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How I Learned How to Stop Starting and Stopping

Updated: Oct 4, 2018


SERIOUSLY! I mean it this time! I'm going to start writing and I'm going to be consistent and I'm not going to stop and I'm going to be successful. Did I say I mean it this time? Well, I do. I'm at it again, and I'm not gonna quit!

Oh writing.  Why do you haunt me so? Stopping and starting and stopping again. But I keep coming back to you.  Like the need to sink into the corner of my overstuffed couch, wrapped in a big ol’ cozy sweatshirt that goes over the knees and down to my ankles.  My mind hath bubbled over, and you are the cure.  Well, maybe not the cure.  But the antidote to the fiery cauldron of magic and mystery that threatens to lose patience with its master if it is allowed to go a day longer without a voice.   

For days, weeks, months, even years at a time I manage to put everything else first.  We all have lists of everything else.  Food, babies, dishes, sleep, jumping jacks, FaceBook, wine, worry, love, sun, snow, and it all passes by.  My thoughts pass by on all of those days.  I think about it all, I experience it all, I take pictures of most of it.  But to slow down enough to capture what I think?  Nah.  To put words to the whirlwind?  I don't think so.  And so the dust of my mind kicks up and sometimes its hard to see, but I keep forging ahead anyways, living each hour undocumented by any pen.  Thoughts and feelings becoming memories that are most likely never remembered. 

Until the day that I feel the need to get it out of me.  Why it happened today of all days I can not say.  I wish I could pinpoint the moment my motivation resurfaced, the moment I felt compelled to write myself onto paper. How and why did this moment redefine itself so poignantly? Just like that, I now find myself sitting here in front of this computer while my twins eat and my daughter sleeps and my dogs bark and my body wants rest and the house needs a hand.  Why today?  What makes today the day I begin again?  Just like the day I choose to start eating healthy or the day I start praying every morning or the day I start listing my gratitude out with my kids every night before bed.  Why do we humans always have to pick a day to begin for goodness sake? 

I want to write every day.  I want to choose real foods every day, and pray and be grateful every day.  That is always my goal.  But I don't do these things every day.  Far from it.  I used to be at odds with my intentions, absorbing the failure to accomplish my goals as a flaw some people would call flitty or uncommitted.  In other words, I lack consistency. It's who I am. And owning up to that realization used to weigh heavily on my confidence. 

But fast forward all these years, and I've come to accept this trait not as a force to be reckoned with or a failure to be flipped.  This is the natural ebb and flow of my life, filled up with so many beautiful priorities that they all just can't be....priorities.  There doesn't have to be a day that I begin.  I refuse to make this day, today, mean any more or less than all the other days that have sorted themselves out free of the ink that would prove them worthy.  I decide here and now that there will be no more monumental plans of action that require me to define my days based on my affinity to stick to those plans.  I will allow a day to unfold as the day will do, as full of its own impact as any other, for its own reasons and for its own moments. 

Some days I will write, and I will feel relief and creativity wash over me like that old cozy sweatshirt down to the knees.  Some days I will manage a morning prayer, or a healthy meal, or a list of evening gratitudes. And some days I will take a nap and refuse to do the dishes and I will put the babies to bed with dirty feet.  It all makes up this person that is me. 

And you know what?  Looking back over the last five years, I've written 31 blog posts, 32 counting today.  And that's way more blog posts than I ever thought I'd write on the day I was born.  This day will leave me swooning in contentment.  Maybe so much so that I'll write again tomorrow just to experience the same swoon as today.  But I'm not going to expect it. I'm not going to plan on it.

I'm going to bathe in the moment that is today.  I am a writer after all, and writing every day is not a prerequisite to validating that calling or to proving that I am worthy of the definition.  All I know is that, as a writer, I will write again.  The moment will come, the motivation will hit, and the passion will form into a purpose that will find me sitting here at this computer again.  Momentum building as sure as the day is long. I do have faith in that. 

Maybe that's what I need.  Faith in myself. Instead of slugging my way through games of the mind, willing myself to perform this way or behave that way, forcing the outcome, I will endeavor to spend my time connecting with my WHO.  When I resonate with my truth in WHO I am, settle it into my bones, I won't care how few and far between my performances are, because I will trust my foundation.  I believe whole-heartedly that the moment will come again, and when it does, it will be the moment that comes again.  I'm not ever going to have to quit, or convince myself that it's time to put pen to paper, because I'm never going to see myself as "not a writer." I will always be a writer, and therefore I will always write, even if only when my mind bubbles over into words on the page that make it so.

I'm not going to stop and start and stop and start and stop and start. I'm going let my days unfold as a river continuously flowing by underneath the sun. Sometimes I'll jump in and welcome the cold water swirling up around my feet, grounding me to the sand and connecting me to the moment. And sometimes I'll be content to stand back on the bank, simply watching the way the water winds off into the horizon. The river flows by no matter what, just like the days on the calendar keep flipping over into the next. Whether I choose to physically become a part of its path or to remain a bystander in its all of its beauty, the gratitude I have in my heart is all one in the same. And the account I keep of the experience, whether in my mind or in my hand, is still just as sweet.

Consistency is so yesterday.  And the pressure to be so is totally overrated. I'm evolving, shifting, accepting, happening. I'm engaging with my moments and disengaging from my expectations of them.  And now, as I finish this post, I feel free.  I feel as one with me, as one with my truth, no matter how long it takes me to jump back in again. So bye for now, but never forever.


Intrigued even just a little by how to land yourself in the moment rather than spiraling out past the here and now? There's a book for that!

Here's to putting our healthiest selves first more and more often, as we connect more deeply and honestly with our inner power and passion!

Jenni :)


Visit me on FaceBook at My Body Can Breathe for more articles and posts about doing health the slow and steady way!

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