Follow Your Aliveness
We're being turned into a noun,
when the aliveness is in being a verb.
If you love singing, just sing.
You don't have to become a singer.
You follow the aliveness
and the identity follows over time.
~ Mark Nepo
Frequently people get discouraged from trying something new because they are afraid of not being able to do it well right from the start. It's often hard to be a beginner at something as there may be a steep learning curve. This (unrealistic) desire or need to do things well from the beginning and the fear of not being able to do so can stop you in your tracks. The fear of feeling incompetent and the accompanying embarrassment and shame may lead you to either not start something new or to abandon it very quickly, not really giving yourself a chance to enjoy learning whatever you were attracted to in the first place.
What if you could be grateful that a new idea, interest, impulse or passion bubbled up? Could you trust and follow this inner aliveness with anticipation and beginners mind? Might it be acceptable to learn to sing or dance, or play a new instrument without worrying about being a singer, dancer or musician? Can you follow your aliveness with openness and curiosity for the pure joy of doing something that has called to you?
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Peggy Handler, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco's Noe Valley