Skip to main content

Beginning Again

This will be a bit more personal than my typical content in this space. The reason: I've been going through some major changes in both my personal and professional life. In other words, I’ve been ‘beginning again’ a lot recently.

‘Beginning again’ is a Mindfulness concept that I think has relevance in all aspects of life. Joseph Goldstein has a phrase often included as a kind of mantra in his meditations: "Simply Begin Again." The phrase is certainly powerful in the context of practicing Mindfulness. Too often, we may lose attention or focus and our tendency is to criticize ourselves or continue to focus on the moment that we lost attention so that we continue to not focus when we should be resuming our meditation. Whenever we lose focus, Goldstein lets us know, we do not have to worry about what just happens. Instead, without judgement or hesitation, we "Simply Begin Again."

Those words are very powerful in more ways than just their relevance to our meditation practices, however. They are also very relevant to how we go about our lives, particularly if our goal is to continue to be mindful in our daily lives. When we start to worry about the ways our realities don't match our expectations or the ways in which we could potentially find more happiness, we could either choose to give into those concerns and negative thoughts or we could move on and simply find a new beginning. 

This approach may allow us to move on with our lives not just in our daily lives when we may have a tendency to focus on circumstances that will not result in productive outcomes if we allow ourselves to worry. In the greatest sense, beginning again is how we move on in the face of tragedy or when our current environment is not the most productive or supportive for the person we are becoming. Beginning again is how we move on when the everyday grind would otherwise be getting the best of us. It's how we find ourselves.

In my personal life, the past few years have been characterized by tremendous changes requiring me to start over. Not very long after embarking on gender identity transition, I found myself relocating across the country to start a new job. To do all of that, I needed to dig deep with in myself to find the courage, foresight, and lack of judgement to simply begin again.

This concept does translate into our professional lives as well. Of course, we begin again when we start a new position or career. We also begin again when we pick up where we or someone else left off. When we our deep work workflows get interrupted and we have to get back into our groove, that’s beginning again as well.

Life is comprised of new beginnings. We close chapters in our lives only to open another. We start new chapters mid-chapter and resume the previous chapter once the next one complete. Our days are filled with moments where we need to begin again. Thinking of each new beginning as an opportunity will hopefully allow us to find joy in the stop and go rhythm of beginning one thing only to begin again on that or something else later. So, all together now, let’s all seek comfort in a rhythm of constantly beginning again.