It's tricky starting something new. But it can be even trickier getting to Day One.
I have always been inspired by this quote...
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now. - W.H. Murray
It stirs me up. It strengthens my resolve.
Many moons ago I learned calligraphy, and one of the first things I did with my new found skill was hand write this quote on a pretty piece of paper, frame it, and stand it on my bedside table.
Over the years I would stare at it often, believing in its words of wisdom, knowing deep down it was the doorway to my dreams. To the fulfilled life I desperately sought. All I had to do was begin...
Truthfully it really is, but somehow it isn't.
Because there is always an excuse why now is never the right time to begin. We all lead such busy lives, we fill up every waking moment with doing. Doing to pay the bills. Doing to feed our children, our pets, ourselves. Doing to maintain our homes, our lives. Doing to survive.
At the neglect of doing for the love of it.
We forever push, postpone, put on the back burner, anything that resembles a deep yearning in our heart. We make time for everything else, but that.
A quick Google search gives me insight on the number one regret a person has at their end of life:
I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. - Bronnie Ware
It is too easy to get caught in the tide of life.
Doing because we have to, because it is expected of us. Rather than exploring the infinite possibilities of our existence. It is just easier to follow the herd, let our self doubts and insecurities keep us on lock-down. Keep us from discovering our true essence, our uniqueness, our reason to live.
Of course, realistically, we all have to work to earn a living, to survive. It may not be fun, but it is one of the "have-to's" in life.
Although this doesn't mean we have to abandon ship, ignore our impulses, and not make time to nurture our deepest, unspoken desires. It just means we need to learn how to do both... and learn how not to do it all!
Being realistic with our time is the first step. And choosing how to fill it, the next.
For years now I have been trying to write consistently.
As a teenager I had no problem writing. I couldn't wait to get home and spill my heart out onto the page, share every detail of my day, release my angst, indulge my excitements, and recount my embarrassments. My journal was a judge free ear, and was completely cool with me rambling on and on and on.
Writing literally saved me during those awkward teenage years.
But as soon as high school came to an end, so did my writing. No longer trapped, free to explore the world, I suppose I no longer felt a need for it. Although ever since, my urge to write has lingered. Gradually building over the years, poked at by my curiosity and observation of life, like a fire being stocked and ignited.
Late last year, fed up with my inconsistent attempts to write and inspired by Julia Cameron's book, The Artists Way, I realized the only way to consistent writing is to write every day.
Yep, sometimes it takes someone else to shine a light on the obvious!
Forget blogging, I just needed to write like I used to as a teenager... write words for no one else's ear but my journal's. Just me, my pen, my thoughts. And more than anything I knew I needed the uncensored freedom, the not worrying about being perfect, the permission to be messy, to scribble, to write badly, or to not flow and make any sense.
I just needed an outlet.
And it was by discovering what I needed that finally I was able to fit it into my daily routine.
All it took was a simple switch, and my morning meditation became my morning writing practice. Which in my mind is just another form of meditation with added therapeutic perks.
All because of one single decision to,
BEGIN IT NOW.
Simple but not simple, until it is.