by Lauren Fallat, LPC LPAT ATR-BC
“Beginnings can be delicate or explosive. They can start almost invisibly or arrive with a big bang. Beginnings hold the promise of new lessons to be learned, new territory to be explored, and old lessons to be recalled, practiced, and appreciated. Beginnings hold ambiguity, promise, fear, and hope. ” -Melody Beattie
In the quote above written by Melody Beattie in a meditation entitled “Honor the Beginning”, the author eloquently spoke to the nature of ‘beginnings’ and their presence and function in our lives. As stated, beginnings at times can be quite obvious and front and center in our lives and at other times can be subtle and silent. When we reflect on what in our lives warrants a new beginning, we might think of moments in our lives where we have experienced a change, a loss and/or a new opportunity.
No matter what stage of life we're at, it can be difficult to face new beginnings depending on the circumstances. Maybe we're feeling anxious about starting a new job, or scared about moving to a new location where we might be further away from friends and family. Maybe we're uncertain about how to deal with a big change in our personal lives. It is in this ambiguity and uncertainty that we can fear beginnings, as these known or familiar parts of our lives connect us to the unknown parts ahead of us.
Whatever the case may be, it's important to remember that every new beginning comes with its own set of challenges. But it also comes with the opportunity to learn and grow as a person. A new beginning is a chance to start fresh, to make changes in our lives that will lead us to a better tomorrow. It can be a new job, a new relationship, or simply a new day.
How do we approach new beginnings in our lives?
Using art materials to explore this concept, we can consider different symbols, objects, places or people that might be present in this current ‘beginning’ stage we are in. Consider what new beginning you are currently experiencing. Perhaps you are starting a new routine, building a new habit, starting a new commitment, learning a new skill, or applying ourselves in a different way to some part of our daily life.
One way to explore this idea of new beginnings is by meditating for a moment on the concept and allowing yourself to attach to an image that appears in your mind, letting the image surface on its own. This image could be a portal of some sort, a door, a bridge, a sign, a ring, a budding flower, etc. You can decide what your symbol will be.
Decide how you would like to use this symbol or imagery in your exploration of new beginnings. What is the scene in which your symbol is placed in. Are you able to see what is in front of the symbol or behind the symbol? Is the symbol connecting two different parts of the image. For instance, with a doorway, what might you see on the outside of the door and what might be on the inside? With a flower, what are the roots connected to underground and what is enabling the flower to thrive above ground?
When you make a big change in your life, it takes time to adjust. Be gentle with yourself – allow yourself to take things at your own pace. Don’t expect to have everything figured out immediately. As time goes on, you’ll gradually settle into your new routine and life will become easier. It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself, both short-term and long-term. Don’t try to do too much at once; start with one or two small goals and work your way up from there. When you first embark on a new journey, it's important to be patient and give yourself time to adjust. Don't try to do everything at once – take it one step at a time and allow yourself to learn and grow.
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