Experiencing grief (see my previous blog post Grief Practice) is a process which, if we can practice self-awareness may have many surprising and positive outcomes. I am fortunate to be able to experience my feelings in a moment by moment basis and use various techniques to enquire of myself with the intention to discover the source of, and any hidden meaning, behind the emotions I feel.
Due to my present circumstances, I am currently in a state of a heightened sense of awareness and have been for the last four months. I anticipate this situation will continue for some time whilst my body and my mind continues to heal.
One of the positive outcomes to this state is that I have been pondering change and new beginnings. There is a voice deep inside me which is saying this is the right moment for me to experience new beginnings in my life. It’s calling to me so loudly that I know it cannot be denied. I have no choice (or so it seems that way) to make changes, to move forward in life with a different purpose and to challenge myself in the realms of taking risks, trying something new and releasing chains that hold me back and keep me stuck in old ways of being. Now I feel I am being guided to a new beginning and being asked to let go of things that no longer serve me.
As human beings we have a tendency to be habitual creatures, clinging to old ways of doing things, to routines, to habits and to superstitions past down to us by our parents and other significant people in our lives. We hold on to relationships that may not be healthy for us, familiar patterns in our behaviours that may be toxic for us. We tend to do things in the way we’ve always done things, always writing the same story over and over again which is our life and making the same mistakes. It is common to identify ourselves with our past. We think we are the person who has experienced our past and continue to identify with that person and re-live experiences over and over again, not realising that this doesn’t have to be the way. We can break free and start afresh. Find our own sense of self and live our lives according to our own inner sense of what is right for us.
The good thing is we can choose to re-write our own story any time we choose. We can do this quite simply by cultivating self-awareness into a daily (and ultimately) a moment by moment practice. At the source of everything we do, everything we say, all our behaviours, is a thought. If we can catch our thoughts and change them, we can change our vocabulary and we can change our actions. We can choose our thoughts and therefore speak a different dialogue and we can determine our own actions. We no longer have to live with behaviours, habits and relationships that are to the detriment of our wellbeing. We can go a new way, have a new beginning and write a new story.
In recent months, I have been considering writing a new story. What would I like to read about myself and the life I lead in a year from now? What would it look like? What would I be doing? What would I be experiencing? What would I be thinking and feeling. What would my daily practices be? My passions? My achievements? What would my relationships be like? Would they be fulfilling? Would they be based on honesty and love? Would they be real and enriching? Would I be feeling peace and joy? Would I be living in the light?
To help me re-calibrate, I have been focussing on ‘new beginnings’ in my daily mediation practice Rather than write lists, targets, goals, objectives, I have allowed my mind to ponder ‘new beginnings’ in moments when I have been in meditation, active in creative pursuits like writing and painting, or wellbeing activities like yoga and walking. Using the analogy of planting a seed and letting it grow and blossom, I have been watching what happens when an idea comes to me and settles in my mind. Some ideas haven’t taken root and have withered, whilst other have firmly established themselves and are growly strongly.
Before new beginnings can be established, it is necessary to ‘create space’ for them. Like clearing out your wardrobe of unwanted clothes, purging your bookshelves of books, we can create space in our lives by ceasing activities we no longer enjoy, stopping habits that are bad for us, letting go of unhealthy relationships and releasing ourself from torments of the past. When we do this, we can buy new clothes that suit us better and books that nourish and entertain us.
New Beginnings, a New Story and Creating Space for both – this is my current focus because …
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” — Paulo Coelho
And my writing?
I feel compelled to revisit my earlier projects – my hybrid novel (fiction based on fact) and my memoir. Floating in the back of my mind is the idea of taking the best from both, reframing and re-structuring my writing to craft a new story. I am excited about the possibilities for change, for development and for growth. New beginnings in my writing, fresh growth and a time for trying again is a stimulating and exhilarating prospect.
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