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Began vs. Begun: What’s the Difference?

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When speaking or writing English, using the past tense can be confusing. There are many types of tenses when referring to events that have already happened. To make matters worse, English contains many irregular verbs that are conjugated in ways that don’t immediately make sense.

This lack of consistency can (and does) lead to quite a few mistakes. One of the easiest mistakes to make is to misuse began and begun, which are two forms of the irregular verb begin .

In spoken English, the two words are often used interchangeably, but in academic and professional writing, knowing the difference between these words is important.

Began vs Begun: What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between began and begun? In this article, I’ll explain the differences between began and begun, use these words in a sentence, and demonstrate how to choose began or begun and use each correctly.

When to Use Began

began versus begun grammar

Began is the simple past tense form of begin. It does not need any helping, or auxiliary verbs , like had.

So, while you might say,

  • Gavin began to open the package.

You would not say,

  • Gavin had began to open the package.

Began is never used with a helping verb.

When to Use Begun

began or begun english help

You could say,

  • Yasmin had begun to eat the cake.

But you wouldn’t say,

  • Yasmin begun to eat the cake.

If you’re using begun, it needs a helping verb in order to be correct.

This brings us to the differences between simple past and past participles. Simple past tense describes things that happened in the past. The sentence “Gavin began to open the package” describes an event that happened in the past. The past participle describes something that happened in the past in conjunction with other events in the past.

“Yasmin had begun to eat the cake” describes one of a sequence of events. For instance, one could say,

  • Yasmin had already begun to eat the cake by the time we sang to her.

As you can see, began is not used with a helping verb.

Begun , on the other hand, is always used with a helping verb.

Trick to Remember the Difference

has begun or have begun writing tips

If you find yourself confused, remember that begun rhymes with one, and since begun is a past participle, it needs one more word to go with it: a helping verb.

Summary: Begun vs. Began

Began and begun are two forms of the irregular verb begin.

Began is the simple past conjugation.  Began is not used with any helping verb.

Begun is the past participle form. Begun must always have a helping verb to be correct.

If you have trouble deciding which word to use, remember that begun rhymes with one and always needs one helping verb in grammatically correct English.

Being able to use each word accurately when speaking or writing signifies intelligence and professionalism. If you’re having trouble deciding whether to use began or begun, you can always revisit this article as a quick refresher.

Strategies for Parents

Has Just Began or Has Just Begun: Past Tense vs. Past Participle

By: Author Susan Parker

Posted on Published: September 7, 2021

Choosing the correct phrase can be tricky, especially when words are very similar or expressed in different forms. The terms “began” and “begun” are two such words that can be challenging to master, especially when deciding whether you should say “has just begun” or “has just began.”

The correct phrase is “has just begun.” When using the helping verb “has,” a past participle must follow it to create the present perfect tense. This conveys that something has started but has not ended. “Began” is the simple past tense, which we use to describe an action that has started and finished. In contrast, we do not use “began” with a helping verb. 

This article will explore past participles such as “begun” and past tense verb forms such as “began.” We’ll also consider the differences between “began” and “begun” and how to correctly use each word in a sentence.

Meaning of Begin

Before we get into a discussion of “began” or “begun,” we should consider the root word of both, which is “begin.” 

“Begin” means to go into or start an action or process ( source ). Therefore, one must have a starting point to “begin.” “Begin” can also mean that something has arisen. Maybe a problem of some sort has come into existence. Consider the sentences below, which illustrate the word’s meaning. 

  • The class will begin at 1:00. 
  • The school year will begin on September 1st.
  • Let the games begin!
  • Dinner begins at 8 p.m. sharp.
  • The issues begin when he doesn’t communicate with me. 

Began vs. Begun

“Began” and “begun” are both past tenses that we form from the verb “begin.” Both words mean an action has commenced, but what’s the difference between the two? 

“Began” is the simple past tense of “begin” and means something has started and finished. 

“Begun” is the past participle form of “begin,” and we use it in the perfect tenses together with the helping verb “have.” If something “has begun,” it has already started but not has yet to finish. 

Another example of past tense vs. past participle is eaten or ate. Click here for more information on this .

Simple Past Tense

The simple past tense is a way to describe something that happened in the past, before now. The word “began” is an example of a simple past tense verb. Consider the sentences below, which illustrate the use of “began” in describing a completed action.

  • World War II began in 1939 and ended in 1945.
  • Our test began at 11 a.m.
  • The snow began to fall this morning; the roads are now white.
  • Cars began to pile into the drive-in at 7 p.m.

The past tense of any verb will either be regular or irregular. For most verbs, you add either -d or -ed to present tense verbs. Below are a few simple past tense verbs:

  • Push → Pushed
  • Walk → Walked
  • Grab → Grabbed
  • Talk →Talked

Irregular past tense verbs do not follow any rules, so you must commit them to memory.  “Began” is an example of such an irregular past tense verb. Here are a few more examples of common irregular past tense forms: 

  • Eat → Ate
  • Fall → Fell
  • Drink → Drank
  • Forget → Forgot
  • Drive → Drove

Past Participles

You will use the past participle in the perfect tenses to refer to completed actions. To create these tenses, we use a past participle together with a helping verb. We can also use them to form the passive voice, and they can sometimes function as adjectives ( source ). 

“Begun” is an example of a past participle verb. In order to use a past participle correctly in a sentence, a helping verb must accompany it. 

Here are some situations demonstrating how we could use “begun” in a sentence.

  • She has begun writing her doctoral thesis.
  • He has begun his medical training.
  • Now that winter is upon us, the holidays have begun.
  • The flowers have begun to bloom.

journey has begun meaning

Regular past participles end with -ed, but there are many irregular ones too, such as “begun.” 

