difficulty at the beginning……

So, here I am, ready to start my Quest and…….. I already feel stuck. I am not sure where to start. I have many thoughts and ideas, but in what order do I post them to my blog? How do I get the flow right? These thoughts stop me in my tracks and, rather than writing, I end up going through the possibilities and choices over, and over, in my mind. This could be a form of resistance to writing; to putting my thoughts out into the world.

I use Richard Wilhelm translation.
I use the Richard Wilhelm translation.

As I was sitting at my desk in my office, staring at my computer, I glanced over to my book shelf and saw the I Ching. I guess a very short introduction is warranted here. The I Ching is an ancient Chinese book, possibly written by Lao Tzu and Confucius, long before the religions of today. The basis of this philosophy is that change is inevitable, and how you conduct yourself, even during difficult times, is important to your own human development. There are 2 books in one: a Book of Wisdom and a Book of Oracles. Most people who study the IChing follow the Oracle. I rarely use the Oracle and choose to read it mainly for wise counsel. For a spiritual seeker, it is like a map on how to proceed.

There is a reading (known as a hexagram) in the I Ching, called “Difficulty at the Beginning”, which seemed perfect for my dilemma and, at this stage, I needed some sagely advice. What I took away from it was:

  • struggle is to be expected
  • accept the struggle and persevere
  • seek help from others

This hexagram compares the journey to giving birth. Something wants to come forth, take form, and use the Creative forces to express itself. Perhaps my stuckness is a kind of “labour pain” in the process of starting out on this writing journey? In the past, I would have given up at this stage, not from laziness or fear, but from believing that the difficulty was some sort of “sign” that I was heading in the wrong direction. The path of least resistance was what I believed in back then. Sitting here, reflecting back, I wonder how many great ideas I gave up on too soon? Did I stop my own creativity from flowing because I faced difficulty at the beginning? I know I didn’t take the time to reflect on what was going on for me. I just gave up. But, this is not part of my journey now, and the I Ching confirmed this.

Hexagram for Difficulty at the Beginning
Hexagram for Difficulty at the Beginning

The hexagram also recommends not pushing too hard, or forcing the issue. This can lead to disappointment, or even disaster. I guess the main advice I took away from this is “you are on the right path, it may be tough at first, but be gentle and kind to yourself, talk to others and keep going”.

So, what did I learn? To be stuck at the get-go is humbling, but I am ok with this.  I may have all the ideas, in my inner world, of what I want to write about, but it may not progress in the way I expect it to; being open to other possibilities needs to be embraced. Those old voices, that use to dominate my thoughts and feelings, still appear when I am starting a new project. I need to remind myself that there is no pressure and that I want to learn from my journey and enjoy it. I can see the lessons, and I can get support. And, I can write about it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *