How to Simply Embrace Beginnings and Endings


Beginnings are beautiful. Starting something new offers excitement, and opportunity for change, but often saying hello to the new, means saying goodbye to what you know.

  • When you move to a new city, you say goodbye to another.
  • When you start a new class, you may have to adjust your schedule and say goodbye to something else.
  • When you start a new career, you’ll say goodbye to the work you leave behind.

Whether you are saying hello to a new habit, relationship, city or a completely new way of life, you may also be saying goodbye to someone, something, or the familiarity of who you were before. With that, beginnings become joyful, painful, exciting and uncertain all at once. You could stay focused on all of the newness to avoid the farewells, but then you miss honoring the very best parts of what came before. By acknowledging the joy and the sorrow, you can bring your loves and lessons into your new beginning.

You may instigate some of life’s beginnings and endings, but ready or not, many happen on their own schedule.

Simply Embrace Beginnings and Endings

  • Be Open. You might not be ready for something new, but when it’s time, it’s time. Let go of your need to hold on to the past or attempts to control the future. It’s usually completely out of your hands. Instead, simply be open to letting things unfold.
  • Notice small shifts. Beginnings and endings aren’t always black and white. Notice small shifts in your relationships and work. If you pay attention, you can probably notice tiny beginnings and endings all the time. Let them help you navigate the bigger stuff.
  • Work with a beginner’s mind. Don’t try to do the new like the old. Instead, be curious. Ask for help. Admit that you don’t know what you are doing. Laugh and find joy in the process.
  • Don’t edit your feelings. If you miss what was or feel uncomfortable with change, own it. Write about it. Tell a friend. All of those emotions and the energy that surrounds your beginnings and endings is real. It’s important and you can’t leave it out of your story.
  • Insert a pause. You can’t stop time, but you can make room to pause and access or rest before moving forward. Discover the power of the pause by taking an adult time-out.

Maybe Marion Woodman is right and you don’t have a clue who you are becoming. You don’t have a clue how things will turn out and you don’t know what’s next. No one really knows. The important thing is that you know who you are right now. Be you from the inside out and everything will be better than you imagined.


  1. says

    Courtney, I am noticing my life is more about small shifts right now. I made so many big shifts a few years ago that nothing seems particularly earth-shattering, and I am happy with that. Of course, things will happen as they do, but I am in a much better place to deal with them.

    I bet you’re going through much of what you’ve mentioned in relation to your daughter graduating and starting a new beginning. What a wonderful role model to have as she embarks on this new and exciting time!

    Ok, I’m getting wordy here, but your post has really sparked my thinking. I think one of the most important things I’ve learned along the way is to have fun – whatever your definition of fun one has. Life doesn’t have to be so hard.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Thanks Tammy. Many of my hellos and goodbyes do have to do with my daughter. We moved her into the dorm today and even though she is close, it was a very hard goodbye mixed in with lots of joyful tears.

  2. says

    I’m moving to a whole new country next March and leaving behind a stable job for the first time ever. It’s crazy to think about all of the emotions I’m going through even now. I was supposed to leave in September, but it was pushed back to March. However, my mind is still in that mode.

    I’ve noticed that I’m more forgetful at work. I’m basically checked out already and it did start slowly. Weird.

  3. says


    It is so true that so much is out of our hands. Letting go of the need for control eliminates so much suffering in our life.

    I’m definitely moving into new and this coming year from September forward feels very oriented around creative expression. At the same time, as you so clearly point out, I’m letting go of some big chunks of old. That used to frighten me a lot, but now it’s feeling more exciting.

    Thanks for these wonderful insights.

  4. Sarita says

    Four years ago my husband died.its taken three years for me to come the fog. I have been making deliberate changes in me,my house,and God. This is a lovely post. Thank you.

  5. Megan says

    Courtney, Can’t wait for you to share more about your move and all the changes that happened there. Because of our intentionally minimizing every aspect of our life, we are moving to a new home that is the right size and all the right features that fit our needs. However, I find myself having moments when it’s absolutely overwhelming. Everything is changing for the BETTER! I know in my heart we are on the right track. Yet days like today I am weepy and not sure why. I think letting go and moving forward in a positive way is stirring up grieving for past mistakes. It’s also bring up a feeling of being afraid it’s not all going to work out somehow. All things I can’t control Your article really hit the spot for me today. Thanks for always sharing your heart with us.

  6. says

    This is such a timely post for me. I have recently found myself regretting the fact that I have grown apart from so many of my college friends. There are good reasons for this, as I have changed a great deal as a person over the past 6 years. So, rather than dwelling on the regret that I have been unable to effectively maintain those friendships, I am trying to focus more on the pride I have in my personal growth and the new friendships that I have found as a result of that. I also take comfort in the fact that I have a group of core friends and, of course, family that will always be in my life.

  7. says

    I think oftentimes it’s hard for me to face the idea of an ending simply because it’s familiar. I have to wonder how many times I’ve grieved the ending of something that turned out to be a blessing in hindsight. I’d love to be able to look at endings as a good thing; I think it will take practice. Good post!

