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A picture of a sunrise, psychotherapy, counseling, beginnings, Katherine Broadway

Help me to make beginnings:

to begin going out of my weary mind into fresh dreams,

Daring to make my own bold tracks in the land of now….

Help me to believe in beginnings, to make a beginning,

so that I may not just grow old,

But grow new

each day of this wild, amazing life

you call me to live

with passion….*

We look forward to beginnings, the beginning of a movie, the beginning of a game, the beginning of a good meal. They represent excitement and hold the hope and promise of something tasty, entertaining, or pleasurable. That is not all that beginnings can represent. They can represent fear of failure, disappointment, over whelming feelings and work.

Beginnings are not simple or easy. Every beginning entails work: cooking the meal, traveling to the movie, or learning the game. Each beginning represents its own unique challenge and excitement. Regardless of what the beginning will bring us, the way we approach it will influence how we enter into it, how we feel about it and how we participate in its unfolding.

When visiting my daughter during the holidays, I picked up one of the many books in her apartment, Guerrillas of Grace. The author calls it a collection of prayers. I see them as inspirational writings that can be used as a prayer, a meditation or beautiful words to open your mind, heart and spirit as you move into this new decade. How will you face what stands before you? Will you face your fears, negative expectations, and self criticism with courage and determination? Will you allow yourself to hope and believe that this will be a year of growth? Will this be a year of moving closer to living from your true self?

“…let something essential happen to me,

Something more than interesting

or entertaining,

or thoughtful.

…something awesome,

something real.

…which is my real self….”*

I have talked many times about developing a self, a self that is essentially you. The you that comes from inside and is allowed to develop into your true home. The process of developing yourself is lifelong process. Recently, Alice, an 81-year-old woman come to see me. She came because she wanted to take a step deeper inside of herself and she needed someone to be on her journey with her. Her question was how do I develop my creative in a new and interesting way? She was beginning once again to increase her knowledge of her true self.

The journey begins by becoming still and listening to those quiet voices inside.

Katie grew up with critical parents. When she would want to do something new or change something in her life, she was told she was never satisfied. Her family motto was, “Make do with what you have, you’re lucky to have it”. Her mentality became one of shame when she wanted more out of life. She was willing to work for the things she wanted but that old message “you’re never satisfied” would arise and she would feel the family motto surround her, “…make do”. Her not-so-quiet voices would drown out her real self messages. Her desires and dreams.

The next step on this journey is to ask yourself. “What do I want?” As you become quiet, you will be able to listen and you will hear answers inside. The answers will be accompanied by many negative messages. Just like Katie, you will hear the messages your family gave you. They may sound something like this, “You can’t, it’s too much, you don’t deserve, you aren’t capable, no one will have you, no one will listen to you, what you have is good enough, settle for what you have, you want too much.” The good news is they do not have to rule your life. These messages can be changed and new ones can be created.

The way before us is not clear, the outcome is not guaranteed but there is one sure thing in all of this: if you don’t start, if you don’t ask, if you don’t make that first step, you will not succeed.

*-Ted Loder, Guerrillas of Grace

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