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Reflections on the Promises and Challenges of New Beginnings


In the spirit of…

We speak what we need to hear,

We write what we need to read, and

We teach what we need to learn …

I’ve chosen to reflect on the past three months and share the wisdom that I’ve gleaned from writing and publishing the New Beginnings series. Speaking, writing, and teaching provide pathways to embody our wisdom. Periodic reflection deepens that embodiment.

Reflecting on the articles in this series, I  found that each article addressed one or more of these three questions:

  • What guides our choices to begin anew?
  • What’s essential to start?
  • What supports and sustains us to meet the challenges of new beginnings? What detracts and discourages us?

Image courtesy of Cheryl Batoon, and her blog post: New Beginnings with Unconditional Love.


Highlights in this issue:

    • A path of transformation is a path of constant new beginnings.
    • Reflection deepens our ability to embody and access our wisdom.
    • Opportunities to begin anew are present within each new moment.
    • Previous choices guide our current choices.
    • Showing up and confidence to engage are essential elements to start any new beginning.
    • With your next new beginning, how will you explore your wisdom?  


The Promises of New Beginnings

In many ways, I hate new beginnings – especially when it feels as if I’m starting over. Starting over often feels as if  I’m not making progress. Starting over feels like I’ve taken two steps back while what I really want to do is take three gigantic steps forward.

However, I also love new beginnings as it presents a fresh canvas on which to create. I love the promise inherent within new beginnings. I delight in the possibilities and exhilaration I feel with renewed purpose. For me, new beginnings always come with a revitalized perspective and an expanding universe of ideas.

My journey of transformation has encountered many new beginnings, all of them rich and expansive in their own way. Yet, all of them came with a price to pay in terms of soul-shattering self-doubt, and, on two occasions, extended bouts of creative depression.

Out of all those experiences, I’ve come to realize that a path of transformation is a path of constant new beginnings. And a path that embraces creativity and spirituality – my personal path of choice – is a path of transformation and ultimately, a path of unfolding potential.

As I learn more about myself, my passions, and my potential, and how to unfold each, I constantly encounter more – more to explore, more to experience, and more to engage. And, I constantly encounter the need to begin anew.

What Counts as a New Beginning?

As I began writing on this theme, I was definitely thinking about the challenges of starting a new project or new venture. Launching the Partner, Potential, and Play website and newsletter was my latest Grand New Beginning.

This project required a leap of faith. I had to believe that I would  find the time and energy to continue what I started, and that what I started would lead me to my hoped-for destination.  I also knew that this venture would deepen my inner journey of growth. I knew that I was embarking of a more focused and sustained quest to deepen my connection with my calling.  I knew that along the way I would bump up against doubts and thoughts that I would need to shed as they didn’t support me in my quest.

Over the past several weeks, I began to see each day as a new beginning. Each day, each month, each year, each season present opportunities to awaken something new within oneself. Ultimately, each moment presents itself as a time of new beginning.

More and more, I’m choosing to see that each day presents itself as an unwritten canvas upon which I can paint the energies that I want to experience and express. Instead of dragging yesterday’s energy forward, I’m choosing to engage with those practices and rituals that will allow me to set the energy of the day where I want. Honoring my personal rhythm and flow, as Laura wrote about in Down the Rabbit Hole or Alchemical Rituals for Intentional Integration continues to gain a greater focus of my attention.

What Guides Our Choices to Begin a New Project, a New Venture, a New Journey?

All wisdom serves to guide us in making wise choices. The choices we make that guide us toward engaging with our passion, our potential, our call to serve, and our wisdom are choices worth noticing and reflecting about.

I began this series with Harnessing the Power of Pivotal Moments to share the pivotal moments that led me to the launch of Partner, Potential, and Play. In writing about pivotal moments — moments where we respond to our inner calls and urges, respond to something larger than our normal consciousness serves up – I wanted to harness the power of my most foundational choices.

In taking an inventory of all of my pivotal moments, I listed all my pivotal PLAY moments – moments where I started to trust myself, my truth, and to lighten up. Reviewing this list, one that stood out is when I began to accept what play looks like for me, and that it doesn’t match my idea of what “Play” is supposed to be. A lot of my play looks like hard work to others. Accepting how I like to play, and not forcing myself to conform to what I see as play for others, was both pivotal and liberating.

