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Gratitude Corner

Gratitude Corner – I am grateful for the joy of being a beginner

When we allow ourselves to be a beginner with any activity, we create the space to learn and do things even though we are afraid.

I am grateful for writers like Brene Brown, who are able to share meaning with us through their writings.

“…this is what I’ve found. To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, VULNERABLY seen. To love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee, and that’s hard. To practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we are wondering ‘Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this, this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?’ Just to be able to stop, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, “I’m just so grateful,” because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.”

Brene Brown on The Power of Vulnerability

The following are what fills my heart with so much warmth today – going on today’s run and my soul sister, Sheila Adufutse.

Coach Bennett always says to look for joy in every run. 

Today, I went on a run with Nike Run Club Coach Bennett and Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe on the A Whole Run, and throughout the run, I kept thinking about this phrase – look for the joy in everything. Look for the lessons, look for the thrill, look for the excitement, look for the discovery.

I learn a lot from my runs. This particular one taught me that I am a new person every time I experience something again. It reinforced the topic of setting a new intention with any activity. Before this run, I had fought with my will to move my body to go for a run.

A photo I took of myself today before my run
A photo I took of myself today before my run

In the Gospel of Nature’s designers’ catch-up last Tuesday, I learned from Chine that I am anything I call myself. I don’t have to be a professional to call myself a designer. If I can use design tools to create a beautiful design, and I say I’m a designer, I am a designer. If I say I’m not, I’m not. 

When going for a run, I always tried to hit a better pace than the previous one. I had felt that this way, I could call myself a runner. 

But as I hit a new 1k on this run, I reminded myself to go slowly and not focus on the pace, but on my intention. I kept my body and mind in sync with the purpose I had set out for this run, urging my body forward and reminding myself that this run does not have to be perfect.

Today’s ‘A Whole Run’ with Coach Bennett and Andy Puddicombe

With every run, I learn the joy of being a beginner. I started running in 2020; I have gone on about 70 runs. On each run, I see how much of a beginner I am; this teaches me that any activity can come with many possibilities.

I am also grateful for Sheila Adufutse, my soul-sister. Today is her birthday. Sheila was the first person that taught me to slow down. We have never met because she is on the other side of my world. Sheila lives in Ghana while I am in Nigeria, but it feels like she is close to me. I am thankful for her friendship that keeps giving; hers is one that accepts me for who I am. Sheila shares opportunities and lessons with me and constantly teaches me that I am okay, I am doing well, and I am enough.

Sheila Adufutse

I am thankful for your kindness, love, patience, and being Sheila. Because being Sheila means being someone your friends can rely on – you are a Godsend.

And to sum up my gratitude, I want to share my lesson from this week. When we allow ourselves to be a beginner with any activity, we create the space to learn and do things even though we are afraid. We embark on the exercise with the thrill of discovery, without facing the weight of our expectations.

By Ifunanya Okolie

I am exploring how to become the best version of humanity.

2 replies on “Gratitude Corner – I am grateful for the joy of being a beginner”

Having the beginner’s mindset allows us to learn more, and I’m grateful for always being a beginner too. I too love running, and enjoyed your exploration of intent rather than pace. I myself vary my pace, so sometimes I go fast, but most other times I maintain a relaxing Zone 2. Anyway, thanks for this post!

Liked by 1 person

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