New Beginnings

No. 23
Posted on 9/5/2016 by Mark Hutchinson

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."
- Seneca

"The ultimate wisdom which deals with beginnings, remains locked in a seed. There it lies, the simplest fact of the universe and at the same time the one which calls faith rather than reason."
- Hal Borland

As the summer is ending and autumn is beginning I was reflecting on those big transitions that we resist or embrace.

On the one hand, the ending of something we are familiar with and accustomed to can be quite difficult and sometimes painful. It seems natural to not want a good thing to end. Ironically, it can happen that we don’t want a bad thing to end just because we are used to it and are uncertain about what will come next.

On the other hand, the beginning of something new brings excitement, hope, opportunity, and often, some amount of trepidation.

The back-to-school transition is particularly educational if you spend some time chatting with school-age children and really listen to what they have to say. The mix of emotions, the possibilities, the concerns are all on display. The paradoxical desire to resist the change even when they can hardly wait for it to happen is like a broken traffic light blinking red and green at the same time!

My daughter asked me a question a few days ago that really made me think about the value of beginnings and endings. She asked “When you were a kid and thought about going back to school did you try to convince yourself that you’ll do better this time?” Wow.

There it is. A special kind of opportunity at a beginning. A feeling, perhaps an internal conversation, and a decision point that lets us consciously choose where we want to go in life. How we want to be. Have you ever had that conversation with yourself?

My next thought is why do we have to wait so long to make those adjustments in our direction? Take a look at all of the beginnings and endings that are happening in your life every day. What if you made it your habit to rededicate yourself to pursuing the opportunities in front of you each morning? How about after every meal? How about with each cup of coffee? (An empty cup is an ending right?)

How quickly will new opportunities come and your life be full of excitement if you had hundreds of new beginnings each year instead of just a handful?

The end of this email is also a new beginning. What are you going to do with it?

~ Mark
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