Have you ever in your life looked at something and thought, “Where do I start?” It could have been whilst cleaning, de-cluttering a space, moving house, starting a project, writing an assignment… the list goes on. Many times I have gone into overwhelm (and sometimes still do), asking myself this question and making the task bigger in my mind than it truly is… which if I do that, of course I will not know where to start!
I had a very similar feeling recently, only this was not to do with writing an assignment or de-cluttering, it was to do with what is going on in the world. In a short space of time I had read, seen and signed petitions on various news’ stories of devastating things that are happening to people and animals around the world. Not long after reading and seeing this, in fact during reading and seeing these different news clips, came the familiar feeling of overwhelm – of “Gosh, where do we start?” and I noticed an old pattern of feeling helpless arise. The question then came back to me: when such abuse and devastation is happening within the world, “Where do we (as humanity) start?” and “How on earth do we stop or change the abuse that is happening in the world?”
What I noticed was, when I gave myself space to feel into this a bit more (pulled myself out of being in the overwhelm and observed instead) I did not feel helpless, I did not go into sympathy. Instead I knew the answer. It starts with us. It starts with how we live, how much do we care and love ourselves within our own life, what do we value and tolerate within our life… do we or do we not accept abuse in our own life even on the smallest scale, which could be something as simple as overeating?
This then becomes manageable, tangible and feasible. For if we (every single person in the world) love ourselves so deeply, saying no to abuse, not tolerating abuse, valuing and respecting not only ourselves but every other person, then we would have zero abuse – no wars, no corruption, no lies, no greed, no harm to another or others.
This is possible – we just need to make the start.
So, where do we start?
We start with us.
Continually and forever inspired by the lived way of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.
By Vicky Cooke, London
One Step At a Time – Anything Else is Just Too Tricky!
It’s time for the world to wake from its Sleep
An Unnatural Disaster
691 thoughts on “Where do I Start?”
Yes overeating is an abuse against ourselves. Being much more responsible as to how and what we eat and how much we eat brings with it a new level of care and consideration and a deepening level of respect that allows more solidarity within us to face whatever is before us.
It is important to be open to honestly feel the extent of the abuse that we have accepted as a humanity, as then we feel the purpose that is needed to bring focus to how we live our every day and the level of love we are willing to live with by saying ‘no’ to abuse of any form with ourselves and with others.
I agree Carola and recently it was so clear to me in a way I had not felt before that I do not like conflict or confrontation .. in fact I discovered I will do anything to avoid it, but in doing anything to avoid it it is still allowing it to happen! And not saying no to abuse. A slightly uncomfortable but great learning for me.
The more I accept life as it presents itself, the more I feel my responsibility in what is going on in the world.
Sometimes, the question of ‘where to now’ is a great one since it invites us to reflect upon what is holding us. Finding our north means a lot.
It feels like you are saying that where to now can only be truly felt if we know, claim and appreciate where we are now as well as nominating what it is that is holding us there.
Starting something that feels overwhelming is daunting, but taking the first smallest step and then the next breaks the overwhelm and a momentum is gathered to do what is needed.
Yes it is like sowing a seed, it doesn’t need to be anything big or grand, simply focusing on the quality of what we do as opposed to doing more will have a ripple effect as the seed grows and establishes itself.
This is huge, ‘simply focusing on the quality of what we do as opposed to doing more will have a ripple effect…’ imagine if this was taught at school, or in work places everywhere… the world’s productivity would shoot up as would the quality of our relationships.
If I ever find myself becoming overwhelmed by what I perceive is coming at me I stop; press the pause button. And in that moment I have given myself I ask – what it one simple thing I can do right now? – and I take the first step. Then I take one more simple step, and another and before I know it I am slowly coming out of the overwhelm and life is coming back to its flowing simplicity. One step at a time is my motto for life – yes I do forget it sometimes but it doesn’t take too long before I am reminded of the power of this simple message once again.
I agree Ingrid, I have just started a new job and have found myself falling into overwhelm a few times, it’s a really horrible feeling. I am now trying to the best of my ability to break everything down into chunk sized pieces, to walk my way through projects one practical step at a time. I have also found that if I don’t focus on everything that I don’t know then this helps me to not get overwhelmed.
It is easy to get overwhelmed by the abuse in the world but if we start with not allowing abuse in our own lives then overwhelm is no longer there. Stopping the abuse in our own lives prevents us from adding to the overall abuse in the world and that is how we do it.
