We Go Alone: The Single Greatest Power of Beginner’s Mind (Beginner’s Luck Series)

2014-12-31 16.07.43

Click to hear me read this post:


Forget everyone you know.

Don’t abandon them, leave them, kick them to the curb (and if you do, for heaven’s sake don’t blame it on this blog post, man).

You don’t have to wish them harm or push or shove them out of your way. Just politely forget them. Just for a few minutes.

Forget about what their voices sound like or what they say, or what you imagine they might say.

Forget the Twitter chats and the Facebook postings.

Forget about what they tell you, what they don’t tell you, or what they ask of you.

Forget me.

Forget what you’ve read or heard or learned or challenged.

Forget the news, the books, the teachers, the ego monologue running around in your mind.

Forget advice. Forget being told. Or warned. Or cautioned.

All of this stuff, all of these voices, no matter their intention, are keeping you from listening to the only one that truly matters to your life and your art: your own.

Sometimes it feels scary to be alone; we are so lonely in our busyness and yet we are afraid to slow down, to sit quietly with our own minds. But that’s where the secrets are – in the silent mystery of who we are by ourselves.

So just for right now, forget every one you know.

And begin to remember you.

“Go down the path as far as you can, but never lose sight of the beginning. In the end, the purity and openness of the white belt is where you want to return.”

~ Philip Toshio Sudo,  Zen Guitar

I don’t want to freak you guys out but I believe in God.



As in, I believe we did not create ourselves but we were fashioned by the Great Creator who loves us unconditionally and asks only that we be love for each other. That by aligning ourselves in Love, we are One Mind in the Mind of God.

Also and literally in the same breath, I tell you this: I do not appreciate “preachy” anything. I do not enjoy – nor do I expect anyone else enjoys – big, monstrously loaded words that for whatever twisted reason tend to scare, upset, separate or otherwise imply that people should be afraid of judgment, attack, being fed to lions, or death by angry fireball.

That is why I use the word Love more often than the word God. To me, these two words mean the same thing but folks tend to embrace one (in general) and resist the other (in general).

My goodness, why talk of such heavy things?

Perhaps more pointedly, what does this sudden (and, let’s be honest – not surprising) declaration of my belief in God have to do with beginners and making better art?

It has to do, my loves, because to talk about beginnings is to talk about the Infinite Force – the indestructible, unrelenting tenacity of Love, of God. A Love that can only begin and begin and begin endlessly. A Love that will never cease to create and never diminish in its power to create.

A Love that will call to you constantly, waiting for you to begin the thing you were put here to create.

To begin that which we are called to do in this life, to make our art, and to make better art, we have to begin repeatedly and alone.

“Seeking support from friends and family is like having your people gathered around at your deathbed. It’s nice, but when the ship sails, all they can do is stand on the dock waving goodbye.”

~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

So many, many people, you guys, never begin the life they were designed to live or create the brave, daring, honest art they desire because they are so damn scared to be alone. They are afraid to go first, they are afraid to be rejected, they are afraid to listen to themselves because they are afraid they might hear something.

They might have to let all the other voices down and pick only one.

They might hear a call, see a vision so grand, so deep and so beautiful that they would be unable to look away. They might find the invitation to their potential so incredible that they will accept it and have to go their own way, claim their own responsibility in manifesting it.



So they numb out, they fight being alone at all possible cost; they resist looking within out of fear – not of their own darkness – but of their own light.

They never hear their own voice.

They never begin.

They never find their sound.

In the beautiful book Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo, the author invites us to understand that we are each here to look deep within and find our own unique sound. He further explains that all sound comes from the same Source.  Sudo describes this universal connection as “the sound of the divine spark within us all.”

Zen masters call it sekishu no onjo – “the sound of one hand clapping.”

“For at the source of your sound is the source of all sound. Digging to that source means learning to hear every sound – yours and all those around you – as both distinct and One Great Sound. Call it the sound of one hand clapping, call it the voice of God. If you get to that source you will know the answer to every question because you will have heard it all.”

~ Philip Toshio Sudo

This series called Beginner’s Luck: 7 Ways The Beginner’s Mind Makes Better Art is about understanding what about the beginner’s mind gives her the advantage, gives her the ability to taste the glory and have the fun.

What is it about the beginner that makes him wiling to go bravely in his destined direction?

It is his willingness to go alone.

Knowing it is the only way to find his sound inside The Sound.

The truth is, the beginner’s mind creates better art because it is the mind of the endlessly creative, abundantly loving, and eternally life-giving.

The beginner’s mind is the Mind closest to God’s.


