Start Where You Are

 Start where you are when you have been blind-sided by a sudden crises, tragedy, or an unwanted break up. Unplug the TV, put away the to-do lists, turn off the computer playing in your mind, and find some quiet time alone and meditate about how you are going to start where you are now. 

You may be wondering what does daffodils have to do with starting where you are? Look at this photo of daffodils field do you realize it started with just one bulb? Start Where You Are ” one bulb at a time!

This is a lovely story about a woman who planted one of the most beautiful displays of daffodils ever seen, high up on a mountain peak surrounding her small A-frame home.

There were five acres of flowers planted in “majestic”, swirling patterns with great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow.”

A poster on her patio of her home read: “Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking.”  The first was “50,000 bulbs.” The second answer was, “Began in 1958 planting one bulb at a time, year after year for more than forty years, this woman had created something of indescribable magnificence, beauty and inspiration.

Sometimes we find ourselves at cross roads, no longer willing to do things the same old way. It may arise out of a need, an answer to a problem, or a deep soul desire felt within. You find yourself bewildered and wondering where do I start?  You’ve been so devastated that you could hardly breathe and at moments you felt crushed? 

Maybe you were broken-hearted because the man you thought you were going ot marry, your soul mate ended your relationship or maybe you married him and it didn’t work out. And to make matters worse,you worked for him.

 A few years ago my friend Linda was in that exact situation her fiancé broke up with her and she worked with him. Needles say she was feeling devastated so she called a dear friend and asked her, Where do I start?

This was the advice her friend gave her. First, if she was going to survive, the most important thing was to go to bed every night before 10:00.

She knew from her study of health that every hour of sleep we get before midnight is worth two hours after that time. She also knew that staying rested was far the most effective way to deal with stress. Anyone who’s ever gotten up in the morning without having had enough sleep knows how hard life can be when we’re tired. When challenges are accompanied by fatigue, we can feel hopeless. Linda knew she needed to be alert in order to cope with the humiliation she experienced and the demands of her work schedule. 

Linda’s friend suggested that the second thing she should do was to focus on the things she had to be grateful for. Every night before falling asleep, she started writing down at least five good things that had happened to her each day and as time went by the grew and grew.

Linda’s friend also explained this simple principle to her: When we focus on darkness, we usually allow ourselves to be taken into deeper darkness. When we focus on light meaning all that is good in our lives we attract more and more light. It’s a powerful truth: Whatever you put your attention on grows stronger in your life.

 It’s no surprise that when we focus on the negative, that’s all we can see. How often have you had five great things happen to you in your day, but when a friend asked you how it’s going, you immediately told her about the one thing that didn’t go so well?  As Linda’s dear friend said to her, “The more you believe somethings matters, the more solid and tangible they become.”

Sometimes we get so involved thinking about the past or the future that we simply forget what’s going on right in front of us. At times like these, I find it valuable to remember the advice my friend Linda applied to her situation when her life was turned up side down. She didn’t know what was going to happen down the road, but she knew she had to breathe, eat and go to work everyday. The first thing Linda did was post a sign on her refrigerator that said, Start Where You Are” one bulb at a time.

As a result Linda resigned from her job and became an owner of a flower shop where she met and married a terrific guy who is a publisher. And Linda’s list of good things that happened to her everyday grew to 365 good things that happened today and her husband published it. Linda still keeps a sign on their refrigerator that says, “Start Where You Are” one bulb at a time.