My pivotal moments were all guided by something beyond my rational mind.
My rational mind would never have come up with the ideas that informed the choices I made.

In Do You Play Tug of War with Your Spiritual Self?, I set out to share more about a pivotal moment that marked the most profound change I ever experienced. This was the moment where I started to embrace the idea of partnering with my so-called non-conscious mind. Embracing partnership was the first step in adopting a perspective that whatever arose within my mind, arose in service to my wellbeing. I chose to shed frustration with troublesome thoughts and instead practice inquiry into the wisdom embedded within those thoughts.

I’m still amazed at how our institutions of learning ignore teaching us anything about the dual nature of our brain and consciousness, much less provide useful tools to equip us with this dual functioning. With recent research into neuroscience, change in this area is starting to occur. However, so much of what has informed our inner world view and our inner practices needs a complete makeover. As I wrote, “The tug-of-war with your spiritual self does not arise from a defect of mind, character, or spirit.” Understanding and working with the different aspects of our mental processes provides an evolutionary key to this tug-of-war, ourselves, and our journey through this world.

In writing  Taking Joy in Work, Creativity and the Call to Love I got to immerse myself in the connective power of love, and realize how love guides my choices in work and writing. I reconnected more deeply with how love serves as a power of energetic renewal, always. Taking joy in our work and play – as an expression of our love for ourselves and each other, for the playground of our world – I see as one of the most meaningful and spiritual practices that we engage in. Reflecting on the list of basic human needs and how they relate to our expression of love, deepened my understanding of how expansive the energy of love is and how it connects us to our energetic wisdom.

What’s Essential to Begin Anew?

Once you have an idea, you’ve given the idea shape and identified a set of next steps or actions, what is essential to begin, to commit, to take that leap to launch?

I think this area differs for each of us and the specifics of each new beginning. Some of us are comfortable diving into the unknown, and others need more structure and a target destination. For me, I like structure and a sense of where I’m heading, but after that, I need to let go and start doing. Taking action unfolds each next step.

The two prerequisites I believe to be universal, however, demands showing up and having confidence.

When I wrote An Energetic Checklist to Grow Your Confidence and Embolden Your Dreams, I was particularly thinking about my nieces and nephews, and the daughters-of-my-heart – young people starting out in life, still finding their way. I was thinking about what it takes to commit and the role that confidence plays in commitment. I remembered how I held back when I was in my 20s and 30, mostly because I lacked confidence in myself.

What I realized for myself recently is how reluctant I am to engage with a new project when I’m unsure of a successful outcome. What I’ve known to be true is that through engaging, I move myself towards my dreams and unfold my next step of engagement. However, the old pattern of wanting a guarantee of success often delays engagement when that feeling sense of Yes, I Will Succeed isn’t forthcoming.

What Supports and Sustains Meeting the Challenges of a New Beginning?

As I launched my most recent new beginning, some of the challenges I faced were:

  • Psyche of Perfection. With each article I wrote, I always felt it could be better, crisper, more focused. Happily, I could have these feelings and still move forward and publish. The drive to make my writing perfect has subsided over the years. My understanding of how the psyche of perfection operates has been hugely beneficial in this area.
  • Feeling clueless. I’d often start an article, clear in my focus, and find myself midway in a muddle and a puddle. I’d have to revisit and refocus to connect with what I really wanted to write. On more than one occasion, I had to abandon the theme I was writing about and choose another theme.
  • Time. Carving out time to write, re-write, format, and publish pushed me to drop activities that didn’t support my current focus. I found this more easily accomplished then I would have thought.
  • Personal growth. Each article presented an inner challenge to my own authentic self. Was I living up to what I was writing? How completely did I practice what I wrote? While I welcomed these challenges, they could often be unsettling to my own inner harmony. Such challenges pushed me to connect and reconnect with my energetic wisdom, and to try to practice what that wisdom teaches me.