I agree Elizabeth – well said, as this really begins in developing a loving relationship with ourselves, with our essence, with our love within, through which we then feel just how precious and sacred we are, and any form of dishonoring of this connection is an abuse to who we are.
When you look at the world it is overwhelming and it is hard to stay connected and present and not run away. But building that relationship with Love in the body means one step at a time is all that is needed. The quality of the step becomes the focus not the quantity of steps.
I remember having the same feelings of overwhelm when I looked at the state of humanity and when I was feeling this way, I also felt immobilised and felt that the task was too big. Now, like you Vicky, I dropped overwhelm and I understand that everything we want to change in this world starts with us. This brings the responsibility back to me and this feels very empowering and honouring.
It is not the where but the when to start – it is always now, and now, and now again, hence it is every-where.
And what I am really starting to realise with this Alexander is how much it has to do with our movements and momentum of movements. If we are not present with ourselves (our mind completely with our body in our movement, even when we are sitting down, and not looking to the future or being in the past but just completely in the moment) then it is so much harder to go into overwhelm.
I had a moment like that today where I thought where on earth do I begin after being presented with a massive task. I find keeping strong in my purpose for the good of all instead of just for me is always a good place to start.
I like what you have shared here Joshua, for when we don’t make a project about ourselves, searching for recognition or acceptance via our acts, then the product of our work tends to take into consideration everyone it will have an impact on and the quality is then a higher vibration too.
The moment I’m wondering where to start, I know I’ve made life complicated and I know I’m disconnected from the rhythm of the day and what needs to be done. It’s like when I stand in front of my wardrobe and I don’t know what to wear – the answer is not in wardrobe or in the clothes but in the movements that led to the disconnection.
hmmm, I will have to remember that. When we are connected there is a communication about what is needed from the get-go. So, making our movements and the quality of those movements an initial focus is planting a quality seed to nurture.
We like to think that we don’t know where to start, because when we’re in that, we don’t actually have to start, don’t have to take responsibility to deliver what’s needed, and then, conveniently, we don’t have space to feel what’s next, to expand and step into what else is there for us to deliver and express. ‘Not knowing’ is a way of staying safe and keeping small – but eventually we get to feel how restrictive and constrained this way of living and moving feels, and the impact on our bodies. Then the choice to align to the pull to create space, to feel what is next, and move with that higher purpose, becomes more obvious.
Every time now when I realize that something is not the way it should be, a person doesn´t feel the way I know them to be themselves, a quality is missing in a group conversation etc. I am reminded that I can bring and therefore am resonsible for bringing the quality that is required. That´s how we bring the change we see is needed for life to become and be.
Yes, the starting point is always with us – Every small step and choice taken to nurture and love ourselves through responding to our innermost connection. There is no saviour to do it for us, we are our own saviour.
“So, where do we start? We start with us”.
As you say Vicky, we start with ourselves and from there all else can change.
So, simple isn’t it Elizabeth and when we stay stuck in overwhelm it immobilizes us and we are not able to move let alone evolve ourselves of out misery.
There’s a great beauty about making our first step about Love and quality – it sets the tone for all else that follows. This tone is the true measure of life not the tasks we achieve or mountains we climb.
It sows a seed that is then nurtured in all other aspects of our lives. I am noticing that if I take time to stop and consider how I start my day, then I am more likely to be aware how I end my day and then it starts to sandwich everything in between, till there are no mountains, there are just rolling hills!
When we allow ourselves to go into reaction at all we see going on around us we get instantly pulled into the chaos and it is, from my experience, very hard to step back out of it. But if we are able to stop and simply observe, it becomes clear what the next step is. Taking one step at a time allows us to stay present and continue to observe just in case the next step needed is in a completely different direction.
I love your words of wisdom Ingrid and beautifully delivered. The key is to observe and not react, this makes a world of difference, Thank you.
In a world where we tend to expect others to fix things, to make changes, to make life better, we as individuals have let go of the fact that our life is our responsibility not anyone elses. And as there are more than 7 billion of us in this world it makes sense that how we live affects the whole world, so then it naturally follows that to make changes to what is unfolding in the world we need to make changes in ourselves, one step at a time.
I love everything about what you have shared here. It can be daunting to say the least when we realise how embedded in abuse our culture, our society currently is and to consider how on earth could we ever shift this or make a change. Yet in realising that how we live our everyday impacts the greater whole immensely, is incredibly empowering. To feel the power we all have to bring greater love and care in to our lives and our relationships by saying ‘no’ to abuse, is inspiring and highlights just how much we all do make a difference and play a huge part in shaping the world we live all in.
