Baby steps – tentative, wobbly, tiny movement forward, slow, quiet. These are the steps that a baby takes when they are first learning to walk. The movement forward is slow going as the young one gains confidence with the new way of moving their body. Falls happen a lot and so they learn the need to pick one’s self up over and over and over again. Sometimes there is a return to crawling when baby steps walking just feels too slow.
I really don’t spend the majority of my days anymore consumed with grief. Most of the time I am well beyond baby steps, moving forward in new directions and with new dreams with confidence and hope. For the past several months especially I’ve been clearing out a lot of internal clutter, expanding my work web, trying new things and moving forward with new ideas. I’ve been gaining strength and feeling ready to step out a little stronger and a little broader in the world.
I see a counselor several times a months. I have a large support network of friends and family both near and far who I know are there for me. I speak out loud of my fears and concerns, releasing some of the strange hold these things can have over us if we leave them bottled up inside. I walk in nature, often barefoot, a lot; the power of nature to heal is amazing. I am beginning to put turn into reality dreams I’ve held for a long time. I sleep well including napping when I most need it. I am back to getting regular chiropractic care – ah my body thanks me. I am eating more healthy. I am connected to my children and have open communication with them about their own journeys. I laugh, I cry, I dance (not often enough), I ask for help, I write, I dream, I love.
I think that is part of why the darker times as I call them catch me so off guard. I consistently do a lot of things that focus on living a healthier and more whole life. Everyday I return to things that help ground me, center me and heal me. Everyday I release a little bit more of the sorrow that still would like to suck me down into the deep. Everyday I find a little bit more of the old me and discover who the new me wants to be. But when the darker times, those heavier parts of myself rise up wanting to be heard, come over me I can feel rocked to my core and wonder if I have made any strides forward or if I am simply spinning my wheels. Even baby steps forward seem an impossibility during these times. But the irony is that listening to and honoring the wisdom of these darker times is exactly what I need to continue my transformation.
So I return to the wisdom of baby steps rather than trying to move in leaps and bounds right now. After each dive into the depths of my emotions I return cleansed, more whole, a little wiser, and a little wobbly for a while. At these times it is wisest if I return to the knowing that, just like a baby learning to walk, I need a hand to hold onto sometimes as my legs become stronger. I do not journey my life alone, nor do I really want to.
I return to knowing that if walking is just too slow I can move back to crawling for a while as my confidence grows. Returning to the things that are so easy to do, so much a part of my core being may feel like a step backwards but really it is part of the rebuilding my belief in myself. It’s okay to go backwards as often as I need to in order to figure out the path forward.
I return to knowing that a baby doesn’t worry about where they should be on their journey or even where they have been. They just focus on taking the next little step. Here and now, in this time, this moment, that is all there is. This baby step is all that matters.
I return to knowing that each and every baby step I take is one to be celebrated. I think of when my kids were taking their first steps. We celebrated each step as if they had just won a marathon. I need to return to that knowing rather than allow myself to feel frustrated with how far I think I still have to go to reach some distant goal I’ve set for myself. Patience and celebration.
I return to knowing that I am not the only one baby stepping her way to a new understanding of herself or on a healing path. I think many of us are taking baby steps forward on our life journeys. Some of us are more aware of that than others. I just happen to believe that part of my life’s purpose is to speak of journey.
I return to knowing that learning to walk and taking baby steps is a journey of joy. Falls are met with laughter. Taking the first step is met with cheering. Taking a series of steps is met with smiles and way to gos. Tears may come out at times during falls or wobbly times, but overall it is a journey of joy. Joy for each and every baby step. One step, just one step is a cause for celebration. That I can do each day!