Starting 2017 where you are

The time of New Year’s resolutions is upon us. This is traditionally the time when fitness centres and yoga classes do the best business. We all, practically en masse, every year, resolve that this year will be the year we succeed in making health and fitness a priority. That this year we will end up liking what we look like and how we feel.

I spent a lot of very enjoyable time last week going over inspirational messages – and I’m still re-reading them.  Judging from the comments I’ve received back, these messages appeal to many people.  For me, the biggest thing I get from them is this:  Start with whatever I have at this moment, and what I have at this moment is enough.

Pema Chödrön  wrote a whole book about it, teaching us to embrace the painful aspects of our lives; turning that pain into a way of opening our hearts.

Goethe’s famous words add a different emphasis: What You Can Do, or Dream You Can, Begin It; Boldness Has Genius, Power, and Magic in It.

The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu met recently, and out of this meeting came a book – The Book of Joy  – that is almost a transcript of this meeting.  These two men have personally lived through immense pain and suffering, and have a lot to say about joy, and about starting where you are. Here is something of what they say:
  • Be kind to yourself. If we don’t have genuine love and kindness toward ourselves, then we can’t extend kindness to others. Too much self-focus leads to fear, insecurity and anxiety.
  • You are not alone if you are able to connect with the humanity in yourselves and others.
  • Recognizing our own limitations and weaknesses can be positive, if we are open to learning from these limitations.  It then becomes wisdom. There is a Tibetan saying that wisdom is like rainwater – both gather in the low places.

 So, perhaps this new year, we can try to let go of trying to be slimmer, eat healthier, or be smarter, and instead begin where we are, accepting what we have, knowing that what we have, right now, is enough.

Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama – from The Book of Joy


Quote of the Week

We build our temples with the stones at hand.
-Richard O. Moore
At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  As a registered psychotherapist and stress coach, I offer individual one-on-one consultations. For more information, visit my or contact me directly at

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