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Beginning–Every Day

Today I begin. Again.

To a fault, I live my life all-in. Once an idea, action, or opportunity offers an itch, my version of scratching tends to be immersion. I learn it, I live it, I give it my all. For decades, I thought these were positives. Over time and through mentoring, I’ve recognized that this approach to life is wearing. Trying so hard and dedicating time to doing things enough or right requires mental and physical commitment that can be hard on the body and lifestyle. This approach is also limiting, since it’s been my way to avoid doing things unless I can get to the point of doing them well. Which loops back to the over-commitment end of things.

…and now I know better. Which is better than not knowing, but doesn’t undo the decades of being a certain kind of person. This new me, the one I’m crawling toward, is learning to savor small tastes. It requires a paradigm shift. The word savor in this paragraph? I originally wrote that as settle. I recognized it, went back, and changed it–first in my mind, and then in the writing. Convincing myself that this approach will serve me in the long-term is a practice. Change is a process, not a singular choice.

…and so I begin. Last night my journaling amounted to, “I am writing in my journal. Here I am, writing. There, now I’ve done it.” Letting myself accept that was a practice.

My yoga practice is generally well over an hour. Even when I’m out of time, or energy, or my body isn’t feeling it, I’m stuck in that hour. This morning, I stretched for ten minutes. In my kitchen. With no mat. It felt–kind of awful, really. Exposed. Not right. Breaking patterns is not an easy practice.

Today I begin. And tomorrow I will begin again.

Written by Jackie Kelleher.

Jackie is assistant editor at Pathways magazine, as well as the Pathways group coordinator. Her life has been a tapestry of family support–doula, lactation professional, group facilitator, and doula trainer. Her book, Nurturing the Family: A Doula’s Guide to Supporting New Families is now available.