Some common irregular past participles would include: 

  • Be → Been
  • Choose → Chosen 
  • Come → Come
  • Drink → Drunk
  • Fall → Fallen
  • Forget → Forgotten

Past participles do not function on their own but often pair with a helping verb such as “to have” or “to be.” As we previously mentioned, “begun” is an example of a past participle that pairs with “to have” — for instance, when trying to say something “has just begun.” 

When Do We Say “Has Just Begun?” 

You might also ask what the meaning of “has just begun” is. It simply means that something has recently started, and it hasn’t finished yet. A similar phrase would be “has already begun.” If we say, “it has already begun,” then we mean something that has started before now.

When we use the construction “has begun,” we are using the present perfect tense. English has three simple tenses (present, past, and future) and three perfect tenses (present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect). Let’s consider the verb “to begin” in each of these tenses.

As you can see, we use “begun” in all the perfect tenses together with various forms of the helping verb “to have.” Past participles can only stand on their own when they act as adjectives; as a verb, they need a helping verb.

Meaning of “Just” in “Has Just Begun”

The word “just” is an adverb that commonly expresses time. It can mean now, recently, or soon. When we use “just” in the phrase “has just begun,” we mean “has recently begun,” as in the sentences below.

  • At nine months old, Jack has just begun to crawl.
  • Sarah has just begun to understand a bit of French.
  • Oh no, it has just begun to rain! 
  • Summer vacation is officially over; school has just begun . 

In other contexts, the term “just” can also add emphasis to a statement or describe something that’s the same ( source ).

  • You look just like your dad. 
  • I just can’t believe it. 
  • That’s just great; my car battery died on the highway. 

All these examples using “has just begun” are in the present perfect tense. You will notice that using the helping verb “to have” means that we will use the present participle “begun” with it. 

Doing so will help if you are wondering if it would be correct to say, “has officially began” or “has officially begun.” Similarly, what about “holidays have began” or “holidays have begun”? 

In both these cases, we would use “begun” because both contain the helping verb “to have.” “Began” is a simple past tense verb and does not need a helping verb. We would therefore say:

  • They will sing the national anthem to show the event has officially begun . 
  • I feel the holidays have begun when I smell roasting chestnuts.

Helping Verbs

Let’s explore the role of helping verbs a little further. Their role is to help the main verb in a sentence by extending its meaning and adding detail. Helping verbs are necessary to complete the structure of a sentence, and we can also use them to express time in a sentence ( source ).

There are two types of helping verbs: auxiliary and modal verbs. 

Auxiliary Verbs

Auxiliary verbs accompany the main verb to show verb tense or add emphasis. One of the most common functions of the auxiliary verb is to establish the action in a sentence to a certain point in time. 

The most common auxiliary verbs are “to have,” “to be,” and “to do,” but there are many others. Auxiliary verbs can stand alone, but they give more information about time or mood when they appear with the main verb. For example: 

  • I have begun to like him. 
  • He was winning the race before he tripped.
  • She has eaten so many donuts!

journey has begun meaning

In these examples, the auxiliary verbs go together with the main verb to create “have begun,” “was winning,” and “has eaten.” They all provide further information about time.

Modal Verbs

Helping verbs that further modify the action or meaning of the main verb in a sentence to show obligation, possibility, or necessity are modal verbs. These verbs do not change form and include the following:

  • Can: I can ride my bike with no hands.
  • Could: I could come to see you today. 
  • Might: I might see the doctor today.
  • Will: I will fly home early from my trip. 
  • Should: You should see a doctor if you feel ill.
  • Must: I must see you right away. 
  • May: May I buy you a coffee this morning? 
  • Shall: I shall ride my bike to work today. 
  • Would: I would love to see you tomorrow. 

Using “Begin” in Other Tenses

A verb tense indicates when the action takes place. Most verbs have a past, present, or future tense, meaning verbs can change form. You can change the form by simply adding a different ending or changing the spelling ( source ).

We know that the past tense describes something that has already happened. What about the present and future tense? 

Present Tense 

Simple present tense verbs are action words that express what is happening currently or something that occurs regularly in the present time. Here are some examples of “begin,” where it operates in the present tense.

  • The sky begins to darken as night falls. 
  • My patience begins to run thin as my kids continue not to listen. 
  • You might begin to wonder what is going on. 
  • The teacher begins her lesson today. 

Future Tense 

Simple future tense verbs describe things that are yet to happen, that will begin and end in the future ( source ). Here are some examples of “begin” in the future tense.

  • The online class will begin on Tuesday.
  • He will begin violin lessons next month.
  • You will begin to understand if you do your homework.

“Begin” in Different Participle Forms

As there are different verb forms of “begin,” there are also different participle forms. 

Present Participle

A present participle is a verb ending with -ing that forms continuous tenses or functions as an adjective. Present participles typically convey current action. The verb “begin” becomes “beginning” when using the present participle form. Consider the examples below.

  • The beginning of the school year is fast approaching. 
  • She is beginning her college applications as the deadline fast approaches. 

In the first sentence, the participle functions as an adjective to describe the time in the school year. Sentence number two describes an ongoing action — she is in the process of starting her applications. This article was written for strategiesforparents.com. 

Perfect Participle

Another less common form of the participle is the present participle, which we form by combining the word “having” with the past participle. Perfect participles determine that an action was completed before the action in the sentence’s main clause ( source ), as in the examples below.

  • Having begun the test early, she sat quietly, waiting for her classmates to finish. 
  • She graduated early, having already begun her postgraduate studies.

Final Thoughts  

It’s essential to know the difference between past tenses and past participles so that we can use them correctly in both spoken and written English. Mastering when to use “begun” vs. “began” will help to clarify this further.

“Begun,” as a past participle, requires assistance from a helping verb. “Began,” as a simple past tense, stands alone to describe something that started in the past.

With some practice, you’ll be able to effortlessly use both “began” and “begun” in fluent English, and you will know that the correct phrase to choose is “has just begun” because the helping verb always accompanies the past participle.


