Start Close In

Change is daunting. Particularly the kind of change that asks us to challenge old patterns around how we view our bodies, our lives and ourselves. Controlling what you eat, worrying about weight, comparing yourself to others and obsessing about getting life “right” can all feel like locked-in ways of being; like fixed patterns that just “are how you are”, unable to change.

New clients often say to me, “I truly want to feel settled in my skin and stop the wars I wage against myself, but honestly, sometimes it feels impossible because I have no idea what that even looks like. How do I get from where I am now to where I want to go? What are the steps to take and how do I know I’m doing it right?”

As a planner and doer I completely understand the desire to know exactly where to go, how to get there and the doubt that creeps in when we don’t seem immediate change. I spent years doing my darndest to figure out how to control all outcomes, often making things more confusing and complicated than necessary.

Coming home, as the poet David Whyte says, starts close in. Trying to control our growth or plan it out 10 steps ahead pulls us away from the peace we seek. We must surrender to the first step, and each one after that.

This poem reminds us that any journey, any new way of being, starts with a single step, the one that’s closest to home.

Start Close In by David Whyte

Start close in, don't take the second step or the third, start with the first thing close in, the step you don't want to take.

Start with the ground you know, the pale ground beneath your feet, your own way of starting the conversation.

Start with your own question, give up on other people's questions, don't let them smother something simple.

To find another's voice, follow your own voice, wait until that voice becomes a private ear listening to another

Start right now take a small step you can call your own don't follow someone else's heroics, be humble and focused, start close in, don't mistake that other for your own.

Start close in, don't take the second step or the third, start with the first thing close in, the step you don't want to take.

Share this poem by clicking here.

Lots of love,

Jamie

Generaljamie