First Steps

We  had torrential rains here this weekend, a steady downpour which began last night and didn’t let up the entire day.  Yesterday morning I snuggled into my favorite chair, coffee in hand, and watched as the wind tossed my neighbors magnolia tree to and fro, sending a cascade of pink blossoms raining down onto her driveway.

We’ve had a cascade of good fortune in my family lately, for which I’m more than grateful.  In the past few years we’ve had times when fortune has rained less than blessings upon us, and though we survived it was not without scars.  So although I won’t say we “earned” the recent glad tidings, I feel as if  we’ve paid enough dues to enjoy them without guilt.

While I’ve written before about my aversion to change, I recently wrote about the positive effect of initiating change rather than having it thrust upon you.  When I made the decision to resign from my job, it was as if I had opened a door which allowed all sorts of new possibilities to enter in.  Within weeks of making that decision, we learned about our impending grandparent-hood.  Then, in another wonderful stroke of good fortune, last Friday my husband was offered full time employment at the company where he once worked, and from where he was laid off in July 2009.

Taking the first step appears key – having the courage to set things in motion with a decision, an action, a forward movement toward the direction of a dream. My son and daughter in law started it all, I think, when they moved to Texas in January.   In their case, that movement toward a new way of life seemed to be the spark that set an actual new life into being. And they inspired me to start thinking about my own situation and how I needed to change it.  I now feel excited about change and for the first time in years I can anticipate it with pleasure instead fear.

Robert Collier, who wrote books on positive thinking and self motivation in the late 19th century, put it this way: “Take the first step, and your mind will mobilize all its forces to your aid. But the first essential is that you begin. Once the battle is started, all that is within and without you will come to your assistance.”  

“All that is within and without you will come to your assistance…” It’s not difficult to understand that once we make a decision and begin to move in the direction of our desire, we learn to marshal all the forces necessary to help make that desire a reality.  What’s fascinating to me is the way “all that is without us” seems to get caught up in the movement as well.

It’s as if the universe senses the energy and wants to join the party.  And I say, come on in – you’re more than welcome.

How about you? Have you ever taken a first step, made one big change, and then had a series of positive changes occur as a result?

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16 thoughts on “First Steps

  1. I can relate to your experiencing some hard times, and feeling as if you do not need to feel guilty, about something positive happening for once. For years I have struggled with weight loss. Maybe I should say I struggled with weight gain. Anyway, in June of last year we moved close to a Planet Fitness at Citadel Mall. My son and I went to the mall to get him something and walked past the gym. There was an AD for 10.00 per month with nothing down and no contracts. That was the catalyst that got me started to going to the gym on a regular basis. I am now 50 lbs lighter and 3 inches slimmer in the waist line. I feel so much better and have more energy and self confidence. I have a long way to go but I am glad that I finally got motivated to DO something about it.

    • Well done!!! I fought that battle myself in my mid 20’s, and thankfully have been able to keep the weight off for the past 30 years. You feel SO good about yourself, emotionally and physically, when you can make those kinds of changes. Here’s to continued health and fitness for you, Jim 🙂

  2. It’s energizing to be a driver of change….it’s frightening & suffocating to be the subject of change that you have no control off

    Glad that you are on a positive wave!

    • That’s exactly the right formula – I’ve been on the other end of change too often lately, so I’m glad to be in the drivers seat -for a “change”!

  3. I’m sure that I’m like most folks, change usually has to be thrust upon me before I take any action. It’s not that I mind change, it has a way of shaking things up; it’s just that I don’t give it a lot of thought on a daily basis.

    Each time there has been major change in my life, there have been pros and cons, generally the pros outweigh the cons because I choose to emphasize the positive results.

    A “practice marriage” led to a divorce after quite a few years and a daughter just ready to become a teen. Pros were really challenged with the con of not seeing my daughter as much.

    However, this led to getting to know the lovely Miss Teresa and we will celebrate 24 years of wedded bliss this coming Sunday.

    I once declined to move with a company to the backwoods of Alabama and that decision led to a job with the company I am still with after 19 years. That was a big change that I initiated and it has worked out well and led me to Charleston, SC, 12 years ago and that has been great.

    All in all, we usually only seek out big changes in our lives when we are unhappy with the status quo and just say to ourselves that we’re not going to take it anymore.

    Very glad to see all is working out so well in your life with your recent changes.

    • You’re right, Lou – most of us are willing to make those big changes only when we’re so miserable we just can’t take it anymore! Good to hear you’ve had the experience of making positive changes in your life, and congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! That’s my parents anniversary date, too 🙂

  4. Hey Becca, or shall I say, “Skirtsetter” 🙂

    I just read this post and think it’s neat that the post I wrote this morning mentioned open doors. I love when it seems we are running on the same frequency. I’m thrilled you have a grandchild on the way. And to answer your question, I’ve experienced this countless times… I’ve stepped out on faith or simply made a decision– and things have worked out in my favor. Of course, no decision is without some challenges, but the simple act of making a choice seems to open up a whole new world of blessings and possibilities. There’s no way to prove that. But it’s been my experience.

    • I loved your post today, especially those “thinking points” which I’ve been mulling over ever since I read it 🙂 I’m glad you’ve had good experiences walking out on faith. I’m feeling so positive about things right now, and I’m hoping I don’t get shot down in flames!!

  5. I love the positive energy that’s been pouring out of our writing lately, it’s infectious! And I completely agree about your statement regarding taking the first step, it’s so true.

    In reply to your question, what can I say? Change is my middle name. And usually triggered by one of three things: 1. external events (I tend to go with the flow a lot and that has often meant moving or changing jobs) 2. an unhappy situation that I no longer want to endure (like a dead-end job that I ended up with because of 1.) and 3. a desire to act based on my own views and dreams, rather than 1. or 2. The third trigger is definitely the one that invites the “universe” to align itself with my actions. And sadly also the one I’ve been ignoring for most of my adult life. But I am learning to change that! 🙂

    • I’ve tended to ignore the universe’s role in my life, too, because I’m a huge control freak so I always think I have to be charge of everything that happens. “Let go and let God,” as the saying says – I’ve never been able to do that.

      However, I’m beginning to see that sometimes it happens whether I allow it or not, so I’m trying to relinquish my cast iron grip on fate and let myself go along for the ride!

  6. This is all good stuff, Becca. I do believe outside forces join our desire for change as soon as we make the first move. It’s like the snowball effect. It picks up speed and volume once it starts rolling. I’m so happy for you.

  7. Becca, I almost cried when I read this. And yes — it IS your time — I’ll say it if you don’t! But also, to see this growth, this overcoming of fear, of taking a chance is downright inspiring and gives me a little more courage to think outside my own box. Thank you.

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