“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” … Martin Luther King Jr.
Many times in life the path seems unclear. Fears rise around us like monsters ready to attack and drag us down at the first available opportunity. Uncertainty weighs heavily on our minds and the way forward becomes lost in a fog of indecision. It is at these times, more than any other, that we would do well to remember Confucius who wisely reminded us that “Every journey begins with a single step.”
A friend once said to me: “When life gets overwhelming all you have to do is take one step”. I replied: “And then just one more step and one more step?” “No”, he answered, “Just take one step. Forget about taking one more step. Just take one!” I have thought about that many times since that day. When life became overwhelming and I didn’t know how I would make it through another hour, another minute, another day I would remind myself that all anyone ever needed to do was to take one step. Each new place to which my step took me became a place of sanctuary, of waiting to see and a place to gather my courage. Each new place gave me the opportunity to gather my forces and rally my strength and to, once again, take one step.
I don’t think that I ever would have made it to today if I had looked out into the future and seen the long and winding staircase that stood in front of me. I probably would have quailed at the enormity of the journey and at all of the climbing that would be required to accomplish said journey. Fortunately I am a visionary and as any of my friends will tell you I have always been slightly out of focus when it comes to the minute details of life. So, whilst I may not have seen the huge mountain I was about to climb and all of its complexities, I never lost sight of the brightly lit peak and I always seemed to have a pretty good idea of what the rest stops along the way looked like: knowing that there were bright spots ahead kept me moving forward: remembering that if I took just one step that eventually I would arrive at, not only the way stations but also aforementioned lofty peak, allowed me to walk through the darkest of days.
The last two years have been an exercise for me in living the “one-step” principle. Each day, as fears arose and crashed at my shore like stormy waves on the beach I learned to be still until they passed. Each moment that peace washed over my life I learned to open my arms and embrace that aspect of my life as well. My yard became a sanctuary and my focus became laser beam focused on each “step”. Eckhart Tolle would probably call that “living in the Now”. I call it finding my balance and realigning with the capital “M” me in each moment.
Challenges arise in life. I have re-learned; and am constantly reinforcing that the sanctuary of each moment allows me a brief respite in which to rest, catch my breath and re-center myself. Each moment allows me to ready myself to take the next step, knowing that the future holds many bright tomorrows, no matter what storms may grace my today. My mother used to say that faith moves mountains and I have to say that it definitely did and still does move me. Each morning I have faith that I am moving closer and closer to my dreams and each evening I can look back on the day and see that, indeed, I have moved incrementally closer to their reality. Each day I move into my future with faith that my intentions and my hard work will grow my business and each night I lay my head down believing that tomorrow will be a brighter day. I have yet to be disappointed.
This week, why not try walking your life at a different pace. If the hurried and hectic world is getting you down and you feel overwhelmed by all that you can’t or haven’t done – take one step in faith. If the enormity of your own personal mountain climbing is wearing you down remember that the future arrives at your doorstep one minute at a time. Take a breath, gather your courage and take one step forward; after all “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Godspeed and Safe Journeying Everyone