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A couple of weeks ago, my son brought home a sprout planted in a little cup of dirt. He had grown the sprout from a seed. Once he was home, he watered it one tablespoon a day, as instructed by his science teacher. It grew.

And then… we went out of town for a week. The little sprout was neglected. When we returned, we saw that the sprout was drooping, so he endeavored to water it and take care of it again. It started to come back. But then, he forgot to water it for a few days. I forgot, too. It drooped again. When we realized that we had forgotten it, he watered it again. But, this time, it didn’t come back.

My son felt sadness at the loss of the sprout that he had nurtured from a seed. I allowed him to feel the sadness. And then, I said, “you know, we can begin again.”

And so, we will take the lessons we learned from our first attempt at growing the seed and try again.

“We can always begin again.”

Jack Kornfield

And isn’t this just like life? We try something, it fails, we feel bad. It’s then that we have a choice. We can allow this sadness to take over and not try again, or we can lift ourselves up and try again.

What is it to begin again?

First, we must acknowledge that we have veered off the path.

Then, we choose to start over.

It’s a choice, really.

It’s a choice I make over and over each day.

The way that I repeatedly practice beginning again is within my mindfulness practice.

  • I sit to meditate.
  • I focus on an object, my breath, an intention, nothing, everything – whatever I have chosen for my meditation in that moment.
  • My mind wanders. Perhaps I get lost in thought.
  • notice my mind has wandered without judgement, as this is human.
  • I begin again.

This practice of beginning again in my meditation practice has allowed me to bring this kind of perspective to my daily life. When the sprout dies, I can choose to begin again. When something doesn’t go as planned, I can choose to begin again. When I have a disagreement with a friend, I can choose to begin again from a place of compassion. When my heart feels like it has been broken, I can choose to begin again and heal it. When I promise to do something for myself, and I don’t, I can choose to begin again without self-judgment.

As you move through the moments of your day, perhaps you, too, can try releasing judgment, and beginning again.

Who knows how far you will get this time?

May you have peace within,
Julia

Julia anjali mudra hands

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