Apr 2, 2012 22

Embracing the tiny, Day 21: Small finales

I began this series because I was having trouble beginning. (If that ain’t the sound of one hand clapping, I don’t know what is.)

I thought that if I kept things small, I could keep things going—I could keep beginning, every day. And damned if it didn’t work, until about two-thirds of the way through, when my well-meaning, deeply toxic brain started off-gassing “should”s.

You should end it with a BIG finish—something grand and profound to wrap it all up with majesty. And symmetry! Or maybe irony!

You should compile these into a book, create a Tumblr blog, buy a URL, start a mailing list. 

You should have a plan. You should have HAD a plan. Or gotten a plan. You should have figured out some way to keep it going, to monetize it, to Grow the Brand.

And you know what? It’s possible. It’s possible that I should have done many things, and it’s definitely possible that I could have done them. What I needed to do when I began this, though, was to begin. And then to keep on beginning, right through to the end. (At which point, of course, I am free to keep beginning.)

So at the end of this beginning, I tell myself this: You looked up at the trees, and saw them a different way. You slowed down, you fixed your gaze on thing after tiny thing, and saw their stories. And that is enough.

I am starting to think endings only seem big, and also that they only seem like endings. And, in the same way, that small things only seem tiny. There is so much there; there is the whole world in that one tiny thing, if you want to see it. Each tiny thing, a door into the whole, wide world.

And the only thing you should do, in the end, is know that you always, in any moment, have the chance to begin again.

xxx
c

This is Day 21 of a 21-day series. For more scoop on the who/what/why, go here.

Posted in: The Personal Ones

Nancy April 3, 2012 at 3:03 am

Beautiful. Bravo.

cooktench April 3, 2012 at 4:16 am

Wonderful insight. I’m launching a new business, a blog… perhaps life and will begin each day by reading the last part of your “ending”. It’s a great way to feel good about all the new things worth tackling.
Thanks.
“I am starting to think endings only seem big, and also that they only seem like endings. And, in the same way, that small things only seem tiny. There is so much there; there is the whole world in that one tiny thing, if you want to see it. Each tiny thing, a door into the whole, wide world.

And the only thing you should do, in the end, is know that you always, in any moment, have the chance to begin again.”

Carolyn Broughton April 3, 2012 at 5:18 am

I really needed this today as I have a report due and need to start writing. I love the writing of it. Just not the ‘starting the writing’ of it. It’s suddenly helpful to think of ‘starting’ as a wonderful new beginning – a lovely new adventure. Here I goooooooo.

Holly April 3, 2012 at 5:20 am

“And the only thing you should do, in the end, is know that you always, in any moment, have the chance to begin again.”

And to continue to be fully in the present with those big and tiny things that make up our “one and precious” life here.

Congratulations, on reaching your goal, and the clarity of your realization.

Jenny April 3, 2012 at 5:45 am

You always have the chance to begin again. I’d write that in caps, but that would be shouting…

Yes. And similarly, it isn’t necessarily the end. And you don’t need a plan.

Ain’t the mind grand? Just say to those thoughts that come up “thank you mind”. In the end, we do well to make friends with our thoughts – the are what comes with having a mind.

It’s all OK.

I have enjoyed reading your writing again, Miss C. Yesterday in particular was poetry.

Lovely.
Lovely.

Veronica April 3, 2012 at 6:15 am

So lovely. And your ending of “know that you always, in any moment, have the chance to begin again.” is not only utterly perfect but utterly beautiful.

Anne April 3, 2012 at 6:40 am

Once again Colleen, wonderful. You’ve reminded me about the wonder in the small. You have such a brilliant way of grabbing our attention, shaking us a little and pointing out “look, the world is amazing”.
Thank you for the shake.

Carol April 3, 2012 at 7:56 am

Lovely. MMMMM

Alan April 3, 2012 at 9:02 am

What a wonderful way to end this… or, should I say to begin this. :)

Marial Shea April 3, 2012 at 10:17 am

Your tinyness has enhanced my life for the past 21 days. I’m so burnt out on BIG and branding and hoisting every last thought and idea into the marketplace. Thank you for reminding us all of the beauty and necessity of just being.

Well, not JUST being–thank you for writing about it too!

Jennifer Louden April 3, 2012 at 10:29 am

begin again and lower the bar are my favorite ideas ever – and this was the BEST series just as it is and doesn’t have to be anything else – it was incredible as are you.

Gwyn April 3, 2012 at 10:38 am

This is the most beautiful and just right ending and beginning I can imagine! Just right. XO

Elaine April 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I was so happy to see you “beginning” again – to see you “back”. You will always be an incredible and expressive writer, it’s just who you are. And there will be some “payoff” for you some day. Until then, keep embracing the “tiny successes” like the joy and connection your readers feel with you…along with your big ones (50th birthday endeavor). And as noted above, this last piece of sharing yourself and your insights was a perfect ending to this series. Thanks for being “you”.

Elaine April 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Gotta work on the whole quote-overuse thing. Oh well. Anyhow, looking forward to seeing where you go next.

Christopher Daradics April 3, 2012 at 3:56 pm

A poem about beginnings, middles, and ends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVUqG_qHIoA

Dug the daily meditations.

Thx.

Marcia April 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm

You did it. You ended/began again with a bang. I’m inspired. Thank you.

Marion April 4, 2012 at 6:05 am

Yes. Thank you.

Susannah April 4, 2012 at 6:24 am

I have enjoyed this 21 day salute so very much, thank you Colleen! I’m glad you dropped the “shoulds” that were trying to crash the party (the tiny tiny party…hehe)
This post is just right!

Ellen Moore April 4, 2012 at 6:55 am

Gorgeous from beginning to end. I savored every moment of it. And given enough light, everything tiny really is iridescent.

Thank you!

Kimberly April 5, 2012 at 6:14 am

You are such an amazing WRITER!! I love reading your work, and I can’t wait for the next series. So glad I found you.

? K.

Jason Lay April 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Thanks for this Colleen!

It has been the proverbial thorn in my side in trying to get things started (and get things continuing past the 5th repetition, whether the 5th day of flossing, or of not eating sugar, or of blog posts). And I think it does have to do with this big vs small thing and which is better instead of letting the two just be. It’s funny (in that super not-hilarious way) the various means by which we come under the tyranny of the Epic. Either it’s too intimidating and you never get off the ground, or you pull it off, but never feel like you can stop. It’s a sad thing to forget how to do things out of love, rather than do things for oughts and shoulds. I wonder what it will take to throw off this amnesiatic spell.

Any pithy advice for a young padawan, Yoda?

Ellen Moore April 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Brava! Tears in my eyes. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

Gentle hugs

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