How do you start when you can’t get started?

It seems entirely fitting now that I could NOT, for the life of me, figure out how to start this blog on getting started and living an optimal, skillful life.

Later, while meditating, I laughed.

Here am I, wanting to talk about and discover how to live optimally and I cannot even start!

There’s a cosmic joke in there somewhere. But there’s also a universal truth revealed: ultimately, it’s the very reason I’m doing this; creating this blog—you start because otherwise you cannot begin.

I know for a fact that I am currently NOT living an optimal life. I feel in my bones every morning, and especially every evening when I go to bed, that I did not do everything I could. Or perhaps, at least, didn’t do things as elegantly, or optimally as it would have made me feel most satisfied to have done them.

And so, dear friends, I say to you… THIS is the reason you start. The reason you just begin, even when you think you can’t.

But still, how shall we find the path to how? How do you start when you don’t know how to start?

Of course, you start where you are. No matter how dumb that place appears to be—the idea that it’s dumb is merely a temporary judgment you’ve offered to yourself and your action (or inaction) and it will be whisked away the moment you actually begin.

If I tell myself it’s dumb to start by sitting on the floor and wondering where to start, is that true? A mere moment’s attention upon that question (Is it true?) instantly reveals that it is dumb to suggest that it is dumb!

And, of course, in the end, the goal is achieved, the beginning is begun and no dumb remains—all dumb has been vaporized by the attentive mind. In fact, it will eventually be revealed that there was never any dumb at all—just judgment.

So here I am, tapping out these thoughts and hoping that some kernel of usefulness passes from my mind to yours in the process.

This blog is a journey from where I am now to wherever I end up when I look up and see where I am. Along the way I plan to learn something. I plan to discover much and open my eyes a bit. I also hope that the process will be interesting and even more useful for you who choose to follow along.

We’re going to be traveling along neural pathways, food-as-medicine and cooking pathways and, with any luck, we’ll learn how to learn and how to permanently change habits in the process. Even fitness and meditation and thinking about thinking about thinking (yeah, THAT meta!) will make their appropriate appearances.

I cannot promise much—only that I will strive to answer some of the questions that continue to unblinkingly insist that I give them the attention they deserve. Perhaps one or two of those are the same questions staring at you.

And by the way, the whole point of this blog-process-thing is to have fun. If this isn’t fun, then I’m doing it wrong. Or perhaps experiencing it sub-optimally, let us say.

At this point it would appear that words have appeared on the page and thoughts with them and, by thunder, I have begun!

I have many things to write about and am thrilled to be on the road to discovery. Check in from time to time if you wish and, for sure, ask me those questions that are lurking in the back of your mind. Those questions about life, the universe and everything, but especially those that relate to living an optimal life.

Be well—and tell me how well, if you’ve a mind to!

In mind and body,
-Zack

PS – I could not resist the pithy quote, especially seeing as how I mucked around for 15 minutes Googling the length and breadth of the digi-spehere for pithy bits about beginning and whatnot. So here it is, your Mind-Equals-Body quote of today:

“The loftiest towers rise from the ground.”CHINESE PROVERB
About the Author

Zack Zen

I'm just here to write a bit about what happened when I suddenly realized this whole sentience thing was harder than it might have first appeared. I've been exploring neuroscience, health, fitness, food as medicine and the nature of mind and body for over 30 years now and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these same subjects as I recon and report.

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