“No Beginning Too Small”

I have had a few days more than usual at my Texas home before heading back to Louisiana. In this time, the New Year began — with the inherent ritual of pondering accomplishments/activities of the past year and contemplating “what I want different for this year” … beyond the fact it is going to be a poignant year.

With perfect timing, I participated in a nurturing retreat with some of my Energy Sisters – tucked away on acres of land full of trees, talking wind, sunshine, meditative journeys, laughter and good food. Although, only a couple of days away, I returned to hubby and fur-kids … with evidence of feeling refreshed, partially renewed and not as overwhelmed.

A couple of days ago, I was inspired by a collection of activities …

1) several small stones (part of the month long Mindful Writing Challenge or small stone writing),

2) a “tweet” which led to a post titled “Silly Me and The Year of the Fairy Tale” by a fellow blogger, JJudy from Curiosity to the Max, and

3) the tug to do something different —– something nurturing for me … even in (or especially because) of being in the midst of coping with the ending of my mom’s sacred journey. 

I felt a prod … it should be something to open a path to evolve me — pull me out of the unrealistic expectations of myself, free me from a lifetime of inaccurate self-information and the tentacles of very real and paralyzing fear!

After all, “I am an adult, and considered a “mature one” at that!”  🙂   I no longer have to meet the expectations of teachers/professors in school/college/graduate school, or the goals and objectives of employers.  I am nearly an orphan, so before much longer, I am free from all parental expectations – real or perceived.  My husband is supportive; he wants me happy and thriving.  My four-legged fur-children want me to happy and relaxed; their world of energy is more balanced if I am balanced.  I am free to work with myself … my journey through my eyes and perspective.  I do not need to compare myself to others; I do not need to compete with anyone … Ahh hahhh!!

Objections and perceived obstacles start to roar their ugly heads …

Nearly my entire life, I excelled in commitments.  If I gave someone my word, I kept it no matter what else occurred.  I was loyal, faithful and a peacekeeper – nearly always to the benefit of others, but often not to the benefit of me.  Somewhere along the way (maybe in the past 5-7 years) — I started shying away from commitments … Always with the thought — what if something else came up? what if I am not in the mood? what if .. what if … what if …

Over the years I have a developed a revolving bookshelf of attempts to journal.  I start in earnest, but before long, the activity of journaling goes by the wayside – in the past, journaling either took too long to write, or I sat staring at the blank pages.  I tried the exercises of writing whatever thoughts came to mind, even if they were repetitive over and over again, until “something” broke through the wall, and the timer exercise … always seeming futile – so another journal was stored on the shelf.   Last year, I had the idea of starting a visual journal … I ordered one as a Christmas present to myself.  I made sure it was delivered in time to toast 2013.  I do not even know where it is at the moment. 😀

So to my utmost surprise, I was strongly nudged to join a free online creative journaling project called – Root: A 30 Day Journal Project by Lisa Sonora Beam.  Oh wait … This would involve commitment … daily for 30 days … and it would involve journaling. “Yikes!!”

In the description of the project, my eyes zeroed in on the use and appreciation of a Confucius quote:

“Cultivate the root, the leaves and branches will take care of themselves.”

LOGO - root_30-day-journal-project-500

This quote, along with the graphic of a tree and its roots, grabbed my attention (those of you who visit frequently know I love trees).

“Oh no! The group started on January 1st” … the group is already a third of the way through.”  I did not know if I was going to have to play catch up or not — “Hmm, would that deter me?”

Before my fingers and brain communicated – I subscribed and activated the subscription.  To my delight, the first email arrived titled … Day 1.  Among it’s opening information … “Today’s Inspiration: “There is no beginning too small.” — Henry David Thoreau.”  How much better can it get?  😀

But, but … “OMG, can I really do this?  Suppose I am not doing it correctly!?!”  I take a deep breath, and realize the examples of the prompts/challenges I participate in … all the different perspectives of the WP Weekly Photo Challenge … I visit nearly a hundred each week … discovering with dismay, all the different aspects of one word or one prompt.  Each one is correct … it is all in their perspective … their journey … Realizing this is from my perspectivemy journey.

So, moving at my own pace of the 30-days, let me begin … with the encouragement of Henry David Thoreau …

“There is no beginning too small”


© rgb for “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea”, 2011 – 2014

About becca givens

Becca is an artist, poet, and animal communicator. She delights in cooking, nurturing, and sharing a rich spiritual life with others on the Path.
This entry was posted in Free verse, Small Stones and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to “No Beginning Too Small”

  1. I’ve just discovered this, Becca, through reading ‘Update 2’ ~ but I have come to it at exactly the right moment. Last week, frustrated by my lack of focus on my papier~mâché projects (bundled into bags and boxes under the stairs), I grabbed a sketch book that I started about 25 years ago and began scribbling and doodling on the empty pages. I love the quotes and will use them as prompts tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing how yours turns out ~ although working backwards I’ve already had a sneaky peek and your pages are inspiring! Thank you 🙂


  2. Pingback: Art Journal Update – 2 | "On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea"

  3. Pingback: Art Journal Update | "On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea"

  4. Gede Prama says:

    thank you, the article and the true happiness rays began to warm hearts, when we share it with sincerity. Greetings from Gede Prama 🙂


  5. Winnie says:

    I have always wanted to go away for a retreat like experience for some quality alone time to just be and reflect. Sounds like a great experience you had! I have kept a gratitude journal for years but never much writing in it. I started an art journal as you know I love to get inky and can stamp etc. I see your journal is just fabulous! I picked up a new one for this year and the book Art Journal Freedom and am going to do this for myself. You sound a lot like me as I am a worrier by nature and I have to work on that in 2014.


    • becca givens says:

      The retreat was great — I felt I had been away for longer than 1 1/2 days (in a good way) … we got a lot of “work” done!!

      I’ve tried gratitude journals also — it’s on my revolving shelf! LOL 😀
      Day 4 and I am still working on it!! I will have to look at the book –
      Art Journal Freedom! But I think I’ll wait till the end of my 30 days!


  6. Becca,
    Thanks for the link back!


  7. Renee Espriu says:

    I was pleased to see you are still doing the “Small Stones” and sorry I missed that it had started once more. 2013 was pretty much a wash for me but hoping 2014 will be better. Hope your days are going well. Take Care


    • becca givens says:

      Oh, Renee it’s good to see you … I am trying to learn to relax and not worry about so much … I am late in joining a project that started on the first … I want to do it anyway so I am … if you want to join the small stone challenge, in my opinion, it’s not too late … post them or keep them for your own revelations. The exercise of being more mindful in our chaotic day, even if it’s only for a moment, is the goal for ourselves … no time restraint to this. Hope your New Year flows with more ease. 🙂


  8. shoreacres says:

    And don’t forget that other bit of advice from the good Mr. Thoreau: “Simplify, simplify, simplify…”
    (And isn’t it funny that in the original there actually are three “simplifies”. I guess the people who quote him do their own form of simplification!)


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