~ ~ ~

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© 2014 Allison Marie Conway at Glory Begin

26 thoughts on “We Go Alone: The Single Greatest Power of Beginner’s Mind (Beginner’s Luck Series)

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      “Embracing” – that is the BEST! Thank you, dear Erika!

      Big huge love and hugs your way.

      Thank you for your brilliant light – and ‘sound.’ :)

  1. Brad

    Wonderful post and reminders Allison! This fits exactly with my voices this morning, reminding me to open and embrace life fully, to say YES to life.

    blessings my friend, :)

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      That is so awesome, my good friend! Love that you say YES YES YES. ;)

      Thank you for your beautiful thoughts and words, dear one.

      Keep rockin’ the peace,

      Allison ;)

  2. Amy

    Allison, your post literally took my breath away because it was as though I were reading my own words. How you express yourself is exactly how I have learned to BE, to Live, to KNOW myself. I don’t listen to anyone else but only to my own Heart. I do not do FB, nor do I Tweet, nor do I watch the news. I live a very quiet, simple life, spending much time ALONE yet in that state is where I HEAR a lot of what I post on Petals. I felt like standing up and hugging you, squeezing you saying YES you have got it! I have been struggling trying to get a sister of mine to see she is hiding behind the bible, not living at all, but, her delusions are so strong, her ears are blocked. I just made the decision to have as little contact with her as possible. She doesn’t get it, she doesn’t understand, and to listen to her self-lies, her self-excuses, her self-manipulations, is too difficult for me to watch. In order to be solid on my own Path, I have to keep walking without being pulled at, without being distracted. I am so focused in my place in Life, that even accepting awards on WP I no longer do. What a super post, one that I feel is SO important I wish it would go viral. Messages like these are not popular and why? Most people are hiding in fear and so afraid of Solitude, they do all they can to keep Solitude away from them. Sad but true. Keep on Shining your Light!! (((HUGS))) Amy

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Dear beautiful Amy,

      Your words, spirit and thoughts are all so dear to me, I don’t even know where to start to say – thank you. Thank you for taking the time to listen, to hear, to allow, to offer your experience. I read your comment many times over to be sure I took it all in. So much inspiration here.

      I can totally relate to unplugging, it is necessary. I do often think I’d be quite fine without social media other than writing. And the news? Forget it! I’m not convinced it is ‘news’ – but that’s a whole other blog past, perhaps, haha.

      I can also relate to having to be ever mindful of who I allow into my life, my mind, my heart. Hiding, posturing, resisting, none of those things can exist with peace so they have to go. It can be very tough to do but just as you say, it must be done if we are to be true to ourselves.

      Thank you for wishing this message will spread. I promise you I will do my best to keep sharing just as you do. It really feels good to hear from you and to know we connect on this level. Our lights light one another and we keep moving forward. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your spirit and light, my dear friend.

      Big huge bear-sized hugs your way, sister! :)

      Wishing you so much love, peace and joy this day and always,

      Allison (((HUGS!)))

  3. Noelle

    Great piece. I have to say, of late, that I’ve reached some strange place where I find it so much easier to send my thoughts out like children. They come in to get my intention, but with a little love and a reminder you’ll be here for them when the sit is done, off the go out the door with little upset. I think we have to build a trust with ourself. To believe we will not abandon any part of us for our thoughts to really go back outside. Otherwise, they fear we are lying and will never come for them and then they feel they can’t leave. So again, lovely piece.

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Dear Noelle,

      I love your thoughts about thoughts! Like children, that is just so awesome.

      And I couldn’t agree more with your words here: “I think we have to build a trust with ourself.” – YES! This is HUGE! And so often we worry more about what other people think about us instead of focusing on the relationship that matters the most – do we trust ourselves. Thank you for saying this. 100%.

      Thank you for your kindness in listening with an open heart and for taking the time to write such a beautiful comment. Your spirit shines right on through and I am SO grateful for it.

      Peace to you, always, always. :)

  4. Robert

    Great post Allison. Absolutely, the only way to the truth and yourself is to forget everything. Ignore all preconcieved ideas, ignore everyting you have been told.

    The only true reality is our own reality, held within us, in our hearts. If we can view the world through our hearts then we can live with understanding and true love. The only way to find God is internally, then we can see the same Great Spirit in our external world.

    We are inundated with information, relentlessly, and often come across conflicting ideas. How do we discern the truth? By feeling what our hearts tell us is right. Our ‘right’ though will often be for our reality and not that of others, we must be careful not to preach :)



    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Thank you, my love. Thank you so much for listening, reading and for your wonderful words here. I appreciate them more than I could ever say.

      You are so right, we are inundated – that is the PERFECT word to describe it. All the freaking time! Everyone it seems is trying to sell us something. Without a regular centering practice of coming back to ‘home base’ – to ‘presence’ – to God – to Love – we can become so very confused, disoriented, sad.

