What if you had a new beginning?
New beginnings happen each moment. We tend to overlook them being more focused on the constant running stream of thoughts while going through the motions of our life. Alternatively, having a beginners’ mind means to be alert in the present with observation rather than judgment and open to learning something new, hence being a beginner. Think back to when you first learned something you now know. While learning, you were embracing each new piece of information with an open mind and an eager attitude. This experience is close to the awe and wonder of being an optimistic child. However, once we learn the new… we shift into auto pilot and run through the sequence without that newness of the beginners mind.
Some of us have found comfort in the sameness of life. It’s very easy to stay in your routine where life becomes predictable. This predictability can feel safe at times and it can also lack stimulation. Keeping things too knowable may start to breed fear of change to a larger degree. We can get so comfortable in “the way things are” that we fear loosing what we have. What we fail to entertain is that there is more than one way for us to find joy and satisfaction in life. There are many ways, an endless configuration, actually.
Being present in the now comes with perks. In addition to the respite from the anxiety of focusing on the future and the depression of dwelling in the past, it brings the freedom from the heavy control we attempt to maintain in life. Practice a beginners’ mind by doing something different in your day. Brush your teeth with your nondominant hand, use a different route to go home, start on the opposite side of the grocery store or walk more slowly and pay close attention to the sensation of the earth meeting your feet. Life looks differently when we slow down, especially when we allow ourselves to take a break from all our preconceived notions. Sometimes the real culprit is what we think we know.
Bridgette DeBoer M.A., is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, marriage and family therapist. She can be reached at 450-6632.