Begin Where You Are


“We begin right where we are with what we have right in front of us at any given point in time.” – Ali Edwards

Sometimes the right words find us at exactly the right time. Today is my first official day doing my “morning pages” (Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way) and following my plan to blog every day. I want to do this to loosen up my writing muscles, get into a flow and learn who I am as a writer, a thinker, a doer. Remember that whole 10,000 hours thing? Well, it starts here for me. Day one. Hour one. Ali’s post was particularly poignant because, as she writes, “It takes a willingness to be bad at it in the beginning. We all have to start somewhere.”

I couldn’t agree more and yet it’s something that I seem to forget every time I begin a new practice or try a new skill.

“Learning a new skill or sport or art form or way of being takes time and repetition. It takes doing the same move over and over and over again. That move may involve a paintbrush or a pen or standing on your hands or lacing up your shoes or yelling kiai or sitting at a wheel or looking through the lens over and over and over again.” (Ali Edwards)

I wrote in my morning pages, “It may seem self-indulgent to take this time to write three pages every morning, especially when I have a baby and a business that demands so much of my time. But maybe I need to do these pages because I have a baby and a business. I need this creative expression just for me.” Julia Cameron backed up my thoughts perfectly when she wrote, “It’s not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.”

We all need to put the time in if it’s something we want to learn and do well. We don’t start off as experts, we start as beginners and that’s okay. That’s more than okay. That’s exactly as it should be.

I wrote three pages this morning and most of what I wrote were questions and rambling thoughts but I did get one gem out of it. I wrote, “I want to feel my pulse through my pen.” That one sentence made the three pages of scribbles worth it. Because it’s exactly how I feel, I want to feel my pulse through my pen. I want to check in with myself and understand myself through the written word. I want to distill my thoughts and understand the events of my life better. I want to write my way to happiness. (Side note: Recent studies have even found that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory, according to the New York Times)

You know you are on the right path and doing the work you need to be doing if you feel a fire in your heart. That fire was ignited yesterday and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

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