      I hope this piece helped us in some small way to come back home. The slightest chance we give Spirit to heal us, we will be Loved back into alignment.

      Thank you for your light and spirit, dear one. ;)

      Big love, peace and joy your way,


  5. Sayali

    Allie..great post…listening to ones inner voice is scary sometimes..because their is doubt whether its a mistake to follow it rather than the set path..like the concept of path dependency in statistics…where the historical practice is continued since it takes less time and is easy than creating your own way..

    Its been a long time…
    take care

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Hello, hello beautiful Saya,

      Thank you for your lovely words and thoughts as always! I agree with you, going your own way means coming face to face with your own doubts, fears, and difficulties. It is not the easy way. It requires much faith, my sweet friend. Faith in ourselves and faith in Love.

      Sending you super sized hugs! ;)

      Much love, peace and light your way,


  6. Anonymous

    Hey Allsion! I have finally found the time to visit your blog and it is wonderful. Your idea of reading your posts as podcasts is brilliant. I am subject to anxiety attacks and your words are very soothing and calming. Thank you for this.
    All the best.

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Hello, hello beautiful Becca,

      I’m so happy to have you here! Thank you so much for taking the time to enjoy a taste of Glory Begin. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you found some good stuff here. I am also deeply moved that these words were calming for you. Please come by as often as you like, any time and cozy right up to a post or a meditation – I will have some new ones up very soon. ;)

      Wishing you so much peace and joy, my sweet friend, always. XOXO

  7. Fashion Assist

    So incredibly cool to hear your sweet voice, lovely Allison! Your posts always breathe much life into my soul and now they ring beauty and clarity into my ears—I love it!

    I take great comfort and encouragement in your words, “The beginner’s mind is the Mind closest to God’s.” Wow! How cool is that and what more would one need as motivation “to begin”!

    And I must tell you…thanks to you, I have begun a “beginning”! Although I’m still uncertain of every detail, I’ve stepped out with purpose and I’m now moving bravely, but slowly, in my new ‘destined’ direction.

    But I do confess it’s a little bit scary yet it feels right. It’s been somewhat of a twisty-turny start, with even a few bridges out. And that BIG mountain that looms in the distance remains, but no longer intimidates like it did before. After all I keep telling myself…you may never have to climb it…God may simply decide to take you around it! ♥

    So for now I just keep moving forwards. Reminding myself that in doing so I’m creating art and I’ll deal with the mountain when, or if I need to, when the time comes ♥

    And the words of Philip Toshio Sudo to keep digging to the source of all sound… to listen for my distinct voice and the voice of others as One Great Sound, and then to listen and embrace the experience of “one hand clapping”—the voice of God is also truly empowering! Lol…and if that’s not a source for inspiration and courage “to begin” then what is?!?

    So once again, merci beaucoup for another fabulous post and for inspiring me to begin ~xo

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      My beautiful, beautiful friend,

      Thank you so much for listening and for leaving such an incredibly gorgeous comment! I am touched and moved, seriously. THANKYOU.

      I am really, really excited for your new beginning. I totally hear you about the twists and turns, sister! When you say yes to beginning, you actually begin the adventure of saying yes, yes, yes over and over all the time, right.

      It is scary for sure, especially when the old ego starts his mindless, fearful loop in your mind. I love that you are reminding yourself that God will lead you all along your way. How incredibly beautiful and strong you are, beloved friend. You are an inspiration to me and I’m sure to everyone around you.

      Keep shining, stay stellar, and know you are in my heart.

      Isn’t Mr. Sudo fantastic? A most wonderful book for any artist to read.

      Thank you sincerely for your brilliance and light.

      Super Big Love your way, dear one, always,

      Allison XOXO

  8. Michael

    Great post, Allison! The truth is that we can only begin where we are at, right? We can only begin with the moment, the self, the circumstances, the talents and techniques we have available in this moment. And the Beginner’s Mind says yes to each and every one of those conditions… It needs nothing not already given to begin… :)


    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Hello, hello dear Michael!

      It is so awesome to see you back – I have missed you! I hope your holidays and ringing in the new year were wonderful.

      Thank you for your beautiful words and thoughts on this post, that really means so much to me.

      The newest post in the series talks about just what you so perfectly said: we need nothing more to begin.

      Wishing you a day full of peace, my good friend,

      Allison ;)

  9. Darshith

    I felt connected to this post from the first line till the end. Listening you narrate the whole post made it much more involving & better understandable. Very beautiful post Allison. Concept of using Love more often, Beginner’s mind being the closest to God’s mind, Sound of one hand clapping. Awesome :)


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