Stop Before I Begin: Finding Courage to Let Go and Embrace Change

Why is accepting change so difficult? Well, if you’re like me, you’re probably overlooking one of the most important parts of the process: stopping. Today, my friend Rae shares some soul-soothing words that we should all tell ourselves more often.

In life, we are always searching for better, for more and for improvements. And all of these are forms of change. But what is a change? You may think it is a very simple question. But does your answer include stopping?  Or maybe the phrase, “let go?”

It seems that these words do not typically associate with our concept of change. Yet stopping is a very important part of any transformation. If the old does not cease existing, can we call it a change? Or it is just a way of adding more layers? When we know we need to change, we often just find something better and pile it up on top of whatever was already there. The result is that we have a bigger and messier pile to drag with us when we move.

So, if stopping is so important, why don’t we do it? Hell, one less thing to do, isn’t that great?

Then it strikes me, it is because change requires courage. And the courage is needed not only for trying something new, but also for taking time to really stay still and look into ourselves. Finding out what we need to let go, the things we once deemed so important and so true, but can no longer serve us well. It takes courage to take an action like that, to stop and let it all go.

So today, I share with you some of my stops and the new beginnings that come after them. I wish that they might be a form of support for you, to help you find your own stops.


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First, we Stop:

1. Today, I stop comparing myself to others. I have my own strengths and weaknesses, and others have theirs too.

2. Today, I stop moaning over what I do not have. The Universe is infinite, and my time in it is limited. Wanting everything is setting myself up for failure.

3. Today, I stop feeling guilty about my feelings. Whether I feel sad, depressed, or tired, these emotions are a part of me, and I cherish them.

4. Today, I stop seeking approval from others. The value of my being does not change with others’ opinions. I will be sufficient and fulfilled from the inside.

5. Today, I stop being angry because of unfair treatment from others.  With all the beautiful surrounding me every day, their wrongful doing is not worth my attention.

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Then, we Start:

1. Today, I start becoming a better version of myself. No two people in the world have the exact same qualities and goals. Competing with others is a foolish act of trying to win a game that I am not playing.

2. Today, I start celebrating everything I have. From every breath I take in to every accomplishment I make; I appreciate and commemorate all the good things that happen in my life.

3. Today, I start to honor and challenge my emotions. All that I feel are valid, but I know I don’t have to feel any way I don’t wish to feel. I dare myself to go deeper into the heart. I know my heart has all I need to help me feel better.

4. Today, I start simply enjoy being me. I acknowledge and understand all my weaknesses just as much as I respect and praise all my strengths. I don’t need others’ compliments to keep me happy and rejection and denial will never beat me down.

5. Today, I start a positive track. I expose myself to only the good. I will stay with people who appreciate and inspire me. Negative people and their words do not have a place in my life nor my mind.

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Love, Courage and Peace,



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Ruimeng Zhu (you can just call her Rae) is a passionate yoga and dance instructor residing in Columbus, OH. If you are ever in the area, be sure to check out one of her classes. She leads a challenging yet contemplative practice that leaves you feeling completely rejuvenated. Also, be sure to take a look at her previous feature on my blog. She is wise beyond her years this one.. 



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