Often the most powerful messages come in small and simple packages. And that’s exactly what I discovered after a workshop up at east coast’s spiritual mecca, Omega Institute, a few weeks ago. It was a lesson, packaged in 2 simple words, passed from renowned meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg. A lesson that, if remembered and practiced, could save you hours, days, and even years of time and energy wasted in guilt and self-sabotage*.
And those two words are, “Begin Again”.
How often do you set a goal or an intention for yourself that you don’t meet? Perhaps it’s to eat healthy only to find yourself binging on the pizza your boyfriend ordered. Or perhaps it’s to meditate every morning, but then you wake up late a few days and skip it. Or maybe (as in my case), it’s to write a blog post weekly, but your hectic travel schedule throws you off for a few weeks.
No biggy right?
But how easy is it, in that moment of perceived failure, to turn to guilt, negative self-talk, and then days or weeks of avoidance and self-sabotaging* behavior that keeps you from returning to your original intention?!
If this pattern is a familiar one, I urge you to keep these two words close by, “Begin Again”.
As Sharon Salzberg so wisely said, (and I paraphrase),
"It’s not the moment you stray from course that’s important, but the moment you realize you’re gone and decide to return that is. And the key is doing this with self love and compassion."
So when you find you’ve strayed from course- rather than falling down the rabbit hole of guilt, negative self-talk, and self-sabotage*- release judgment, forgive yourself, and simply, “Begin Again”.
*I use the word self-sabotage because it's one many of us can relate to. But in reality, I prefer the word "self-protection", because I view these acts more as us trying to protect ourselves vs. us trying to sabotage ourselves. Just some food for thought.