Start Where You Are

December 3, 2015

 Standing in the shower this morning after pulling the curtain back and planning to step out onto the tile floor, I caught a glimpse of a book on a table in the next room. It's a book I've been planning to start for a couple weeks now and somehow it is still sitting there. The book is called "Start Where You Are." At that moment, I had the automatic sarcastic thought of "Well, I'm in the bathtub!" After that, the following thought emerged: "Well, if you are in the bathtub, start from there."


Over the next few moments, more thoughts came to mind...It is true I was in the bathroom, but where was I really? 


I spent all morning thinking about that...where I am? Not just my body, but where is my mind? My heart? My desires? My hope? Of course, there is nowhere to start from except right where we are but it's helpful to know where that is! If I am making decisions as though I am on the top of a mountain when really I'm in a boat on a lake, it is that certain I will not get very far. The same goes for our hearts and minds. When our actions don't line up with our beliefs, thoughts and desires we experience a discomforting tension that can manifest as disappointment, sadness, confusion, frustration, resentment or even anger. Likewise, when our minds operate from a place of negativity, it is hard to get any traction. 


Where are you today? Are you in a place you want to be?


Where is your mind? Your heart? Is your heart and mind sharing a cozy place or are they miles and miles apart? 


We all have goals we want to accomplish- some are rooted in achievement (getting a promotion, a new car or house, winning a competition, etc.) and others are rooted in lifestyle changes (learn to meditate, go to yoga, lose weight, spend more time outside, improve a relationship). So often we jump ahead of ourselves and are overwhelmed from the beginning, making our aspirations near impossible.


For example, how many times have we decided, in an effort to loose weight, that we are going to go from not exercising at all to hitting the gym 4 nights a week?! Maybe you have said "Starting Monday, no more sweets, breads, sodas or snacks!" Then, when Monday rolls around, it is impossible to comply with all those rules and you feel defeated. Sometimes, the only way is one step at a time, starting from right where you are. It may be weeks before you make it to the gym 4 nights a week...but what about 1 night a week, then 2, then 3? It may be months before you have developed a healthy eating routine, but taking it one day at a time instead of putting drastic demands on yourself might be the trick. The same can be applied to practicing mindfulness or working on a personal relationship. 


What are some things you have been hoping for? What are some goals you have? How could you "start from where you are"? What could be a first step? If we all refused to crawl first, because what we really wanted was to walk, we'd all still be laying on our bellies! 

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