Hear, hear Carola, beautifully expressed and inspiring. This highlights that every choice we make matters to how our world is shaped, and I agree we all play an important role in this.
The presence of self-care is a great way to start the path of daily development towards wellbeing in all areas of life.
Yes it does shart with us, that highlights the fact that it is actually never about us and that in looking at our own lives the ripple effects of that are huge. People see someone who is living in a different way – making choices that are taking responsibility for how they are living. It just makes sense.
It’s very empowering to talk about how we can initiate change in our own lives and do very practical things that will inevitably impact the people we meet, and then the effects can ripple out from there.
Yes and it feels like it really offers us a foundation to stand on when the waves seem to get a bit high or the road gets a bit rocky. That reflection can support not only ourselves but others.
You started, I have started, lets pay it forward. Love it Vicky.
Turning within and starting with ourselves is the most enriching and full-filling experience we can have, and yet it is often the last thing we think to do!
Love what you have shared here Vicky – and especially in the last few months I have been feeling some overwhelm with how much I have on my plate and how much there is to do…and so, little by little, I am learning to stay focused and prioritise, but most importantly learning to turn inwards and seeking the strength from within. This is the best way to start, starting with ourselves, and our deepest connection that holds us in more ways than we can imagine.
A very simple, clear and practical message for us all Vicky. Thankyou.
In the past I have taken part in several protest march in the street claiming for our rights, demanding politics that the systems changed. But these events left me exhausted, frustrated and not really fulfilled as it was never enough. To be honest it was an excuse to express my anger by playing the victim role and pointing at others as the perpetrators of this chaos. I had this feeling of overwhelm many times, like nothing ever was complete. Today I stopped to support these kind of revolutions outside and I’m more focused on seeing what is my part in the creation of the systems that we have. True it is that it is unfair, dehumanized, rough and hostile but nothing different to when I judge myself, I overeat or I expect myself to be in a certain way, rather than to just appreciate myself for the precious woman I am. This is my work today and my new revolution which never ends but feels very enriching.
Brilliant article Vicky. It feels so simple but profound. Sure we can’t change everything overnight but we can start within ourselves and this is a huge start that benefits all.
It is easy to be overwhelmed if we look outwards to all that is abusive in this world and yet do we pay as close attention to the seemingly lessor forms of abuse that we may be overlooking in our own lives?
“Where do I Start?” – great question to ask Vicky and in relation to anything really… and what i’ve noted for myself is feeling whether i’m asking that from a heady, mental plane, or more so from the body that’s balanced, steady, full, honest. Because from the body the starting point is always known. And the (above) question becomes somewhat redundant.
Taking that most important first step is the way to approach anything in life, particularly if we are feeling that something needs changing – like the world. Trying to figure out how just one person can make a difference can be rather overwhelming but if we start from the beginning, with us, and take one step at a time the changes begin to unfold with no trying whatsoever.
Let´s start with our movements. No matter what´s the issue, we will always find a disharmonious movement as the cause of the problem. Before trying to address the issue, we need to change the quality of movement to be one of harmony to the best of our ability – no perfection required but a sincere approach to shift one´s attitude and hence way of feeling, thinking and communicating.
Absolutely, the quality of our movements are having an affect far wider than we may realise. When our movements are born of love all else aligns to this rhythm.
Where do I start is related to the overwhelm or time that comes with the task. An interesting approach is to start with one’s attitude or posture, e.g. seeing the bigger picture can help to recognise the parts or details for what they are, and get a sense for the flow in which they need to be taken care of.
There is a lot to do, as there is so much wrong in the way things are in the world, but it is not in doing a lot that this is changed, but rather by doing what is needed. And what is needed first, requires us to be a certain way, so that what we do has the quality that brings true change.
I love what you have shared about the overwhelm of where to start. It can seem so big and complicated. Yet the moment you take a step back and depersonalise it – stop thinking it is for you to fix and solve it all, there is an ease in the body that ensures it knows its next step.
Thank you Vicky, it’s true by looking at the sheer magnitude of what’s going on around planet earth in terms of abuse it feels too big to address, however we are addressing it by starting with ourselves. We may still add our support to local or global issues but true change does start with ourselves.