Begun vs Began: Which One Should You Use? Find Out Now!

By: Author ESLBUZZ

Posted on Last updated: July 14, 2023

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Are you often confused about when to use begun vs began in your writing? You’re not alone! These two words are often used interchangeably, but there is actually a difference between them. In this article, we’ll explore the meanings of “began” and “begun” and provide examples of when to use each one.

First, let’s start with “began.” This is the past tense form of the verb “begin.” It is used to indicate that an action started in the past and has since ended. For example, “I began my day with a cup of coffee” or “The concert began at 8 pm.” It’s important to note that “began” is only used in the past tense, so you would not use it in the present or future tense.

Now, let’s move on to “begun.” This is the past participle form of “begin.” It is used to indicate that an action started in the past and is still ongoing or has been completed. For example, “I have begun a new exercise routine” or “The project has begun to take shape.” “Begun” is used in the present perfect tense, which means it is used to describe an action that started in the past and is still relevant in the present.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of when to use “began” and “begun” in your writing. So, let’s get started!

Begun vs. Began – Image

Begun vs Began

Understanding Began vs Begun

Began and begun are two forms of the verb begin. Begin is an irregular verb, meaning that it does not follow the regular pattern of verbs ending in -ed for the past tense and past participle forms.

Began is the simple past tense form of the verb begin. It is used to describe an action that started and finished in the past. For example, “She began to play the piano at the age of six.”

Begun, on the other hand, is the past participle form of the verb begin. It is used with helping verbs to form the present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect tenses. For example, “He has begun to study for the exam.”

It is important to use the correct form of begin in a sentence to avoid confusion and incorrect grammar. Began is used in the simple past tense, while begun is used with helping verbs in the present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect tenses.

Here are some examples of correct usage:

  • Simple past tense: “She began to read the book yesterday.”
  • Present perfect tense: “He has begun to learn a new language.”
  • Past perfect tense: “They had begun to plan the party before he arrived.”
  • Future perfect tense: “By next year, she will have begun to travel the world.”

It is important to note that began is never used with helping verbs. For example, “He had began to write the report” is incorrect. The correct form is “He had begun to write the report.”

In summary, began and begun are two forms of the verb begin that are used in different tenses. Began is used in the simple past tense, while begun is used with helping verbs to form the present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect tenses.

Understanding ‘Begin’ and Its Forms

‘begin’ and ‘begins’.

‘Begin’ is a verb that means to start or initiate something. It is used in the present tense, and it can be used with both singular and plural subjects. For example:

  • I begin my day with a cup of coffee.
  • He begins his work at 9 am.
  • They begin their journey tomorrow.

‘Begins’ is the third-person singular form of ‘begin’. It is used with singular subjects only. For example:

  • She begins her class at 8 am.
  • The movie begins at 7 pm.
  • The concert begins in an hour.

‘Began’ and ‘Begun’

‘Began’ is the past tense form of ‘begin’. It is used to describe an action that started and ended in the past. For example:

  • I began my day with a cup of coffee yesterday.
  • He began his work at 9 am yesterday.
  • They began their journey last week.

‘Begun’ is the past participle form of ‘begin’. It is used with the auxiliary verb ‘have’ to form the present perfect tense and the past perfect tense. For example:

  • I have begun to learn Spanish.
  • He had begun his work before the meeting started.
  • They will have begun their journey by the time we arrive.

It is important to note that ‘begun’ is not used as a simple past tense form. It is always used with an auxiliary verb.

In summary, ‘begin’ is a verb that means to start or initiate something. Its forms include ‘begins’ (third-person singular), ‘began’ (past tense), and ‘begun’ (past participle).

Usage of ‘Begin’, ‘Began’, and ‘Begun’

In sentences.

The verbs ‘begin’, ‘began’, and ‘begun’ are often used interchangeably in sentences, but they actually have different meanings and uses. ‘Begin’ is the present tense form of the verb, ‘began’ is the past tense form, and ‘begun’ is the past participle form.

Here are some examples of how to use these verbs in sentences:

  • I will begin my presentation in a few minutes. (present tense)
  • She began to sing when the music started. (past tense)
  • The project has begun and we are making progress. (past participle)

In Grammar Points

In grammar, ‘begin’ is used as a transitive and intransitive verb, while ‘began’ and ‘begun’ are used as past tense forms of ‘begin’.

Here are some examples of how to use ‘begin’ in grammar points:

  • Transitive verb: She began the meeting by introducing the agenda.
  • Intransitive verb: The concert will begin at 8 pm.

It is important to note that ‘begun’ is often used with auxiliary verbs such as ‘have’ or ‘had’ to form the present perfect and past perfect tenses.

Here are some examples of how to use ‘begun’ with auxiliary verbs:

  • We have begun the construction of the new building.
  • They had begun to prepare for the exam before the teacher arrived.

In conclusion, understanding the usage of ‘begin’, ‘began’, and ‘begun’ can help improve your English grammar and sentence structure. Remember to use ‘begin’ as a transitive or intransitive verb, ‘began’ as the past tense form, and ‘begun’ with auxiliary verbs to form perfect tenses.

Commonly Confused Words

As a writer, it is important to choose the right words to convey your message accurately. However, some words can be confusing, and it’s easy to mix them up. In this section, we’ll discuss some commonly confused words and how to use them correctly.

Begun vs Began

“Begin” is a verb that means to start something. “Begun” is the past participle of “begin.” It is used with helping verbs such as “have” or “had” to form the present perfect or past perfect tense.

Here are some examples:

  • I will begin my project tomorrow.
  • I have begun my project.
  • She had begun her project before I arrived.

“Began” is the past tense of “begin.” It is used to describe an action that started and ended in the past.

  • I began my project yesterday.
  • She began her new job last week.

