Baby steps and belief

Our 14-month-old keeps letting on that she can talk. “Hi Daddy!” she says this week, it just slips out… we are all amazed. And then she goes silent. “What was that?”

Another day we are reading together “Book!” she exclaims, then silence once more.

Before we speak, before we know that we can speak, before others hear what we have to say, we first have to BELIEVE that we can speak. Even though we have never done it before, we cannot do it without… doing it.

That first word is a leap of faith… we have absorbed our mother tongue, we have learnt to shape our mouths, to vibrate our vocal chords with ever more complex gurgles and woops. And then, one day, we decide to try. “Yes!” We have birthed our first word. But before this first word was months of silent unseen work, brain and body in silent, earnest preparation.

A friend’s baby is learning to walk. holding her hands, one foot in front of the other. Then lets go. One hand, then the other. He wobbles, and squidges onto his padded bum. But for a moment he was standing on his own two feet. For the first time. He beams in delight.

The same goes for all the major milestones of human development.

We strengthen our muscles, arrange our neurones, observe, absorb… and then one day… we can! We just can. The line in the sand is clear: before there was silence, now there is language; before we could only crawl and now we can stand. And then we practice and practice and soon this monumental achievement becomes part of us, second nature…

But before we can do it, for the world to see, our ability to do it is there. We can walk before we CAN walk. We are simply waiting for the courage to try, the belief that we can, building our trust in the world and ourselves. Only the baby can decide to speak, no one can do it for her. It is a leap of faith. Fuelled by deep desire to play a more equal part in the workings of the world, to communicate, to be heard, to be known, to join in.

Can you see where I’m going with this, dear adult?

YOU might be wanting to be an artist, or a writer, or a mother, or speak a new language, and can’t see how it’s going to happen, how to start, how to DO it…

But you have it within you, just there below the surface,this latent potential, unknown and unseen – water it, feed it, and the one day let the bird of your talent fly free. Life, in all its guises is really about getting your hands dirty rather than holding yourself back because you’re worried about mucking up… it is a leap of faith. But really it is by doing, not thinking, that we become. We can get so caught up in our minds, in having to be perfect before we will even try. But we have to be prepared to fall… in order to be able to fly. What’s the worst that can happen?

Birth that baby, that book, that painting… All you have to do is believe it… and start it! One baby step at a time, birth yourself into the world. It really needs you.

(If you want support – practical and emotional, let me recommend joining the Goddess Circle- Click here to view more details )

  1. Rachael
    Rachael05-11-2011

    aw… we have the same with Dorothy- we were driving late one night to Wales and she was getting restless- ‘can you see the moon?’ I said, ‘Moon’ she said! ‘what?? say moon, say moon’ – but sadly it didn’t get repeated!
    Yesterday on the toilet (we practise elimination communication) she said ‘poo’ while she pushed one out! ‘say poo’ i said, ‘poo’ she repeated- and has been repeating it ever since. Oh dear, is this her 1st word to be added in to her baby book?!?! (although she has been saying ‘this, that, yes, no’ – & of course ‘mummy, dada’ quite a lot but this is the 1st time she has repeated a word back!)
    Loving your blog Lucy xxxx

  2. amynaturally
    amynaturally05-11-2011

    When I was reading the start of this post I was overwhelmed with a sense of jealousy that your 14 month old says words and my 2 & 1/2 year old is struggling with her damaged vocal cords (but improving weekly). And then as I read on I felt…well… inspired!! Yesterday my course work came to start my law degree and I have been too scared to even open the ‘Welcome to the Open University’ leaflet!! Not any more!! XXXX

  3. Dreamingaloudnet
    Dreamingaloudnet05-11-2011

    Thanks Amy and Rachael for taking the time to respond.

  4. Motherfunker
    Motherfunker05-11-2011

    I do love you!

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