“Begin today. Declare out loud to the universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy.” ~Sarah Van Breathnach
This time of year is about beginnings.
Over the past few weeks, I've watched the tree outside my office window go from bare to leaf-laden. The same pair of birds has once again built a nest in the porch light by my front door, as they do every spring.
Flowers are bursting out on trees as though a conductor has lifted a baton to signal a symphony of color.
For those who will celebrate Easter this Sunday, it's also a reminder of the opportunity we have to renew ourselves, to start over, to begin again.
Nature doesn't need that reminder. It knows what it is supposed to do without an alarm clock, an accountability partner, a motivational guide. Nature's intuition is the only cue required, and the plants and animals do what must be done without angst or delay.
We humans have access to that same intuition, but we have been led astray.
We are pulled and pushed in so many directions and have so many voices shouting at us to do this or that, we can't easily hear or feel our intuition any longer.
We know what's best, what's right, what we need to do. But we've gotten lost in the fray. We can't sustain new habits because we are too distracted to focus on them.
When I was in college and would feel overwhelmed with work, my mom would remind me, “The cream will rise to the top.” She meant that the most important work would make itself evident, and I would get it done if I focused on it.
We need to let the cream rise to the top in our lives right now. We need to pull away from the harangue and listen deeply.
What is the cream in your life right now?
What does your still, small voice whisper to you about what needs doing?
Are you ready to hear and begin a new beginning?
Every day and every moment we have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. We can start over and become the person we want to be.
A thousand years ago, people knew intuitively what needed to be done. They had to eat, to have shelter, to procreate and care for children, to protect themselves, to rest.
They could intuitively listen to the Earth, pay attention to the seasons and weather, and live in harmony with nature.
We have many more distractions, but also we have more opportunities to savor and enjoy life beyond simple survival. When we listen to our intuition, we need to listen for clear direction. “Tell me deepest self, how can I navigate through all of the choices and demands and cut to the essence?”
What do you hear in reply?
If you are about to begin a new beginning, consider these actions as you get started:
- There are many things you must do in your life. Take a moment and list them. You can't do them all and have time for anything else. What is the cream?
- There are many things you wish to do in your life. List them. Ask yourself, “which of these things will serve me best right now?” Listen deeply for the answer.
- Ask yourself this question, “Where in my life am I spinning my wheels, wasting my time, living opposed to who I want to be?” Ask it many times until you run out of answers.
- Consider this: if a law were passed requiring you could only do 5 things in a 12 hour day, what would they be? Write them down.
- How could you restructure your life around those five things? What are you willing to let go of? How are you willing to change?
Nature does few things, but it does them very well. It does them with joy and wild abandon. It doesn't matter to nature that a tweet has come in, or another tree has prettier leaves, or that the phone is ringing or a text is flashing. Nature knows what it needs to do and does it.
If you structure your life in a way that is simple yet deeply engaging, rather than brimming but scattered, you will easily discover who you are. You will know what to do, and you will feel joy. But you must be selective in your focus.
We can't do everything.
We can't be everything.
We can't know everything.
There is too much in life to choose from. There are too many demands of our own creation. To begin a new beginning, we must listen deeply to our intuitive voice reminding us of what is most important. Then diligently and mindfully, we must turn away from distractions.
There will be other times for other new beginnings. Check in with your intuition often. Ask the questions again and again. You will change, your desires will change, and another day you will want to begin again.
But today, as you begin a new beginning, start by questioning and listening. Trust the direction of your intuition, resolutely turn away from distractions, and joyfully focus on the task at hand.
If you are going to begin a new beginning, please join us for The Habit Course coming May 23.
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