How will you know what the first step is?
You’ve read the poem by David Whyte. If not, do it now or this won’t make sense. I don’t want to tell you how to interpret his poem, and here’s what it means to me.
For me uncovering the first step, the one I don’t want to take, is about telling myself the truth. It’s about asking myself “what really is the first step from where I am now?”, and then listening for the answer. From inside. And knowing that the first answer – maybe the first batch of answers – are the familiar and easy ones. If answers come quickly and easily, they are probably later steps.
So finding the first step and “finding your own voice” is indeed a manner of listening – of getting quiet and tuning out the other voices that speak loudly and make an unproductive ruckus in your head. As you step in to find your truth, you will learn to sidestep these other voices that are probably not your own, as they’re likely voices the culture or your upbringing planted into you. Trust that you’ll know when you “hear” an answer that is your own voice, your own truth. One way to know is that it might feel unpleasant, like a shoe that doesn’t quite fit until it’s broken in. Because this is the scary step “that you don’t want to take”.
Also, consider that this idea of asking and listening for the answer could become a practice – a grounding exercise to find each next landmark to aim for. You can get better at it the more you do it. And getting good at really listening to your uncensored answers – to your authentic truth…That can be a skill serves you for life. Imagine if you stopped lying to yourself!?
So try it on. Ask yourself today what the first step is. And if the answer doesn’t ring true (which is not the same as whether it seems comfortable or doable or reasonable), then ask again. And whatever the answer is today, ask again tomorrow.
Imagine one good “first” step a day. Imagine where you’ll be 365 steps from now… Or just 1 step away from there… ~Z