I have this good friend who noticed that one of my bumper stickers was outdated and needed replacing. I was fixin’ to get around to it but weeks turned into months until her “suggestions” appeared outside my office. She had bought me three new stickers to select from–this was going to happen and happen now. I like a good push every now and again. She had clearly made it her mission to push me right into my next statement and she nailed it with two bright yellow words…BEGIN WITHIN.
On one hand, so simple. On the other hand, simple enough to be profound. At least to me. I think what most of us need are reminders, not the “I never heard of that before” kind of lessons but little nudges to remember what we already possess that is so valuable. I see much of my work in therapy like that.
I am the delivery girl for reminders. Folks sometimes come to me believing that they must undergo some overwhelming and drastic changes in their behaviors, feelings, or character. They have dragged themselves in for some painful extraction or impossible rebuilding project. You can imagine the looks on their faces and their natural hesitancy to believe they are actually going to pay to undergo this work. This is not a great moment for either of us and to both of our satisfaction, we soon (sometimes in a few minutes, sometimes in a few sessions) get to watch the change happen. Some very welcome relief and joy wash over them as they discover that they have just lost touch with a part of themselves that has already been created, is right there for them, and is waiting for some game time. Score!
It is always true, despite the times we wish it weren’t so, that YOU CAN ONLY CHANGE YOURSELF. You have to find pathways to understand what is happening for you. You need to meet yourself right where you are and if you don’t like that spot, the good news is that you get to decide that you won’t be staying there. That is beginning within! Once you’re there, you get to decide what works for you (and what doesn’t), explore your options and make some dreams. By dreams I mean the kind that come true when you lean into them.
And next? Begin within and repeat. Begin within and repeat. There is no rest for the discovering. You will awaken to the gift of what it is to live life intentionally and you will feel hopeful as you recognize that this growing thing lasts a whole lifetime.
So get in there…