How wonderful would it be to make a plan for our lives and determine the best way to get there safely without any setbacks, detours, challenges, or pain? But unfortunately, life does not flow that way, but oh, how I wish it did. Whenever I am struggling or see another person struggling, it is those moments that I wish life were not filled with endings, beginnings, winding paths, detours, pain, setbacks, and struggles. But we can always choose to begin again.
Last year I lost my dear dad. It was hard, and it still is. But there were lessons and signs in those moments of pain, sadness, loss, and confusion. But unfortunately, I was not in the frame of mind to learn anything. I love to learn, but I was not teachable in those moments.
If one dream should fall apart and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.
As time progressed, I realized I was entering a new season in my life. My dear dad’s life ended, and it began something else for me—something different. Everything was a mess, overwhelming, and nothing in my life made sense. So unconsciously, I began to redefine myself and things in my life, including my business and relationships.
It was as if I was being shoved into new directions to thrive by my design. But the most remarkable part of the experience was the pull I felt to rediscover myself. I did not know who I was or would become without my dear dad. I felt lost, alone, unloved, and unseen. And I did not see how I would get from where I was to someplace else.
As I write this, I wish I could tell you that this process has been easy, I have mastered it all, and I am currently living my best life. The truth is, it was and still is hard and scary, but oh, the possibilities. I do not see what is possible daily, but I know they are there. It is a new challenge that requires me to choose to commit daily, but there is some familiarity there. It is as if I am returning to a place I had once abandoned. I am returning home to me.
I have realized that beginning again is possible, and there is no such thing as it being too late to begin again. So, regardless of your age or size, your why, when, or how, you too can start again.
Why Would Someone Begin Again?
You have lost someone you loved. Or you are navigating illness.
For me, it was losing my dear dad. I questioned the meaning of my life and life as a whole. I was angry and felt like I failed him or could have done better.
Begin again, start with kindness, and give yourself grace and compassion
You have gained weight and have not been taking care of yourself. There is no motivation to exercise or eat healthier.
I was not too fond of my appearance and could not fit into my clothes.
Begin again start by taking a deep breath, practicing kindness, and taking baby steps.
You have lost touch with who you are or were; you have been living life on survival mode or autopilot.
It was the feeling of being lost with no sense of purpose for me.
Begin again by becoming excited about rediscovering yourself.
You feel alone, sad, unwanted, unloved, and unseen. Things have changed; you do not know where to go or what you should be doing.
Begin again, start by doing little things for yourself. And speak with kindness and compassion to yourself—schedule fun things to determine what you now like or what brings you joy.
Your life is out of balance, you are always in a state of overthinking, and you are exhausted and overwhelmed from taking care of everyone and everything. But there is no one there to care for or support you.
Begin again, stop, take a moment, and make a plan.
You have failed in business or marriage, or relationship. There have been mistakes, and you feel you have lost time, energy, and money.
Begin again, start with practicing forgiveness, especially forgiving yourself, and write down the lessons you have learned.
What does it mean to Begin Again?
Beginning again is a choice. It is choosing to write a new story or a new chapter in our lives. We must acknowledge that our stories are not completed while there is still breath in our bodies. It is knowing that life is imperfect, sometimes painful, messy, and sometimes a struggle, but we have much more to express. So we keep writing, forging ahead, although it is uncomfortable and uncertain.
It is understanding that things are within our control and beyond our control. And releasing the notion of how we thought life would or should be and showing up in our lives with the courage to begin again.
It is living in wonder, staying curious, and knowing new possibilities are available to us even during difficult seasons. Even when we feel we are losing all that we have invested, it is a willingness to surrender the plans or people that were once the nearest and dearest to our hearts. It is being flexible, resilient, and strong to see beyond the challenging moments. And during those times when we feel deep sense of fear and sadness that we may never get to where we feel good and happy. It is helpful to look within for that knowing, that we can survive, learn and thrive through all our adverse seasons.
How to Begin Again
I realized I had lost trust in myself, I was everything to everyone, and there was no space for me. I had unconsciously neglected myself in the most intimate ways. As a result, I could not gather the information I needed because I had lost touch, there was no one there to help me, and there was no one I could turn to for help.
