New beginnings, part two (beginners mind)

“Be willing to be a beginner, every single morning.”
Meister Eckhart

In addition to the new beginnings that emerge in September I spoke about in my last post, I have also found value in the idea of starting fresh each day – even in routines and relationships that seem established.

Here Jon Kabat-Zinn speaks about the idea of having a beginners mind.

Years ago, I embodied a beginners mind during a visit with extended family with whom there had been a difficult history. I was tempted to see the relationships as they had been in the past until someone challenged me to bring a beginners mind to the visit. I practiced this as they came up our walkway – saying things to myself like – “we have never had THIS visit before” and “I don’t know who or how these folks are now, today.” While it wasn’t perfect, that mindset did create space for new conversations and even new ways of connecting that hadn’t previously existed.

I continue to try and challenge myself when I feel the old assumptions and beliefs about a person, or a team or organization rise up.

This beginners mind not only helps us see our friends and family in fresh, authentic ways, it is also an advantage as we lead. Sometimes we are so ‘expert’ in our minds that we leave little room for possibilities. And yet each day offers us the opportunity to explore, expand and invite in new ways of thinking.

Forbes writes about the essential role of the beginners mind in leadership and in organizations here.

What do you do to embody more of a beginners mind? How do you create a clean slate as you begin your days?