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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Single Step

The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.   Chinese Proverb 

Today I did it.  I managed to take one step and then another--small, slow, single steps that added up to 30 whole minutes of running  very slow jogging.

I continue to be amazed at the power of the mind, how persistent it is, how insistent it is--how much it resists and tries to complicate.  For some reason, over the last year or so, my mind has decided it's going to resist the hell out of exercise...even though I know that exercise nourishes and nurtures me, even though I know I feel so so much more energized and empowered when I do it consistently.  So it's been this little back & forth battle between me & some other part of me, between trying to be okay with not exercising & being really not okay with not exercising.

But today I just decided I was going to do it one step at a time.  The first step was deciding.  The second step was putting on the appropriate running clothes, eating a good breakfast, heading to my favorite running spot after dropping the girls off at school, then stepping out of the car and just step at a time.  I did all of this while taking note of what my mind was saying...but I'm tired, but a hot shower sounds so much better, but there are so many other things you should do this morning, but it's going to be painful, doesn't it sound so much better to sit in your cozy house and write or paint?

As soon as I stepped out of the car, a surprising, amazing thing happened.  I noticed a woman on the trail stretching--I could immediately feel her open, smiley energy and we both said hello at the same time.  She asked me how I was doing and I shared with her that I was having a tough time getting motivated to just begin.  She then said, well, you've already got an At for just getting yourself out here.  Oh my.  That was so totally what I needed to hear.  What a gift.  And then along the path, on my second slow loop around, two total strangers told me I was doing great.  Seriously?

So, I'm here to say that amazing, beautiful, surprising things happen when you just begin, when you take a single step toward the direction of what nurtures you, when you choose not to listen to the old, worn out thoughts that list off all of the reasons you shouldn't and give you detailed pictures of all the obstacles you are sure to encounter.

No need to look beyond the very step you're taking, no need to concern yourself with the hows or what the end result might look like...just a single step.  Then another single step.  Then another.

It is so much easier to Do than to think about doing.  It's so much damn lighter on the other side of resistance.

What single step is calling to you today?


  1. a gift indeed, as is this post!=)

    my dehydrator is calling me to make some healthy pizza crusts, crackers and sweet potato chips. i took the initial step of soaking the nuts and seeds, but now i'm putting off the blending and spreading... and the mess that will be my kitchen when it's all over. oy.=)

  2. Julie,

    I am so impressed with how often and consistent you post insightful, motivating, and heartfelt postings. You really are an inspiration for me.

    What single step is calling me? To get my next posting up on my blog.
    So over due.

  3. looove to those
    very slow
    oh, dear one,
    i began this too,
    a couple months ago,
    & now it's gotten
    below zero
    & i recently had
    yucky bronchitis!
    so i can't wait
    to have conditions ready
    for my stepping feet too...
    & i like to think of
    running beside you,
    with renewed
    & strength.
    i see it now.

  4. What a very inspiring post. So glad you got out there and gave yourself what you really need, and were helped out by the people along the way. Thanks for sharing the resistance part too. Many happy steps to you.XO

  5. Well done Julia,

    Thanks for reminding me that baby steps are a vital part of the journey home.

    I support you in taking good care of yourself. Like you mentioned in this blog ' Its so much easier to do than to think about doing.'

    Go get em gal.

    Love Nige

  6. Ah Julia! I totally had one of those days today - lots of small steps, 'next actions' that chip away at various different projects.

    I'm sitting with some uncomfortability about the new part I'm playing in Annie, but you know what - I took steps around that today as well, and just because it wasn't comfortable, doesn't mean it wasn't worthwhile.

    Sending you a huge hug.
    It would be so great to share a cup of tea with you one day...


  7. First of all, that picture of your daughter is so funny and adorable- I love the look on her face!

    I resist exercise too. Go in and out of it. I am so glad you took your first step :) xoxo Go go go!!!

  8. Oh my Julia! I'm having so much fun catching up on your blog and your lovely writings! Love this post about just taking the first step. And i see that you are taking Mondo Beyondo! Oh I wish we could go out for coffee and I could hear all about it! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog... and for sending love my way... I really felt it.

    Love & blessings
    xoxo Valerie

    Valerie Hart


What are you thinking/feeling? I'd really love to know...

♥ Julia