Such a simple little word. Such a deceptively easy concept. “Begin“.
Do you remember the anxiety over that word, though, when you heard it at the start of timed test at grade school?
What about the guilt when you see it masked in enthusiastic terms (“Just Do It!”) … and you know that you haven’t just done it and probably won’t for awhile?
And as you move on in life, often stumbling into a new path, you are encouraged to just begin. Just go for it. Follow that dream. With little direction, no guideposts, you find yourself with butterflies in your stomach and wondering, what the ….
Again and again, you are invited to begin. And with that invitation comes excitement and dread and anxiety and possibility and heart-stopping fear.
In truth, every moment is a new beginning. (I didn’t even want to type that because it sounds like some trite phrase you’d find in your Facebook feed typed in scripted letters over a picture of a dew-dropped flower.) But if you can shift your understanding beyond the overused words, you can drop into the feeling of this moment…and understand how fresh and full of potential it really is.
Being able to feel the power of beginning in each moment can present possibilities previously unconsidered, release some of the anxiety around the concept of beginning, and help you to feel more at ease as the swells of beginnings and endings come and go.
In the Magic of the Mundane series, I don’t want to leave you with just beautiful contemplations. (But I do want to encourage you to spend time with what comes up – those “ah-hahs” arising from reflection can be deeply powerful.)
Whether you are beginning a new exercise routine, beginning to try a new shampoo, beginning a new relationship, or just beginning a new day, here are three practices you can carry with you:
1) Close your eyes. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, close your eyes. Relax your thoughts, take a breath, and then open your eyes. Resume your activities. This practice helps to reset your thought-train and perspective on what is in front of you, creating a sense of open awareness and engagement with the beginning of this next moment.
2) Don’t Begin, Breathe. If the beginning of something is creating a bit of anxiety for you, try tapping into your breath. Think of this moment not as a beginning, but as a continuing part of the flow of your breath. The exhale following the inhale following the exhale … and you are just acting and moving in accordance with this dance.
3) Just This. We often avoid beginning something because we are so very good at imagining what comes next. The fear of failure, the uncertainty of what we might be committing to, or the sheer overwhelm of all that lies ahead can stop us from even starting on the path. When you feel this, think to yourself, “Just This“. Whether it means focusing just on tying your tennis shoes instead of thinking about the exercise regiment, painting one line instead of worrying about the whole canvas, or picking up one piece of paper instead of fretting over cleaning the entire room, take a full breath and remind yourself that the beginning is happening right now. All that exists is Just This.
May you find exciting ease in each of your beginnings.
About Lisa Renee Wilson
I am honored to be your host for this journey! I am an Awareness Artist who shares her world work through Being Breath (www.BeingBreath.com). As a parent, artist, contemplative, meditator, yoga practitioner, introvert, runner, blogger, photographer, and iced-chai addict, I practice the art of mindful awareness throughout all of my daily activities. From playing with perspectives to playing in paint, no moments are off limits for exploration.