Birth: Where to Begin?

I have always been interested in writings that identify as “self-help” and “spirituality.” I notice how frequently someone wants to sell me special access to their website or their new books which are filled with ideas and practices that have been around most of my adult life.

One of those recycled ideas came up recently in an email: how do you begin your day?  This issue resurfaces in my own life and daily practice all the time.  When facing a new day, I have a list–sometimes on paper, but most often just in my head and heart–of the things that I need and want to accomplish for the day.  Where to start?

Where to start may be the most important thing I decide each day, or in each part of each day. When I ponder the several things that I have to do, I immediately begin scanning them for two criteria: which one do I feel the most excitement about working on, and which one will give me the most relief to accomplish?

The first one allows me to invest energy and creativity that I feel ready to invest right now–there is no fear, no boredom, no self-doubt.  There is just this thing that I want to give my attention to.  I have learned that if I can start with that item on today’s list, the joy of investing myself in something I am excited about actually energizes me to do other things through the day, too.

The second one allows me to walk away from a big item on my list with a sense of relief that this thing that perhaps was clouding my sight for anything else is now out of the way. These are often necessary but not very enticing tasks.  They almost always serve the good and common life that I share with others.  They must be done.

What do you face today?  What’s on your list? What draws you? What do you need to clear away? Do you have another way of choosing?  Choose one, and start down the path.  Good journeying!

Bob Patrick

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