To summarize, “begin” is the present tense, “began” is the past tense, and “begun” is the past participle. Remember to use “began” for actions that started and ended in the past and “begun” with helping verbs to form the present perfect or past perfect tense.

Other Commonly Confused Words

Here are some other commonly confused words:

  • Accept vs Except: “Accept” means to receive or agree to something, while “except” means to exclude or leave out.
  • Affect vs Effect: “Affect” is usually a verb that means to influence or change something, while “effect” is usually a noun that means the result or outcome of something.
  • Allude vs Elude: “Allude” means to refer to something indirectly, while “elude” means to escape or avoid something.
  • Complement vs Compliment: “Complement” means to complete or enhance something, while “compliment” means to praise or express admiration for something.

Remember to double-check the meanings of words that you’re unsure about to avoid confusion.

The Act of Starting

Starting something new can be both exciting and daunting. It can be a small task or a big venture, but the act of beginning is always the same. In English, there are two commonly used words to describe this action: “begun” and “began.” In this article, we will explore the differences between these two words and when to use them.

Starting a Task

When we begin a task, we are starting a specific action or project. For example, we might begin writing an article, begin cleaning the house, or begin studying for an exam. In each case, we are initiating an activity that has a clear end goal.

Using “began” in these situations is more common than “begun.” For example:

  • I began writing this article yesterday.
  • She began cleaning the house this morning.
  • They began studying for the exam last week.

Starting a Journey

When we embark on a journey, we are starting a trip or adventure . This could be a physical journey, such as a road trip, or a metaphorical journey, such as starting a new career. In either case, we are entering into a new experience.

In this context, both “began” and “begun” can be used depending on the sentence structure. For example:

  • We began our road trip last week. (past tense)
  • They have begun their journey to success. (present perfect tense)

Starting a Business

When we start a business, we are launching a new enterprise. This involves a lot of planning, preparation, and hard work. It is a major undertaking that requires a lot of dedication and effort.

In this context, “started” and “founded” are more commonly used than “began” or “begun.” For example:

  • She started her own business last year.
  • They founded the company in 2010.

In conclusion, whether you use “began” or “begun” depends on the context of the sentence. Use “began” for starting a task or journey, and “started” or “founded” for starting a business. By understanding the differences between these words, you can communicate more effectively and accurately.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the difference between “begun” and “began” is a matter of tense. “Begun” is the past participle of “begin,” while “began” is the simple past tense.

When writing formally, it is important to use the correct tense to convey the intended meaning. If you are unsure which tense to use, consult a style guide or grammar reference book.

When creating content, it is important to consider your audience and the purpose of your writing. If you are writing for a general audience, it may be best to use simpler language and avoid technical jargon.

To summarize, always keep in mind the context and intended audience when deciding whether to use “begun” or “began.” Both words are correct, but using the wrong one can change the meaning of your sentence.

Here are some example sentences to help illustrate the difference:

  • I have begun to study for my exam. (present perfect tense)
  • Yesterday, I began studying for my exam. (simple past tense)
  • She has already begun her journey. (present perfect tense)
  • She began her journey last week. (simple past tense)

Remember, the key to using “begun” and “began” correctly is to pay attention to the tense and context of your sentence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between ‘began’ and ‘begun’?

‘Began’ is the past tense of ‘begin’, while ‘begun’ is the past participle of ‘begin’. In other words, ‘began’ is used to describe an action that started in the past, while ‘begun’ is used to describe an action that has already started and is still ongoing.

Can ‘begun’ be used as a synonym for ‘started’?

Yes, ‘begun’ can be used as a synonym for ‘started’, but it is important to note that ‘begun’ is usually used in the context of an action that has already started and is still ongoing, while ‘started’ can be used to describe any action that has begun in the past.

When should ‘begun’ be used instead of ‘started’?

‘Begun’ should be used instead of ‘started’ when you want to emphasize that an action has already started and is still ongoing. For example, “I have begun my journey towards becoming a doctor” emphasizes that the journey has already started and is still ongoing, while “I have started my journey towards becoming a doctor” simply indicates that the journey has begun in the past.

What are some examples of sentences using ‘begun’?

  • She has begun writing her book.
  • The construction of the new building has begun.
  • I have begun to learn how to play the guitar.

Is ‘begun’ grammatically correct ?

Yes, ‘begun’ is grammatically correct when used in the appropriate context as the past participle of ‘begin’.

What is the meaning of ‘begun’ in a sentence?

The meaning of ‘begun’ in a sentence is to indicate that an action has already started and is still ongoing.

'Began' is the past tense of 'begin', while 'begun' is the past participle of 'begin'. In other words, 'began' is used to describe an action that started in the past, while 'begun' is used to describe an action that has already started and is still ongoing.

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Yes, 'begun' can be used as a synonym for 'started', but it is important to note that 'begun' is usually used in the context of an action that has already started and is still ongoing, while 'started' can be used to describe any action that has begun in the past.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"When should 'begun' be used instead of 'started'?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

'Begun' should be used instead of 'started' when you want to emphasize that an action has already started and is still ongoing. For example, \"I have begun my journey towards becoming a doctor\" emphasizes that the journey has already started and is still ongoing, while \"I have started my journey towards becoming a doctor\" simply indicates that the journey has begun in the past.

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Yes, 'begun' is grammatically correct when used in the appropriate context as the past participle of 'begin'.

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The meaning of 'begun' in a sentence is to indicate that an action has already started and is still ongoing.

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Began or Begun: Differences, Uses and Examples

Began and begun often get mixed up in English.

These two verb forms come from the English infinitive “to begin.” 

“Began” is in the simple past tense: He began to play the guitar.

“Begun” is a past participle that’s used in a perfect tense, so it always comes with “has,” “have” or “had:” It had begun to rain by the time I got home.

So, are you ready to dive deeper into these two words? Let’s get started!

