Let me just say it- I hate being a beginner. I know that I try to cultivate a “beginner’s mind,” and I can do that, most of the time. In Zen Buddhism, “beginner’s mind” is an attitude of openness, curiosity, and a lack of preconceptions about whatever topic/task/learning into which you are entering. And at the same time, I want to know it, already. I realize that this does not speak well for me. A friend of mine called herself “the original ten minute expert.” Yep. Me too.
I don’t mind being a beginner, but I don’t want to LOOK like a beginner. My golf swing and whiffing on the tee with a group behind you, waiting? Ugh. First time in front of the classroom and forgetting your sequence? Yikes. New neighborhood and getting lost on your way home? Crap. New relationship, and not quite sure about sharing the personal details? Oy. This is ego, and is all tied up with outward appearance.
But today what arose out of the morning pages and the to-do lists for the day was an affirmation. And it was a simple one- so I put aside the judgmental side of my brain that said it was TOO simple, and too easy, and-wasn’t-going-to-accomplish-anything-and-why-was-I-even-trying part of my brain and just wrote: “It is not too late to begin.”
In affirmations it is helpful to write your response to the affirmation, too. So, each time I wrote “It’s not too late to begin,” I wrote the response, which was something like, “But I’m so far behind already!” Or, “I’m too old for this, really.” Write your affirmation down in the first person(Leslie, it’s not too late to begin), the second person, (Leslie, it’s not too late for you to begin), and the third person (It’s not to late for Leslie to begin). This helps your brain hear and overhear these words in a new way.
Your deepest objections (read this as fear) will come up. Just write them down. And here’s the thing, you can watch them change on the page. Because once you name and claim the objections, that pesky inner (ego) voice has a way of shutting up too. I ended up with responses like, “Look out; here it comes!” Silly, right? But so much better than the inner Debbie Downer that keeps me immobilized. Anything that quiets her down is gold. So I hope you try it- and see what happens. I’ll be cheering you on, if you do.
And full, disclosure, this is my first blog post. My friend who helped me set up my page wrote the “first” one with me to get started. Ram Dass said, “We’re all just walking each other home.” I hope your kind, affirming words to yourself will allow you to come home to the beautiful creation you are.