One Step at a Time

rumi-path

“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.” ~Rumi (Photo courtesy of Rudolf Rinner)

Whenever I embark on something new, my very first, knee-jerk reaction is to plan the life out of it. Whether it’s teaching a class, writing a blog or a book, creating an art piece, unraveling a pattern in me – I envision the end product. How will it look? How will it make me feel? How will it affect others? How can it be marketed, sold, reproduced?

If I’m lucky during this runaway process of my quick mind and eager ego, I catch myself before the idea suffocates completely. The turnaround time for this is improving. Which I consider good progress.

So I stop. I revisit the idea and its inspiration and just let IT carry me. Just a little bit at a time. What’s the next step? And then after that’s completed, now what to do? Write just one paragraph and wait for the next group of words. Glue down one corner of the collage and then stand back. Journal one dark morning and then carry it around for that day. So much develops in those in-between moments. Really good insights and ideas that I used to miss because I was powering through to my envisioned end.

Sort of like in yoga when you’re supposed to pause for a split second between the inhale and the exhale. Or when your mom told you to set your fork down between bites and chew 30 times.

Or, as I learned recently, when walking a labyrinth. So twisty and turny that I could only see a couple of steps in front of me. And then when I turned around to see where I had been I lost my balance and stumbled. So go back to slow and steady. One step at a time. Breathe in – pause – breathe out. Repeat until you reach center.

We just don’t need to have all the outcomes in place. We just need to do the next thing that feels right.

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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

Master Teacher, Midwife to the Birth of the Wild Soul

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