Began: Simple Past Tense

Begun: past participle in perfect tense, another way to express “began” or “begun”, idiomatic expressions with the verb “to begin”, and one more thing....

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

As noted in the introduction, “began” and “begun” are different forms of the verb “to begin.” Most commonly, it describes an action that is starting to happen, as in the following sentence:

He begins to read.

Let’s look at “began” first. Whenever we use “began” in English, we always have to remember to use it on its own.

“Began” is the simple past tense of “to begin.” This tense is used for an action (of any duration) that has finished in the past:

  • It began to rain.
  • She began to sing.
  • I began to cry when I saw the disgusting lunch menu.
  • You began to run because you were afraid of the dog. 

As you can see in the last two examples, “began” can be used before a conjunction (like the word “when”) to introduce another clause (e.g. I saw the disgusting lunch menu ) .  

Whether you’re starting your sentence with I, you, he, she, we or they, “began” stays the same. Phew!

You’ll also notice that “began” is always used by itself, unlike “begun,” which we’ll tackle in the next section. 

“Begun” can never be on its own and always needs an auxiliary verb  hanging around. If you can remember this difference, you’ll make the right choice about which word to use.

The most common auxiliary verb forms come from the English verb “to have.” (For example: had, has, have and will have.)

Unlike the simple past, “begun” is a past participle that’s used with the three perfect tenses: past perfect, present perfect and future perfect . They also describe a completed action but are more complex, suggesting how a previous action affects a current condition . For example:

I had begun to style my hair for the party when I realized there was a storm outside.

To construct these sentences, we need to start with the auxiliary verb, then add “begun” afterward:

  • They had begun to play soccer before I got there. 
  • He has begun to smoke again. 
  • We have begun cooking the meal that we’re going to eat tonight. 
  • I will have begun my speech by the time you arrive. 

Remember that, in speech and informal writing, the personal pronoun and the auxiliary verb usually contract and use an apostrophe (e.g. they’d begun).

The difference between “began” and “begun” can seem tricky at first, but it’s helpful to see them being used by native speakers in authentic contexts . You can do this easily by using a resource like FluentU .

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Of course, there are alternatives to the verb “to begin.”

One that I’ve been using throughout this article is the verb “to start.” This verb is slightly more informal, and you can use it in most situations. For formal writing , though, “to begin” is often the better choice.

Here’s some great news: “to start” is a regular English verb, so its tenses are easier to manage!

Let’s look at “to start” in the simple past:

  • I started my homework last night.
  • They started laughing when they saw the clown. 
  • We started a new yoga class.
  • You started learning Arabic. 

Now, here is “to start” as a past participle with the perfect tenses (note that we have to use the auxiliary verb once again):

  • She had started  reading an old novel. 
  • It has started to snow. 
  • We have started a new project at work. 
  • He will have started his journey by now. 

See how “start” becomes “started” in both cases? This makes it a super easy alternative to the verb “to begin!”

This verb is so common that a wide variety of expressions use it: 

1. To begin (by) doing something

This means to start something by taking a specific action.

Let’s take an example using the infinitive form of “to begin:”

I begin by showing you how to use an English expression.

In the simple past (using “began”), it looks like this:

I began by adding the eggs to the flour.

Using a perfect tense (auxiliary verb + “begun”), it would be:

He had begun by stretching before going out for a run.

2. To begin to see the light

This is useful when you want to express that a situation is clear to you now but wasn’t in the past.

For example:

She begins to see the light about how horrible her boss is.

In the simple past (using “began”):

You began to see the light when it came to your boyfriend.

And using a perfect tense (auxiliary verb + “begun”):

He will have begun to see the light by the time he realizes we’ve stolen his credit card.

3. Life begins at (age)

This is an expression you’ll hear in relation to the aging process. It means that, even though someone has reached a particular age (traditionally 40), they can still restart their life and take pleasure in it.

Life begins at 40.

Life began at 70 for Sarah. 

And in a perfect tense (auxiliary verb + “begun”):

Life has begun at age 50 for Mark. 

I hope this article has given you a clearer sense of the troublesome twins “began” and “begun” so that you can check this grammar point off your list.

Proficiency comes with time, so remember to keep practicing your irregular verbs through writing, speaking, reading and listening!

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Began vs begun: The correct uses and clearing confusions

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Verb tenses can be confusing because the same verb may have multiple variations for different tense forms. Irregular verb forms complicated the matter because their conjugating varieties often don't make immediate sense.

One such irregular verb is "begin". Many people struggle with congregating “begin” correctly in the past forms: began and begun. Comparing "began" vs "begun" will yield considerable differences, but people still misuse them often and make silly mistakes. 

Regular verbs in the English language follow a simple rule for past tenses – they add the suffix '-ed' at the end of the word. For example, the past tense and past participle tense forms of the words "talk" and "dance" are "talked" and "danced," respectively. But irregular verbs like "begin," "drive," or "eat" don't follow this rule.

Began vs begun: The differences

When people speak, they often interchange "began" with "begun" and vice versa. But you cannot interchange them when writing in either academic or professional capacity. 

Both "began" and "begun" are the tense forms of the verb "begin," meaning "to start" or "get going." The word is used in the simple present tense to describe an action happening at the moment. 

So 'begin' is the main verb, and 'began' is its simple past form. On the other hand, 'begun' is the participle variation used in perfect tenses.

Some examples of "begin":

  • How do you begin your day?
  • The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
  • He begins a new project.
  • Let's begin our practice.
  • The football match will begin soon.

Let's see how it functions in the past and participle tenses. 

When to use began

"Began" is the simple past tense form of the verb "begin," referring to a past action. It indicates that an activity or event started or happened at some point. You can use the word with both simple and progressive verbs, as in the following examples:

  • Example 1: I began to study more diligently.
  • Example 2: She began to feel better after taking some medication.

