband or son go out and get it done. I want to love on her and be generous with my time, because she really is suffering the loss of her husband. We were blessed to be able to walk thru this with Steve and Pam, and on Steve’s deathbed we promised to take care of his wife and kids for as long as we can.
    And hope. Hope for the future of cancer research. I have been around death and dying. I have never traveled the journey that I did with Steve and his glioblastoma.
    Thank you all for helping me to learn how to help this family in their time of need, your web site and blog is what showed me how to help care for this family~
    with much love and hugs Lisa

    • Jessica says:

      Well if that doesn’t embody being loving and generous, I’m not sure what does! :) I am certain that the difference you are making in your friend’s family’s life is larger than you even realize. That constant contact is so important and I applaud you for continuing on, even if it might be hard to face someone likely so flattened by grieving their huge loss. Thank you for making that commitment to help someone even if/when it’s not pretty, and honoring your friendship with Steve so beautifully even after his death. And I’m right there with you on hope for the cancer research that will lead to treatments/preventions/cures for cancer in all its many forms! :)

  3. Danielle Votel says:

    “Life is a gift.” And my promise to you, is that I will treat it like one every day:)

    When my mom passed away thirteen years ago, we found this handwritten note…

    Yesterday is history,
    Tomorrow a mystery,
    Today is a gift,
    That’s why we call it the Present.

    She took the time to write this down (original author unknown to me), so I know that it meant a lot to her. And now it means the world to me. Cherish the moment, and live for the day:):).

    Thanks, V, for being such an inspiration to Live Sincerely! ((Hugs)) and prayers always…

    • Jessica says:

      What a beautiful gift your mom left you – the wisdom that every second of life is the biggest gift of all. And how precious to have that saying in her handwriting, too. Thanks for sharing with us! :)

  4. ~Dana says:

    “I will love the person I am today, while constantly striving towards my best self”
    I have a huge anxiety problem. I have learned from Vanessa that I just need to relax and calm down. Life doesn’t always go our way but it is how we handle it that keeps me going.

  5. Erin says:

    “I will acknowledge both the marvel and the limitations of my body and respectfully take care of it the best I can.”

    A funny thing happened after I got married and pregnant… I lost sight of who I was. I stopped taking care of myself, and my life became largely about taking care of everyone else. I would get to “me” later. As a result, I’ve gained more weight in 5 years than I had in the previous 15. Looking at pictures of myself this weekend, I was astonished at just how detached I had become from my previous, pre-wife, pre-MOM self. I also realized I am not teaching my daughter a healthy way to live, and even though I rarely voice my negative feelings towards myself out loud, surely she does, or will notice both in the way I act and carry myself.
    Timing is strange. This could be part of the “there are no coincidences” theory, or it could be just that… Assignment number three was posted on Monday, but I actually started my change in behavior on Sunday. In the pouring rain Sunday morning, I went for my first run/walk (mostly walk) in over two years. It was cold and VERY wet, but I knew if I made an excuse that day, I would continue to find and make excuses until the time to make excuses was up. If I could do it in the cold and rain, I can do it anytime. I didn’t go far, or for long, but I did it; and felt an amazing sense of accomplishment when I was finished. It made me excited to do it again today, and I was able to walk/run (again-mostly walk) farther and longer than I did on Sunday.
    This is the beginning of my journey to start taking care of myself, and learning to balance taking care of my family AND me. I’m sure I will stumble… there might be days it’s easier to make excuses. But I will also have a renewed vision and focus to why I’m here and what I want to teach my daughter, step-daughter, and any future children I might have… to acknowledge the marvel and limitations of my body, and respectfully take care of it the best I can.

    • Christina says:

      Erin, isn’t it crazy how once you’ve started thinking about something, it pops up on your life everywhere?? Way to go taking the first steps toward taking care of yourself, a day at a time. :)

  6. Christina says:

    Right now I’m thinking about this part: “I will keep a healthy balance between the rewards of discipline and the growth and wonder that spontaneity brings.” I don’t think I’m embracing either half of that as well as I want to! With “the rewards of discipline” – oh boy. There are a few things I need to buckle down and DO even if they’re not fun. And then the “wonder that spontaneity brings” – getting up and out and seeing what the world might bring me.

  7. Pam says:

    “With a grateful spirit, I will acknowledge my need for others
    and will in turn be loving and generous,
    remembering that every member of a community plays a unique role.”

    It is abundantly true that helping others is one of the biggest and best things we can do for our own happiness. Sounds crazy but putting things into the mail for friends and family is one of my favorite things to do! I pledge to remember the benefits of being loving and generous—to others and to myself. xoxoxo V!

    P.S. Can someone send me V’s address? You know I would love to send her some love in the mail! ; )

  8. Cin says:

    I’m more in true with the home page mantra – so I hope you don’t mind, that I used it for my assignment. :)

    “Life is unfair and scary and hard and confusing and painful and fleeting and amazing and connecting and fun and wonderful and beautiful.
    If there is one thing to learn from our own mortality, it’s how important it is to live sincerely. ”

    Let me repeat that last line….”If there is one thing to learn from our own mortality, it’s how important it is to live sincerely. “…… This statement is the one I fell in love with when I first visited thelivesincerely page. We have one life on this earth to live. One. And within my one life, there will be times when “Life is unfair and scary and hard and confusing and painful and fleeting and amazing and connecting and fun and wonderful and beautiful”. So by all means, always, and in all ways, it is extremely important to me to live sincerely. I pledge to myself to live it, embrace it, pay it forward.

    My live sincerely focus- Sharing my experiences with as many as possible; helping anyone in need of daily living; providing a listening ear; a hand to hold; and a big sincere Cin hug to share the love and security of the human touch. I seek out, and work with, the strong representation of cancer advocates I have met, and continue to meet through social media; side by side, we are raising awareness about late effect-side effects of past cancer treatments; living this one wonderful life I have to the fullest; basking in the love and warmth of friends and family; not dying before I see Betelgeuse go supernova & appear as a 2nd sun in the sky; and importantly to my own mortality, If there is one thing I would want others to think, feel, and remember about me, it would be “this one’s a fighter….”.

    “Give ’em hell, turn their heads

    Gonna live life ’til we’re dead

    Give me scars, give me pain

    Then they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me

    There goes a fighter, there goes a fighter

    Here comes a fighter

    That’s what they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me

    This one’s a fighter” – song lyrics by Gym Class Heroes

    A Fighter,

  9. Jane says:

    I had to choose two…
    I will seize my power to actively change that which I can control with hope and creativity.
    I will love the person I am today, while constantly striving to be my best self.
    Cancer has been in my life for a long time, my Mom, my Sister and now me. When it reached me I realized that I was no longer in control of everything. I let go of the things that I cannot control and I am so much happier and relaxed. I can make a difference without being in control. This is my happy place.

    I really agree with what Cin says above…I pledge to live this life, embrace it and pay it forward!
    After fighting cancer myself, I realized how many people care about me and my family. From that I decided that moving forward I would acknowledge people who make a difference in my life as they are making a difference. This way nothing goes unsaid.
    Funny example of living life sincerely….my boss calls me Tequila. I have a way of saying what is on my mind (not offensive) that gives off the sting of a shot of tequila, but once it goes down it’s OK. This is because sugar coating is not real or sincere.

    Living Sincerely~

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