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Living Well: In The Beginning...
January 10, 2013 - By Sage Knight
I love beginnings, always have.
A fresh start, a new chance, a clean slate. In the words of Albert Einstein, ...the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one. Im willing to trust Al that its an illusion, but its one that serves me today. Its January, time to design my year, my life; toss the old and bring in the new. Theres so much I want to do. Where shall I begin ? Perhaps Ill keep it simple.
Often, a new beginning follows a wish, made in the dark. Have you noticed we make wishes at night, on stars, not at noon, on flowers? When standing alone, in the cold, black night, a star will shoot across the sky: a momentary invitation to seize that spark of light and infuse it with a wishbefore it disappears again. My friend and fellow spiritual teacher, Howard Jay Rubin, once said, The first prerequisite for a miracle is the need for one. A solution needs a problem. Sometimes the problem is simply a puzzle, a desire for something new and exciting. There must also be humility, the willingness to admit one cannot solve the puzzle alone, that help is required. This humility creates a vortex, an opening for receiving, so the gift has someplace to land.
Solutions are in the air all the time: infinite luxuries, gifts, joys, and pleasures abound without end. Like the stars, we can claim them at any time and invite them to land in our laps. The high quality question is how to be receptive, how to invite them in. The answer is simple: Watch the childrenthe younger, the better. Watch how clearly and directly babies communicate their needs, their likes, their dislikes. Watch as everyone around them caters to their every whim. Watch how easily they allow this to happen, how natural it is to receive love, attention, and care.
A child comes into the world pure, open, whole, complete, and totally vulnerable. She has no way to feed, bathe, soothe, or protect herself. She must trust in the world to provide for her. In a healthy situation, her needs get met, and she continues to trust that this is the way of the world. Until it isnt any longer. At some point, her need for food, her desire for attention, or simply her demand to get her way is not met. It happens to all of us. I dont know the ideal way for this rite of passage to occur, nor the ideal timing. In a perfect world, perhaps it would be gradual, and the desire/need unmet by others would be easy (or at least possible) for the child to meet alone. This would create a sense of empowerment. Alas, this is not always the case. Many times a childs need for safety, kindness, or some other basic need is not met before he has the tools to take care of himself. Understandably, he feels pain and frustration, and may choose to distrust himself, others, and life in general. Down the line, he may take less risks, wanting to maintain whatever level of safety and security he can control. Then, instead of expanding with time, his life gets smaller. However, there is hope.
With each new beginning comes the opportunity to try again, to trust again, to recapture that original state of openness and faith in the world. Whether you find your beginning in January, on your birthday, or with each shooting star doesnt matter. Just pick one and begin again. How do you do that?
I start by meeting my infant needs, the ones Ive had all my life and will continue to have until I breathe my last breath: fresh air, sleep, healthy food, exercise, love, play, laughter, comfort, and creative self-expression. These are all needs I can meet myself. The past few years, I survived divorce, death, my daughter moving out, and a few other dark nights where I felt my emotional rug pulled out from under me. I not only survived, I found joy and serenity in the midst of chaos. Self-care helps with positive change as well, which for me can be even scarier. Through making self-care my top priority, Ive also completed my first year of full-time college studies and stayed in a relationship that we both think is too good to be trueand it keeps getting better. Without meeting my simple, infant needs, none of this would be possible. Or if it were possible, I would not be resourceful enough to enjoy it so much. My goal for 2013 is to expand my ability to receive all that G-d has in store for me, to give all that I am, to love beyond words, and to so trust the goodness of Life that I make no decisions based in fear, but always based in love and joy. I am beginning again, trusting the way I did before my heart was ever broken, dancing as though I received the gift of movement this morning, loving as though I am Gods favorite angel sent down to love without limits, shining as though my eyes light the world. This is my goal, my intention, my resolution. I invite you to join me.
Begin today. Let this be the life you always wanted to live. Not necessarily on the outside, though thats good too, but on the insidein your heart. Care for yourself with sweetness. Give yourself the gift of being kind, and always start with your own precious self. Fill your life with so much joy that you cant help but be a blessing to all who know you. You are where it all begins. So make a wish and begin again.
Sage Knight is a local author, ordinary shaman, spiritual coach, and Literary Midwife. For help with increasing your joy through simple self-care, contact Sage at www.SageKnightWrites.com or call (818) 264-6163.