We are the experts in our life, and we need to acknowledge our needs and wants and make space for them. It took being honest with myself and admitting that there is no one perfect way to do life. It took forgiving myself and releasing ideals I had clung to for most of my life. And I had to assure myself that I would pay closer attention to my mind, body, and soul to determine what I needed and wanted at any given moment without feeling guilty.
Please take a moment throughout your day to check in with your thoughts and body to determine what you need. Then, learn to listen at all times, make space for your needs and wants, and do not be afraid to use your voice.
Assessment + Acceptance
It begins with an assessment, then Acceptance. But, first, I had to take time to determine where I was and how I felt. It took many sleepless nights, tears, isolation, prayers, a few journals, and meditation to determine my here and now.
Some days I danced and made lists of what was not working or what I no longer wanted in my life. On other days I listened to the music I listened to as a teenager, ate papaya, and wrote until my fingers were blistered.
I had a difficult time accepting where I was at this stage in my life, but in time I did because that was the only way I could move forward. My dad died at 68, still young, and I wanted to live boldly to honor him.
Your process may not look like mine. Determine what is best for you. It may be taking a walk, exercising, meditating, or listening to music. Choose anything that brings calm and stillness. Please make a list as I did of what is working, what is not, and what you no longer want in your life.
I brain-dumped everything taking up space, made lists, and mind mapped, brainstormed, and asked questions. Looked at my lists and crossed off the things that did not feel right. I also crossed off things that were not working or had not worked in a while. The process was freeing—it felt good and opened my mind and heart to what was possible.
Question everything to help you determine your next steps and what is possible for you.
- Are the things you want at this stage in your life realistic?
- What would you have to do to make it a reality?
- What kinds of support would you need to start this journey?
Determine where you are going and how you will get there.
I felt a lack of clarity and fear of committing, and on the other hand, I felt sad, alone, unloved, and not valued. And so, I could not decide what I truly wanted in my life. I could not see past where I was.
The next best thing for me to do was not to panic because I did not know what I wanted. I took the time to focus instead on what I thought I needed at that moment. For me, I wanted to rediscover who I was and determine my likes; I wanted to love myself again and realize my worthiness. That is when I began my journey toward rediscovering myself. And as time went by, I gained clarity, and bit by bit, I started to write the things I wanted in my life in the next three months, and then it was in the next six months.
This section of the process does not require you to determine your forever plan or wants. It only requires you to take the next best step. Or, like me, you can determine what you need at this moment. Determine what feels best and commit—you deserve it.
Remember, your path will look different from mine or anyone else’s. You could also choose to rediscover yourself, and although we want the same thing, your journey will look very different.
Now you know where you want to go and how you will get there. Next, it is time to put together the resources you need to bring on your new journey. First, evaluate the resources, tools, and support you have readily available. Then, determine what else you need to add to your list to set yourself up for success.
Look at everything: your resources, expertise, tools, and support. Sometimes we take the things and support we have for granted because they are always around, so be mindful of that as you make your list. You want to begin again most in the most straightforward and effective way possible.
Baby Steps + Consistency
Start where you are, then take baby steps.
Taking action was scary for me. Although I knew what I needed at that moment, taking action was challenging. This step requires you to begin and be consistent every day, even when you do not feel like it.
It was not a simple process; I have had setbacks and detours. But my approach had to be different. It had to be much different than anything I had ever done. Usually, I would jump right in, no tippy-toeing. But this time around, I needed not to feel overwhelmed or stressed. So I needed to take things steps by step. I wrote down everything I needed to do and the actions necessary to get them done. My progress has been small, but every day I move forward in some way. It has not been flawless, but that is okay.
Now that you know where you want to go, it is time to act. Consider taking your overall plan and breaking it down into small steps [tasks], and keep at it daily. It takes Consistency, and you may not get there as soon as you would like but stay the course. If you encounter setbacks, challenges or detours that is okay just remain consistent and enjoy your journey in all its glory.