I recently moved to Austin, TX (a few months ago to be exact), little to my surprise it has been a struggle; from sleeping in my car, to sleeping on my best friends floor, showering at the gym and working three jobs feeling like the money doesn’t come fast enough. Also, little to my surprise, it has been a great experience thus far; from having my prayers answered and getting a position that personifies the character traits I desire to express most openly, to showing up more authentically in my relationships with other people. And this is just the beginning of my adventure here in the city of weird. I haven’t even fully explored the night life of Austin or the magic of all it’s nature spots. I work day in and day out, yet i’m energized and excited about all that life has to offer in this beautiful city. Almost every morning I open my bible app for the verse of the day, read a devotional that I’ve received by email, and/or make a call into a prayerline to start my day off on the right foot so to speak. And when I say almost every morning, I mean ALMOST. I fall short of the glory all the time. I may not always begin the day with the right foot, but I do find my step throughout the day. I’ll check my email and read one of the many devotionals or inspirational letters (you know the ones from those self help webinars that no one likes to admit that they attended unless they made some money from it) that are sent to my inbox. I do this because the beginning is a scary place to be. You’re vulnerable. You’re exposed. You’re inexperienced. sometimes in the beginning we color outside of the lines or our voices are shaky until we get comfortable and find our niche.
A beginner is, “a person just starting [to learn a skill or take part in an activity],” but I like the definition, simply, “one who begins” because it exemplifies initiative. It makes me think of the Michael Jackson song in which he sings, “you’ve got to be starting something…” repetitively. It’s believed by some faiths the beginning is a blessing. Shoshin or ‘Beginner’s Mind’, is a concept in Zen Buddhism, basically meaning to remain open, receptive and eager to learn from a teacher or the universe around you. Like a student learning a new subject or starting a new activity. Going into the experience without preconceived notions or expectations other than to learn and do whatever is on the agenda. This can lead to amazing discoveries about ourselves, others and the world around us. It can also lead to some undesirable moments though which we learn to face past trauma and negative paradigms. Either way, life is a journey we get to live without a rewind button; so going through something is better than sitting stuck within situation. The more we experience and the more we allow ourselves to teach us, the more we grow and learn. BUT you already knew that, because you’re old enough to read, and have experienced your own chunk of life. Thus far, I’ve learned that I’m not as nice as I try to be (else I wouldn’t be trying), other people DON’T HAVE to be observant of me or how I feel, and the beauty of conversation can be best explored – sometimes – without words.
Followers of the Christian faith believe in having a childlike faith, that can be explained with the usage of a passage from the book of Matthew in the Bible.
“And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” ” (Matt 18:3-4)
This to me is a great example of being in a “beginner’s mind”, because who’s a better beginner than a beginner of life? Children are the purest examples of openness and vitality; exploring everything with their little fingers and experimenting with language. However, I appreciate the development of the frontal lobe and the mental capacity to distinguish and calculate risks. Love is further than the present moment, but resides with us in it. Our decisions shape our world and our thinking shape our decisions. What we think about our experiences are essentially what we think about ourselves and as children we had strong influences, either affirming or negating those thought patterns, to help us move deeper into our potential so that we could manifest the masterpieces within us. As we grow older and more developed in our character and personalities, the influences in our lives have also been developed; to the degree that, more often than not, they’re affirming our thought patterns to concrete our lives in the masterpiece of our reality. For some this is a great thing, for some others this a terrible thing, and for most of us this isn’t even noticeable. Ignorance is a blissful hell, and those who are in it don’t have any idea. Beautiful.
In the spirit of not wanting to be “too preachy” I’m going to express this last thing and then move on; we need to jump out of the idea that we have it all figured out or that we don’t have anything figured out. We need to jump out of all preconceived notions about nouns and discover new adjectives for the things we could be taking for granted. we need to allow life to be learned like a course we take at university, letting each day present a new lesson or a review of an older one. We need to realize that we are already on course, and [if we’re not] the acknowledgement of that “fact” is enough to prove that we are headed in the right direction. We need to begin to flow within our divine nature, and accept the ruin of experience as the beauty of perfection. We need to give authentically of ourselves to ourselves, and see our reflection in the world around us. we need to just start to be one who begins. (and when I say “we,” I really mean “me, myself and I” so you can take the advice, but I’m one of those people who likes to take it first. )
The beginning is defined as, ”the point in time and space in which something starts,” and/or “to be new or inexperienced.” I’m feeling how great it is to be at the starting line of this grand adventure within my journey. I’m ready to run full out into the sun and bask in the ambience of the grace the universe provides.
LOVE & LIGHT