” Where do I Start? ”
When I read this writing , I was thinking of a baby . If a baby said ” where do I start ” . If a baby can do it surely its possible.
Beautiful John. This question brings me back to the simplicity of knowing that just being us is more than enough and makes a huge difference.
Starting with us is very powerful, for the most insidious abuse is the abuse we do against ourselves
The best thing I have found with starting something is to be very focussed and present with that one thing, no matter how many other things are waiting to be attended to. Otherwise I get overwhelmed and don’t start anything or try to do too many things at once which never ends well!
We can start by being honest with ourselves as with honesty we always feel what needs to be addressed. There is always a ‘first step’ no matter what our situation is or how bad we think things are…honouring this first step is all we need to do.
” This then becomes manageable, tangible and feasible. For if we (every single person in the world) love ourselves so deeply, saying no to abuse, not tolerating abuse, valuing and respecting not only ourselves but every other person, then we would have zero abuse – no wars, no corruption, no lies, no greed, no harm to another or others. ”
Yes this is very true, it all starts with oneself and all that we participate in actively or passively contributes to the all.
By the time I get to ‘where do I start’, I have already delayed the initial moment when the timing was perfect to do something. Add a few of these together and you can have a case of overwhelm and the sense of dread of all you have left undealt with. When I respond instantly to what I feel needs doing, this question does not enter my head and the way to go about it comes effortlessly.
Love the simplicity of starting with us, because through small changes many things are possible, we have a responsibility to ourselves and the rest of humanity.
Hear, hear Sally this is very beautiful. It is easy to stay stuck in overwhelm and think everything is too hard. But when we start with us, changing the world is easy but it takes all of us to be onboard one by one. So, if we all wait, who is going to lead the way?
‘Where do I Start?’ or ‘how shall I do it’ is a question often asked in moments when we have a first realization or understanding and seeing the need or chance for change, but are still held by the pattern of the issue we are in the process of unraveling – somehow it seems we are blank. Interesting enough we often find the answer in the issue itself. When I have been e.g. disregarding and loveless, I will need to start being attentive and caring, just the intention is already enough to initiate the process; and actually we know that but haven´t chosen to make it our activity or movement, we are in resistance to activate it, as that means to let go of the familiarity and identification the issue provides us. Thus it is not really a problem of knowing what to do or how to start, but much more understanding one´s resistance still being at play, even when we had a realization and think we have the intention to change.
Fantastic observation Alexander. What you shared reminds me of how when I have used sheer will power to change a behaviour that was no longer supporting me without feeling into the ‘why’ of me choosing that behaviour, I inevitably went back to that unsupportive way. Many times I would wonder how I got there, but because that underlying source was not flushed out, I simply repeated it out of comfort and familiarity.
We are not responsible to fix the world, this we cannot do, but we are responsible in how we live with ourselves. As our choices become much more loving in the way we car for ourselves this sends out the vibration of love, that in due course, as more and more live with this connection this will change everything.
It is said that the buck stops here – pointing the finger or going into overwhelm signal defeat and giving up whereas taking responsibility for our own choices changes everything, even if we don’t get to see the results personally or in our lifetime.
Very good point Gabriele, we want to see the result and the outcomes in our own life because then we know what we did, offered, contributed to worked. It, perhaps, offers us our personal ego fix that we did that. Perhaps taking a moment to consider ourselves as part of a much bigger cog, one that cannot see the whole picture but can feel the value of our part in it, is a far more supportive way to approach the situations that present themselves to us in our life.
No matter what our situation is, there is always a true place to start that everyone can do.
At work I witnessed an elderly client being settled for the night, this meant changing her pad and moving her up the bed. I came in to help and was horrified by what I witnessed. The way the staff handled the woman was so rough and quick I felt it was absolute abuse and they had no idea this was the case. They would have thought they were just doing their job and very normal. I stood at the end of the bed and held her feet. When they left I connected with the woman as I could see how distressed she was, she said she felt like she had been handled like she was a lump of meat, she felt very deeply comforted when I confirmed her experience and appreciated that I had held her feet.
Abuse is happening all the time all around us, the more I am calling out my own self abuse the more I am able to see the abuse that many do not consider abuse, as I feel they are so numb to what is happening,
The cool thing is that even though many people may have numbed themselves to what is going on for them and others, if we continue to share and call out what is our own self abuse as Mary Louise has described here, then other people get to see an example of what is possible to do for themselves in their own lives, and bit by bit they may begin to do the same for themselves.