As I met these challenges, I became a keen observer of my energy space and how to exercise my wisdom to meet these challenges. These four articles captured some of these challenges and sparked new learning:

  • Reflecting on writing Ten 5 Minute Play Practices to Energize and Delight, I realized how I wanted to embody more deeply various energetic practices. I’ve practiced many of these for years, and some I’ve adopted recently. I also wanted to reconnect with the fact that many of these practices only take a few minutes yet can yield extraordinary shifts in awareness, feeling, and an uplift in overall energy. These play practices arise out of my perspective that we have the power to renew and restore our energetic wellbeing at any time, and the exercise of our energetic abilities supports that renewal.
  • I realized as I wrote 3 Play Practices to Spark Creative Renewal that I looked at creative renewal as something to do when I felt depleted and needed to replenish myself. Now, I see it as a practice to continually embrace. Renewal of our creative self and spirit expands our capacity to receive and connect to our energetic wisdom. Refurbishing our inner rooms, entertaining possibilities, and granting ourselves permission to play all support our energetic dimensions and enable our conscious minds to take flight and allow our wisdom to flow.
  •  About two and half years ago, I started a practice I called “Making Friends with Time,” in which I vowed to stop struggling with time. Once I stopped paying the time tax, I found I had a lot more of it. Each of the taxes I wrote about in Boost Your Energy and Energetic Wisdom, Stop Paying These 5 Energy Taxes represented hard-won truths about how I squandered precious time and energy. I ended this article with a statement, “Your energetic system knows how to restore and renew itself.” This is one of those truths I need to embody more.  Too often, I’ve over-analyzed how I felt and thought. More and more, I’m listening to what my energetic self has to say. Often times I simply need to rest to regain my natural equilibrium. Nothing to fix, just allow time to renew an often overtaxed energy space.
  • In 7 Play Practices to Celebrate Your Truth and Grow Your Wisdom we explored how perspectives, passions, and practices guide both your choice and engagement with all of your new beginnings. My desire to grow my wisdom and celebrate my truth drives each of my new beginnings. Each new beginning provides a means for discovering those practices that will serve me in this exploration. Of the play practices I described in this article, the one that stands out for me is Condense, Codify. Aphorize. The practice of condensing my wisdom supports me in both remembering it, practicing it, and sharing it.

What’s Next? What’s My Next New Beginning?

My next new beginning is to explore the theme of Empowering Transformational Journeys. In our next issue we’ll present a survey and ask you what would support you on your inner journeys of transformation.

What’s your next new beginning? What project, venture, or inner journey are you beginning?

How do you see this beginning helping you to explore and embody your wisdom?

What Insights Did You Gain from Our Explorations into New Beginnings?

I’d love to hear about what you’ve learned on this journey.

Sharing your insight and wisdom supports others in connecting more deeply with their wisdom. Enter your comments in the space below.

You have your own wisdom.
You access it through your energetic and intuitive dimensions.

This is the eleventh article in the series of New Beginnings. To receive more articles, make sure that you subscribe to Partner, Potential, and Play.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • joneva June 24, 2012, 10:28 AM

    Enjoyed your article on New Beginnings for the discussion of time worries in general, the idea of embracing the moments best we can, and, in particular, your mention of confidence and becoming partners with your subconscious. Perhaps confidence is just that – trusting our inner reason and sensibilities.

    Now that I have some time, I will catch up on your articles, I respect the incredible journey you have gone through and look forward to increasing my dialogue with you.

    On a side note… Their is an author and link that I found that I think discusses many of your concepts! neilkramer.com/the-unfoldment.html. I thought you came up with the term ‘unfoldment’. Anyways, just a lighthearted aside… Love you!

    • Kathryn July 8, 2012, 4:51 PM

      Hi Joneva – thanks for your comment and link to Neil Kramer’s work.

      I definitely didn’t come up with the concept of unfoldment – it’s been around a while. In particular, I was inspired by David Bohm’s work, such as Wholeness and the Implicate Order, and Christopher Alexander’s work on The Timeless Way of Building.

      Look forward to further connections.

  • Cheryl Batoon October 19, 2012, 10:26 PM

    Thank you so much for referencing my blog, “New Beginnings with Unconditional Love”. I no longer have that blog page and haven’t written any blogs in a while, but I saved all of my writings of course and I plan to reshare this one on FB. It was a reminder to me as always, the Universe is synchronous with us in every moment. Thank you so much and what an excellent piece you have written. Much Love and Blessings to you Always…

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