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beginner’s mind

I’m an astrology hound. I don’t count on it to foretell my fate but I figure if Mercury is in retrograde it couldn’t hurt to know the dates and take that into account. Why not wait a few days to buy that appliance or sign that contract? I also try not to walk under ladders. Little things add up, people.

A recent headline in an astrology newsletter I receive inspired me this Wednesday, without my even having to read the article. Beginner’s Mind. I’d been preoccupied with how to juggle new responsibilities at my job. Added on to my normal workload, they have lent these first few weeks in April a chaotic and unpredictable quality. The sense of incoming ordinance, little bombs of commitment that might lie there and then go off unexpectedly, has had me feeling uneasy, worried about appearing unprofessional. That fail whale has been suspended over my head since April first.

Just seeing the headline made me stop in my morning fret and take a minute to rethink my attitude. These are new responsibilities. There will be a period of adjustment, and in the meantime things won’t be perfect. I need to bring my beginner’s mind to this work, and while I’m at it let that mindset overflow to the rest of my tasks.

Beginner’s mind is powerful. It is open and in a learning mode. Beginner’s mind says: what should I do? What does it mean? What do I think about that? Is there another way to approach this challenge?

“I should know this, why don’t I know this?” is a very different stance than, “What can I do to make this work? How can I make this better?”

I brought my beginner’s mind to today, in the new tasks as well as the old, and aim to do this as a practice if I can. I don’t want to miss the questions – and the answers – that being a student can give rise to.

The awesome Fail Whale was designed by Yiying Lu

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