In most cases, using "began" is appropriate when describing an event with a definite beginning point in the past. While it refers to a finished activity, it may also indicate an ongoing action that was started in the past (Example 2). 

Here are some more examples for your better understanding:

  • I began my karate lessons two months ago.
  • The football World Cup began in 1930. 
  • I can't remember when the storm began. 
  • Beth is a professional singer, but she began her career as an actor. 
  • He began working at 6 am.

Always remember that you cannot use "began" with an auxiliary verb. So, using it with have, has, is, are, or other helping verbs is incorrect.  

  • The project was began on time. (Incorrect)
  • I have began my karate lessons two months ago. (Incorrect)
  • The football World Cup had began in 1930. (Incorrect)

When to use begun

"Begun" is the participle form of the verb "begin," so it's only correct when you use it in perfect tenses. 

To use the word correctly, you must use it in conjunction with another verb, or a helping verb, to be precise. For example, "I have begun to study for my test." In this sentence, "have begun" is the main verb, and "to study" is the infinitive. You cannot use the word "begun" by itself.

The word is applicable for past, present, and future tenses. Check these examples for a better understanding:

In the present perfect tense

We use the present perfect tense when we want to talk about an action that began in the past and continues into the present. The present perfect verb tense is formed with has or have + past participle. 

For example, "I have begun my project'' means that I started it in the past and am still working on it.

In the past perfect tense

We use the past perfect tense when discussing an action that began and ended in the past. The formation of the past perfect verb tense includes had + past participle. 

For example, "I had begun my project'' means that I started it before something else happened, and it was already completed by then.

In the future perfect tense

The future perfect tense indicates that an event or activity will start at a certain point. 

For example, "I will have begun studying for my test tomorrow morning" means that I will start studying for my test tomorrow morning.

Common confusions about the usage of "began" and "begun"

"Began" and "begun" are two different forms of one verb and have separate functions and meanings in English grammar. However, non-native speakers can still confuse their usage in some specific contexts. 

In a negative sentence

To determine the use of the correct word in a negative, you need to dissect the sentence structure. "Begun" is the right word for all present perfect and past perfect sentences. For instances:

  • Present Perfect: The party has not begun yet.
  • Past Perfect: The party had not begun yet.

A simple present or past sentence negation will include "did not" or "do/does not" and the base verb. So, the simple past form "began" won't be used in these cases. For instances:

  • Present Perfect: The organiser does not begin the concert on time.
  • Past Perfect: The organiser did not begin the concert on time. 

In possessive words

Possessive words or contractions create another ground for confusion. Since a contraction is a shortened form of a word or words, it's easy to mix up the missing letters. Is it a verb, auxiliary, or modal? Look at the following examples:

  • She's begun working out.
  • It's just begun. 

Some people may consider these examples wrong, thinking that the complete forms of "she's" and "it's" are "she is" and "it is." However, the apostrophe here represents the short form of "has," so the use of "begun" in the sentences is correct. 

"Began" or "begun": How to remember?

The spellings of these words are pretty similar, except for an "a" and "u." However, their pronunciations are somewhat different:

Began: /bɪˈɡæn/ — sounds like bee·gan (American) and buh·gan (British)

—Some similar sounding words are undone, shun, and bun.

Begun: /bɪˈɡʌn/ — sounds like bee·guhn (American) and buh·guhn (British)

—Some similar sounding words are scan, fan, and clan.

When it comes to grammatical applications, remember that "begun" always needs a helping verb (a variation of "have" in most cases). Sometimes, you can pair it up with am, is, are, was, or were in passive sentences. 

FAQs about began vs begun

Has officially "begun" or "began".

"Has officially begun" is the correct sentence here because it's a present participle tense, and "begun" is the right participle form of "begin." You can use "began" only in the simple past tense. For instance: 

  • The mayor has officially begun her campaign for reelection.
  • The mayor began her campaign for reelection last month. 

"Was begun": Is it correct?

From a grammatical sense, "was begun" is correct. The sentence uses the "verb + past participle" structure, so using "began" would be a mistake in this case. But using "begun" in the passive voice sounds a bit forced. Any English speaker will use the active form instead. 

  • The charity was begun as his dream project. (sounds forced)
  • He began that charity as his dream project. (sounds natural)

How do you use the word "begun" in a sentence?

You can use "begun" in a sentence if it's in the participle form. 

  • Present Perfect: He has begun learning the language.
  • Past Perfect: He had begun learning the language.
  • Future Perfect: He will have begun learning the language before the new semester. 

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began vs. begun

Began vs. begun: what’s the difference.

Began and begun are both forms of the verb begin . Began is the past tense of begin . For example: I began yesterday. Begun is the past participle of begin . For example: I have begun already.

  • the simple past tense of begin .
  • past participle of begin .

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Word Choice: Began vs. Begun

Word Choice: Began vs. Begun

  • 2-minute read
  • 25th November 2014

They are similar in spelling, but what exactly is the difference between the words ‘began’ and ‘begun’? Both stem from the verb ‘begin’, but they have specific uses. Read on to learn more about how they should be used.

The word ‘began’ is the simple past tense of ‘begin’, which means ‘start’. ‘Began’ is therefore used to describe things which happened in the past:

I began to run just as the bus pulled away.

However, ‘began’ is never used with auxiliary verbs (i.e. verbs, such as ‘has’ or ‘would have’, that add additional information to another verb in a sentence).

The word ‘begun’ is the past participle of ‘begin’. ‘Begun’ is used in the perfect tense sentences. It is, therefore, incorrect to write ‘I begun’, as ‘begun’ can never be used without an auxiliary verb (‘has’, ‘have’ or ‘had’). Thus, we must say that something ‘ has begun’ or ‘ had begun’.

