Beginning with Ease

“And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” T.S. Eliot I recently made an end. I quit my job at a government-run treatment center. I was drowning in a sea of red tape, overwhelmed by minutia that held me hostage from my clients. The stress was killing me. Headaches, stomach aches, emotional exhaustion. I had to make a choice. I could go on and on with the pain, or I could set myself free.

Could I make it financially without this job? I fretted. How could I pay my bills with only one part-time  job? I’d been making ends meet, working two jobs–the county job and a contractual position at a private treatment center. I loved working as a private contractor, as my focus was on counseling, not administration. I wondered if my boss would give me more hours so I could turn in my notice at the county.  It’d be great if she did, for then I’d be able to pursue my dream of setting up private practice, a vision I’d been contemplating for a year.

Are you sure you’re ready to commit to your vision? my “doubting self” dared. I’d been waiting patiently for a sign to move me forward in my desired direction. I knew I couldn’t begin without some financial security. I needed more income so I wouldn’t feel pressured to make something happen before it was time. I needed to act on my desire, asking for more hours, simple as that. If the timing was right, my dream would unfold easily, like a new bloom on a Morning Glory vine. If it wasn’t, another lesson would appear to prepare the ground for a new beginning.

Ok, I’ll commit. I’ll ask for my needs to be met. Interestingly, I didn’t even need to ask, for on the day I had planned to approach my boss, she instead approached me.“Can we increase your hours, Phyllis? We could really use your help.” Definitely, I laughed, letting her in on my little secret. A feeling of gratitude washed over me as I remembered a quote by W.H. Murray that I had cited in my April post…

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.”

It was definitely time. I had made my beginning when I had made my ending. Apparently, the unfolding would be easier than I thought. Within a few days, another sign appeared. I was perusing an online resource for professional counselors when an ad caught my attention: Furnished lakeside office available for sublet one or two days a week. I scrolled down the page to discover a recognizable name, a lovely woman I had met through a mutual friend after deciding to return to graduate school. Ironically, her office was in the exact place I had imagined my office, a beautiful, central location in Atlanta where I had personally received the gift of therapy.

Looking back on my blog posts, I now realize that I’ve “eased into” this beginning. There’s been no need to exert a great amount of effort. Effort, according to Webster’s, is defined as “something produced by exertion or trying,” a word that stems from the root word “esforcier,” which means to force. Ease, on the other hand, is defined as “freedom from labor or difficulty.”

Now I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t experienced any “labor pains” in my process. (If you haven’t read my Dec 22 blog post, you might want to check it out. I WAS in pain.) Change of any magnitude requires that we endure uncomfortable feelings and live with the tension between our current reality and desired future state. That said, I now know that the creative process does unfold gracefully when we get clear about what we truly want, begin with an end, and take committed action–with ease.

4 thoughts on “Beginning with Ease

  1. Your post couldn’t have been more timely! I’m feeling as though I’m in the same situation myself, but just have to make a decision as to what I’m going to do, and commit to it.
    I’m happy to hear that things are unfolding for you.. You always have been, and truly remain an inspiration!

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