Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Understanding: It begins with Beginner’s Mind


So, it finally happened, after 8 years of continuous blogging, I am at a loss on what to write.

And then, I read something over at Prophet of Bloom — The Missing Page — that got my mind stirring and chirring and whirring and wheezing and coughing and sputtering and thinking and breaking through the fog of “I have nothing to write about” to that place where I once again simply trust in the process and allow…

What I read was, “I have on many occasions also been a student.”

I am a student of life. I attempt, as often as possible, to enter any situation with the Zen concept of Shoshin or “Beginner’s Mind”.

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”  ∼ Shunryu Suzuki ∼

And then, I forget. I walk in thinking I know it all, or have all the answers, or there’s nothing else to learn and discover once again, the limits of my understanding, the narrowness of my view, the shallowness of my thinking.

And I begin again. To return to Shoshin. To enter Beginner’s mind space.

I begin again to unhook my thinking from what I think I know, to accept there is more to what I don’t know about myself, someone else, or a given situation, than I think.

Ah, the humbling journey in the Circle of Hubris — especially in relationship to me.

Me:  Yeah. Yeah. I know. I got it.

The Critter:  Seriously? You think you got it? Here, let me show you something you don’t know….

And suddenly I see myself doing, saying, being something/someone I wasn’t quite expecting.

Me:  Oh dear. Maybe I don’t.

My Higher Self:   Stop. don’t listen to the critter. Listen to me. It’s not so much about what you know, it’s all about what you’re willing to learn.

The Critter:  Yeah? Well that Louise, she always wants to speak first and listen last. You know what she’s like.

Me:  Oh. Well, I need to prove how much I know. I don’t want people to think I’m stupid or don’t understand.

The Critter:  Yeah? Well, that’s just stupid-thinking. How can you understand if you don’t first seek to understand?

Me:  Well, I have all this information and I thought it was all I needed to understand.

My Higher Self:  Shhh.  Breathe.  Deep breath. Remember, you cannot know everything. you must first seek to understand. It is the path to being understood.

Me:  But what am I supposed to do with all this information I’ve got?

My Higher Self:  Does it live in your head or your heart?

Me:   Ummm… Well…. Now that you ask….

My Higher Self:   Seek to understand, not to judge — and that includes yourself. Now, breathe again.

Me:  (sighing)  Yeah. Yeah. I know. I got it.

Years ago, in the early stages of my healing from the very difficult relationship that almost killed me, a friend asked, “So, tell me Louise. We know he was a psychopath and lied and manipulated, but what about you? What does being in that relationship say about you?”

I asked my friend, “Are you asking to understand or to judge me? Because if it’s to judge me, don’t bother. You’ll never be able to judge me as harshly as I’ve judged myself.”

And it was true. I was writhing in self-condemnation and judgement. I was awash in dismay that I could have been so stupid, so weak, so gullible as to fall for his lies.

Even though I knew the space well, holding myself in self-condemnation and judgement was not serving me well. It was keeping me stuck in what he did, in what happened, in the past. It was limiting my capacity to step freely into the now, loving myself for all I was worth — and that included as a woman who was abused, a woman who was so lost she deserted her children because she believed they would be better off without her in their lives.

That woman needed to be heard. Understood. Known, in all her woundedness for me to find myself again in the light of Love.

And I couldn’t do that if I was continually turning up in the blackness of my limiting belief that who I was then was all I could ever be.

So many of my answers to life, to living free can only be found in my willingness to learn, to stay open, to stay in beginner’s mind space so that I can take each step of this journey called “LIFE” as if each step is a brand new way of being me, without fearing the me I was in the past is the only way I can be today.

I woke up this morning and told myself I had nothing to write about.

Whether I believed it or not, in the telling myself I didn’t have anything to write, I was limiting my capacity to step into the unknown and simply trust in the process and allow…

Hmmm…. I wonder where else in my life I do that? Turn up and assume I’ve got it covered. I know it all and in my knowing don’t need to understand anything else…

Hmmm… Breathe.  And begin again.

Breathe and surrender all fear of the unknown to fall into Love.




Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

22 thoughts on “Understanding: It begins with Beginner’s Mind

  1. inspiration is in every corner, in ever room, in ever7 book on our shelves – but mostly it is always there, within ourselves




  2. 8 years of continuous writing – wow! I admire how you just trust the process. I have been applying the ‘just trust the process’ in my work and it seems to be paying off, process wise.
    Diana xo


  3. great post 🙂


  4. This is inspiring Louise on so many levels. Thank you 🙂
    I too came to a later understanding that life is a journey of learning and growth … not about getting it right.
    Beginners mind and non-attachment are my daily mantras!


    • Thanks Val — I am always in awe of how when I do trust, and stay unattached to the outcome, it flows effortlessly — and finds me, all of its own volition, exactly wehre I need to be.


  5. This is a great post.
    By the way, I would LOVE a post from you on a summary of those eight years of writing, how your style and attitude and content may have changed.


    • Hi Elizabeth — what a great idea! I shall write on that. LOL — but first I have to see the difference — I know there is one. It is much more effortless now than in the beginning, and I dont’ write as long (I know, imagine, I used to write longer 🙂 ) Thanks for the inspiration.


  6. Just curious.When you blog each morning…how much time do you allow yourself or how long does it usually take?


    • Hi Yolanda — I allot myself 45 minutes to write — that includes any editing and usually, trusting in the process, there is little editing. I’d have to say, in answer to Elizabeth’s question, I don’t edit anywhere near as much now as I did in the beginning! 🙂


  7. I don’t blog at any particular time of day, just when I have the time to get around to it sometimes I will do so in the morning other days it will be in the afternoon


  8. Loved this, Louise – Ahhh, trusting in the process, in life itself. Not such an easy thing to do, and yet..! Loved this, Louise….. 😉 😉


  9. You are such a wonderful example to me Louise xx


  10. I absolutely fall into the same trap, telling myself: I have nothing else to offer. What that really is, is my ego saying that I have nothing else great to say to the masses on my blog. Damn ego. And then, I remember, that it’s not about me offering or educating or inspiring anyone, it’s about simply sharing my own journey. And if anyone is educated or inspired along the way, then that’s amazing. If not, then that’s ok too. Because, ultimately, I write and blog for me. I do it to process my life, my thoughts, and continue my journey of self-discovery.

    Thank you for this beautiful post, Louise!


    • Thank you Liz for sharing your beautiful insights — so true — it is about sharing my own journey — though I do set the intention of wanting to inspire. It is an inherent part of my purpose so I want to ensure that when I write, I am inspiring others to live from their higher self, and to join in the evolutionary voyage of expanding our consciousness and creating a better world! Hugs


  11. I love the power behind the idea of the beginner’s mins. Thanks for sharing!


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