The auxiliary verb used with ‘begun’ affects the tense of the sentence. When combined with ‘has’ or ‘have’, it is part of the present perfect tense. Typically, this shows that something started in the past and continues in the present:

I have begun writing my novel.

When combined with ‘has’, ‘begun’ is part of the past perfect tense. This is typically used when describing a completed action in relation to another event:

I had begun to write when my computer died.

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The auxiliary verb and past participle in sentences like these can sometimes be separated by a negative, such as ‘not’ or ‘cannot’, as in the following:

I have not begun to write my essay yet.

The Difference

The difference between ‘began’ and ‘begun’ is a matter of tense. Remember that the simple past tense (‘began’) does not require an auxiliary verb, while the past participle (‘begun’) always needs one.

I have beg a n attending art classes. – Incorrect 

I have beg u n attending art classes. – Correct

I beg u n dancing when I was three years old. – Incorrect

I beg a n dancing when I was three years old. – Correct

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Synonyms of begun

  • as in commenced
  • as in started
  • as in founded
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Thesaurus Definition of begun

Synonyms & Similar Words

  • embarked (on or upon)
  • fallen (to)
  • entered (into or upon)
  • struck (into)
  • stricken (into)
  • inaugurated
  • established
  • got down (to)
  • got around (to)
  • gotten around (to)
  • gotten down (to)
  • gotten round (to)
  • got round (to)

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

  • discontinued
  • knocked off
  • extinguished
  • exterminated
  • materialized
  • shaped (up)
  • disappeared
  • passed away
  • constituted
  • constructed
  • manufactured
  • thought (up)
  • cooked (up)
  • systematized
  • reinitiated
  • reinstituted
  • closed (down)
  • annihilated
  • rounded (off or out)

Thesaurus Entries Near begun

Cite this entry.

“Begun.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/begun. Accessed 29 Jan. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on begun

Nglish: Translation of begun for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of begun for Arabic Speakers

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Scatterlings Of Africa by Johnny Clegg & Juluka

journey has begun meaning


  • This enigmatic song was written by (White Zulu) Johnny Clegg. It contains a double entendre in the sense that the entire human species is believed to have originated in Africa, from whence the different races of man evolved and spread to the Four Corners of the Earth. It is also a commentary on the poverty experienced by most blacks under Apartheid. Phelamanga, the road to which we are all (hopefully) on, is a mythical place. Until the coming of the White Man there was no written Zulu language, but it may be translated loosely as the place where the lies end.
  • The song was the only UK hit for the British-born Clegg and his band Juluka. As with many of Clegg's songs, it is written partly in Zulu. >> Suggestion credit : Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • This was used in the 1988 movie Rain Man , which won the Oscar for Best Picture. The song appears near the beginning of the film in a scene where Charlie (Tom Cruise) finds out that his father is dead.
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  • Lyrics to Scatterlings Of Africa

Comments: 1

  • Christopher from Evanston, Il, Usa Lyrics from johnnyclegg.com: Scatterlings of Africa Copper sun sinking low Scatterlings and fugitives Hooded eyes and weary brows Seek refuge in the night Chorus They are the scatterlings of Africa Each uprooted one On the road to Phelamanga Beneath the copper sun And I love the scatterlings of Africa Each and every one In their hearts a burning hunger Beneath the copper sun Broken wall, bicycle wheel African sun forging steel, singing Magic machine cannot match Human being human being African idea -- make the future clear Chorus They are the scatterlings of Africa Each uprooted one On the road to Phelamanga Beneath the copper sun And for the scatterlings of Africa The journey has begun Future find their hungry eyes Beneath the copper sun Ancient bones from Olduvai Echoes of the very first cry "Who made me, here and why? -- Beneath this copper sun." My very first beginnings Beneath the copper sky Lie deeply buried In the dust of Olduvai Chorus And we are scatterlings of Africa Both you and I We are on the road to Phelamanga Beneath a copper sky And we are scatterlings of Africa On a journey to the stars Far below we leave forever Dreams of what we were Hawu beke Mama-ye! Mama-ye! In the beginning Beneath the copper sky Ancient bones In the dust of Olduvai Who made us, here, and why Remember! Scatterlings of Africa (repeat and fade)

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How to Start Your Spiritual Journey (7 Illuminating Steps)

by Mateo · Jan 27, 2024 · 206 Comments

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There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don’t you? – Rumi

Welcome, dear wanderer.

You’ve come to this page seeking guidance, and that’s what we intend to give you wholeheartedly.

Before you begin, we want to honor your self-sovereignty and inner instincts, so:

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please remember to not accept anything as being “true” that I write or anything that anyone on the spiritual journey says/writes/teaches without first checking in with your own inner knowing.

No one is infallible, no matter what degree of awakening they have embodied, so I strongly encourage you to think for yourself, find out for yourself, and always, always trust your intuition. (This advice can save you a lot of pain on your journey!)

With that said:

If you’re short on time, scroll down to see the Table of Contents . Otherwise, I guarantee that this article is worth reading from start to finish (that’s why it’s the ‘Start Here’ page!).

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Learn more about your spiritual journey …

Let’s begin with the uncomfortable truth:

Most of us in the modern world have resigned ourselves to a cliched existence, indulging in endless distractions.

We go through life with minimal or pseudo-faith and avoid comprehending the emptiness of our lives. We are endlessly haunted by the shallowness of our relationships, neurotic issues, and  inescapable loneliness.

And yet there’s so much more to us as a species than what we really know.

You and I carry the most mysterious and magnificent qualities within us imaginable. Yet, we unknowingly guard and protect the greatest gift that is our  Souls from the world.

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It’s so easy for us to feel meaningless when we perceive ourselves as mere cogs in society’s machine.

The truth is that we are much more than slaves of 9 to 5 jobs. We are capable of creating deeply meaningful, mystical, and fulfilling lives. We are capable of finding our true calling and personal destiny.