  8. says

    Courtney! Tammy is so perceptive! Hope your daughter has a marvy first semester. I am in a pretty stable pattern right now with a lot of tweaking. But I feel big changes in the winds. Or that could have been a city bus passing by. I feel as though our blog is still new. That meant a lot more work and a bit less practice time on the guitar. It also meant Tammy and discovering more about one another at an accelerated rate since we write together. So cool!

  9. says

    Thank you so much for this, Courtney…

    I don’t know how you guys do it… Joshua Becker posts “Why We Work.”, then JFM posts “The Worst Thing That Could Happen.”

    And then this.. “How to Simply Embrace Beginnings and Endings.”

    I’ll be quitting my work in a week to pursue and focus on my passion and purpose. I have a family, with two kids, and I’m scared, excited, scared of what is to come.

    I can’t say I’m not prepared… I am, financially a bit… spiritually, yes. Emotionally and mentally, your thoughts here, together with the two Joshuas have been preparing me all week.

    Thank you with love…

  10. says

    I have many endings in my life, many of them very painful and many not of my choosing. I love the idea of a pause. I think that sometimes that ‘a pause’ is more than a cup of tea but no matter how long it lasts we should honour that pause until we are ready to move forward to something new.

  11. says

    Hi Courtney,
    Love this article and am interested in attending your SLC Spark and Tinder. Will you send me some info?

  12. Amy says

    This article came at the perfect time for me. . . lots of changes. This was a great reminder to let go of the desire to control everything and allow things unfold. We are ending two years of homeschooling with our oldest children and they are starting in a traditional school. I am starting back to work due to financial needs and my husband’s health issues. I am starting NEW work (nervous) and sending our smallest child to daycare for the first time (very nervous)! I appreciate what you wrote about accepting and acknowledging ALL of our feelings that come with change- that it is okay to grieve what I will be losing but to remember to embrace all of the new things these changes will bring into our lives as well. Thank you :)

  13. says

    I also think it’s important to somehow commemorate the shift. It might be by taking a picture, writing about it (on a blog or diary), or even celebrating it in a bigger way! This ensures that it is remembered and remembered in a positive way!

  14. says

    What a timely post :-)
    I am moving to a new city next week and I am also changing jobs, so a lot of things are beginning and enging right now for me.
    This requires a lot of organization and includes a lot of stress, so while I organize and plan this sometimes I lack the time in appreciating this ending and beginning more. Most of the time I’m thinking about how stressful it is, while I should be appreciating more how exiting this is and how great things are going to be from now on. Thank you for reminding me to embrace beginnings and endings more.

  15. Heather says

    Once again, you are reading my brain!!!! I am making a HUGE career move in the next 6-8 months. I am completely changing fields and I could not be more excited. A huge part of this is letting go of the past and I am finding myself less concerned with my work I am doing now. I still do a good job but I don’t have the panic attacks that I am not good enough. And this comes when I am leaving THE DREAM JOB. (Insert dramatic music here). Thank you for giving me the courage and for giving me sort of a plan to go by. Once again, FABULOUS!!!

  16. Kate says

    Timely? Yes this was. My adult daughter, very newly divorced, and her 16 year old son, our grandson, moved into our house this week. I am so very glad that I have been going through many things and letting them go so that when her move became necessary, the rooms were at least able to be emptied the rest of the way into the trailer!

    None of the four of us were ready emotionally for moving in together. My husband and I were finally working out what retirement meant for us. My daughter was married and living halfway across the country and trying to figure out her next steps. My grandson was looking forward to starting his next year of school along with his girlfriend and cohorts. Her husband changed all that.

    So, now we deal with the changes. I am excited to have my grandson back in our life. He is a great young adult. I am also looking forward to helping my daughter as she takes her next steps. For my husband and me? Maybe our life needed some shaking up. Time will tell. A new adventure awaits!

  17. lorraine says

    I am about to leave a 22 year career, the only job I have ever had as an adult! I have gone through such a range of emotions; fear and worry, great relief, sadness that the working life I led and thought would continue, is ending soon, all mixed in with an underlying excitement about what might be possible in the future.I am definitely at the stage Marion Woodward describes but I am coming to terms with it and feel good about having the freedom to actually ask myself what I want and to be able to try new things out to see what suit me. I was the most ‘institutionalised’ person in my old working world but slowly that feeling is leaving me and who knows what lies ahead!

  18. says

    What great advice – especially the “don’t edit your feelings” part. Years ago, life brought me to a beautiful place of being with my sweetheart in the country – a very far cry from my original plan to be a single city dwelling lady for the rest of my life. It was hard to say goodbye to the city but ultimately it was the best decision for me. I find that life often brings me places I would have never picked for myself but land up being the best for me. xoxo

  19. says

    Dear Courtney! This is once again perfect timing for me… You do this quite a lot… As if you could read what troubles I have! I have just moved 1000km… My husband and I with no jobs and not having a clue where we’re going… Am trying to enjoy every minute of it! Even though there are some stressfull moments! Especially about money! I know we’ll figure it out! We always did! But reading this helped me a lot! Tkx xox