Becoming a Beginner

Upon returning home from a delightful evening with friends and after a quiet respite on the porch with kitties, I turned on TV for a bit a distraction. I didn’t want any drama so landed on Oprah’s Master’s Class. Justin Timberlake was speaking. I watched thinking it would give me some insight to the whole 90’s thing that I had mostly missed because of my age and work. I was tired. He was profound. So, despite of my desire to sleep, I watched.

In the very last segment, he talked about the joy and importance of always being a beginner. He shared that he loved being at that point where he said, “I have no idea of what I’m doing and let’s do it!” My heart stopped. My brain fogged up. I struggled to listen to his words while old barriers exploded inside me and around me. This concept of consciously and intentionally owning and speaking the words of not knowing were and are life changing.

What was so wonderfully shocking was Timberlake’s saying it out loud. I was raised to believe that we were never allowed to show fear or acknowledge that we didn’t know something. If we didn’t know a word or have an understanding of something, we were expected to nod in agreement and go look it up or figure it out later. Those conditions did help me fine tune my intuitive abilities. Because of those rules, I read maps early, cooked standing on a stool, learned fast and retained a lot of information. They also made for a very uncomfortable upbringing and a perception that I was not very smart. Everyone else knew more than I did, so something was obviously wrong with me.

In reaction to that I have sought out change, new experiences and an expansive life. I love Google and am a walking, talking encyclopedia of trivia on a remarkable variety of subjects. I am always observing everything around me. I used to have an eidetic memory – until illness blew that away. But I still love understanding how everything works and interrelates.

Breathing in the permission to be a beginner each and every day of my life is incredibly freeing. This is a whole new way to participate in life. It takes away all the constraints and allows me to ask questions when I don’t understand something with ease. I get to learn things with ease. The potential is filled with fun. I have permission to make mistakes without huge embarrassment and humiliation.

The old paradigm was, “If you can’t do it well or right, don’t do it.” I didn’t realize until last night how much that old belief was holding me back. It was holding me back from learning new things and really enjoying them. It was holding me back from exploring new cities on my own with comfort. It was holding me back from completing projects because they may have not been perfect. It was holding me back from speaking because my words may have not been brilliant. My holding onto those old restrictions was holding me back from LIFE.

It was incredible to wake up this morning and have permission to boldly and honestly be a beginner. As I walked down to make coffee, I asked myself, “What I would like to learn today? What would I like to begin? What would I like to experience?” So many possibilities. It is a whole new life in a much friendlier world.

Thank you Spirit for keeping me in front of the TV. Thank you Justin Timberlake for being a wise soul. Thank you to myself for paying attention. Thank you readers for reading. I hope you give  permission to yourself to be a beginner today and every day. Gotta go… so many things to learn.



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