How do I begin again? ~ 5 steps

Start over. What we do every day. Get out of bed, dress, eat breakfast (or not), and enter the daily fray. Beginning again is a basic life skill. We need to be experts.

Today I start over, not just with living my life, but with writing. I’ve begun again and again—just about as many times as I’ve climbed out of bed.

I must.

Compose words that describe my journey and what I’m learning. Then fling those words out into the universe—in hopes of encouraging another. This is the fundamental creative action I perform in order to be me and have a meaningful existence. It’s been weeks since I’ve beaten back responsibilities and distractions long enough to sit down and write. How do I begin again?

Wise Guides coax me back to the chair, the computer screen, and the digital page. Here’s what they say:

5 Steps to begin again

1. Recall your reason or your “burden.” Rebekah Lyons, co-founder of Q Ideas, asserts that to uncover your calling, look at two things—”your talent and your burden.” What is it you would fix in the world if you could? Solve? Contribute to? Make better? Combine your burden with what you love to do and you’ve got the sweet spot of your calling. Calling motivates you to keep getting up in the morning. Calling is why you’re here.

For those of us who write, Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., in Writing in Flow: keys to enhanced creativity offers Five Master Keys. The first is “Have a Reason to Write.”

Begin again by recalling your reason. Whether you’re a builder, painter, or nurturer of children, give your reason weight by writing it down. What is it you want to accomplish? How are you going to do it? Put it in words and post it on your fridge or in the front of a journal.

2. Clarify your immediate struggle. What’s holding you back? Identify your true enemy. One of my deterrents is the fear I won’t be able to finish what I start. Seems like every time I begin, life’s “have to’s” kidnap me. It’s happened so often, I become anxious even thinking about getting started!

In moments when I’m nakedly honest, however, I see something else lurking behind my fear: what I dread is being small, mediocre, or ordinary. Pride is the enemy that keeps me circling but not engaging.

Identifying the true issue reveals what’s needed. In my case, humility is the key to moving forward. I decide I’m willing to be ordinary for the privilege of working with my talent on my burden.

3) Pick up the tools you already possess. My computer is outdated. My website needs a redo. I’m not on the cutting edge of anything. Continuously researching the latest technology and wishing for it will take me out of my field and keep me from fulfilling my calling if I let it. There’s a universal principal that comes into play when we set out do what we’re born for:

Work with what you’ve got and, in time, you’ll be able to receive and handle more.

It’s simple…true…and doable.

4) Gather fuel. You’ve clarified your calling, identified the enemy, and have your tools in hand. Now what? You need fuel for the journey. This fuel will enable you to speed past comparisons and self-doubt. Drive around, over, or through obstacles. Take detours when necessary and get back on the road. Your fuel is this: commitment.

Words from the Wise Guides:

Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elemental truth—the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. – Goethe

There is a presupposition that everyone has a self waiting to be found. There is no such thing. The self is something waiting to be created and that is through commitment. It is what we commit ourselves to that gives us meaning and purpose and identity – Dr. Tony Campolo

As we strike out on our calling journey, we must commit to the choices we make and the paths we take.

5. Finally, to begin again, take the next small step. After writing down your calling, gathering your tools, and stirring up your commitment, ask yourself: What’s the next small step I can take?

Me? Today I’m typing out words, deleting some, and replacing others. Finding quotes. Sipping coffee…typing more words.

All small steps.

Again

and again.

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