For centuries indigenous people throughout the world have known that to fully explore the depths of the Soul and reunite with Spirit we must go on a spiritual journey into the unknown lands within ourselves.

In many ancient cultures, they had Elders and Shamans to encourage and oversee these journeys toward a deeper spiritual existence. Sadly, these days in our own culture, we have lost such sacred rites and rituals. Instead, orthodox religion has replaced living  spirituality with a theoretical god , dismissing, and outlawing personal experimentation and union with the Divine.

On this page, my aim is to help you start navigating your spiritual journey, be a lone wolf, and listen to your soul’s calling to reunite with Spirit.

(If you need extra in-depth support after reading this article, I highly recommend checking out our All-in-One Bundle and Shadow & Light Membership – these offerings give you a wide selection of deep, illuminating, and powerful tools and resources to empower you on your journey.)

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Table of contents

What is the spiritual journey, 12 signs you’re called to the spiritual journey (the ancient hero/ine’s path), the 3 worlds of the spiritual journey (which are you inhabiting), inner work vs. soul work, 5 phases of the spiritual seeker’s journey, how to start your spiritual journey (7 steps).

How to go on a spiritual journey image

The spiritual journey is a personal quest we undertake to reconnect with our Souls, release attachment to the ego, and rediscover our True Nature .

In a nutshell, the spiritual journey is about returning to the Centre of our being : it’s a path traditionally undertaken by mystics , shamans, and sages.

But in this day and age where times have changed, and we’re suffering from collective soul loss , the spiritual journey is open and accessible to all people (and no longer just ascetics, monks, and other holy people). Indeed, listening to the Soul’s calling of reuniting with Spirit is our deepest longing and highest calling as a species.

How to go on a spiritual journey image

People have felt a pull toward something greater than themselves since the beginning of time.

Ancient cultures had many stories that served to illustrate the journey to fulfilling one’s destiny and experiencing Wholeness or Enlightenment . These journeys mythologist Joseph Campbell described as the “Calls to Adventure.”

Shadow Self Test image

A call to adventure is something we all experience at least once in life. When we embark on this adventure, we begin the process of gaining self-understanding, reclaiming our precious Soul gifts, and dissolving the blockages that obscure our Inner Light.

The archetype of the hero/heroine discovering their true spiritual nature goes back thousands of years. The Greeks told the story of Orpheus , who descended into the underworld to rescue his bride, Eurydice, from Hades. The Nordic people had their hero-warrior Beowulf , and the Sumerians wrote of Inanna , who battled her sister in the dark world. Throughout history, there have been so many stories of individuals who have struggled through hardship to find themselves. But of what importance are they to our path?

Essentially, these hero/ines symbolize our spiritual journeys , that is, leaving everything familiar behind, entering the unknown, encountering numerous unconscious monsters, and finally returning back home with a sense of renewed fulfillment and wisdom.

Here are 12 signs you’re being called to walk the spiritual journey of awakening:

  • You feel lost in life
  • You long for a place that feels like your ‘true home’
  • You keep wondering what your meaning or purpose is
  • You feel like you have a big destiny to fulfill (which is yet to be revealed)
  • You sense that there’s much more to life than meets the eye
  • You’re experiencing strange synchronicities, signs, and omens
  • You’re shedding your old self and you’re transforming, but you don’t know who you truly are yet
  • There’s a sense of nostalgia and nagging longing for something you can’t pinpoint
  • You experience bouts of melancholy, depression, and existential crisis
  • You feel extra sensitive and fragile
  • A lot of what you once valued seems meaningless and empty
  • It feels like the rug has been pulled out from underneath you, and you’re falling into a void

Can you relate to any of the above signs? If you can, you’re most certainly being called to embark on the spiritual journey.

Image of a mystical tree symbolic of the spiritual journey

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep. – Rumi 

At some point in life, we all experience the “call to adventure.” Often, our journeys start when we experience a sudden  spiritual awakening , kundalini awakening , or dark night of the soul . Often, without wanting to, we are cast onto the path of inner exploration.

Like you, I have wandered these paths and have at times wound up lost and confused. For this reason, I find it useful to map out the spiritual journey in a way that helps the human mind know where it is and where it will go next.

My Andean ancestry speaks of three worlds that we can experience in life: the Upper World (Hanaq Pacha), the Middle World (Kay Pacha), and the Lower World (Ukhu Pacha).

In many traditions and mythologies, these three worlds correspond to the different realms of Self.

Immerse yourself in a world of illuminating insight, soul-centered wisdom, and crystal-clear guidance inside our Spiritual Awakening Bundle.

The Spiritual Awakening Bundle

The Upper World is the home of Spirit, the Underworld the home of Souls, and the Middle World is the home of the physical body and human ego .

Different practices and techniques are used in each of the three realms to help us spiritually mature and rediscover joy, peace, and nondual wholeness .

Below, I’ll explore each of these three realms with you:

Middle World

Image of a woman walking down a road in a forest

Purpose: Personality development

In our everyday lives, we function within the middle world. The middle world is responsible for our ego development, and yet many people on the spiritual path ignore this vital element of inner growth.

Without developing a healthy personality, our spiritual growth reaches a dead end because we are more prone to falling into many spiritual traps and pitfalls down the line (such as spiritual narcissism , spiritual materialism, and more).

In life, we all begin within the middle world or physical realm. As children and teenagers, we go through various years of personality change and growth. Finally, as adults, we have all developed unique personalities. Yet many of us fail to continue our self-development, getting lost in corporate jobs and the pursuit of money, status, and fame.

The goal of the middle world path is to develop a healthy personality or ego. Tasks involved in this process include the exploration of core emotional wounds, self-love , and the cultivation of authenticity. A healthy adult ego will be able to love freely, be vulnerable, express creativity, and display empathy towards others – which are vital in every area of life.

Magical, paradigm-shifting, terrifying, and awe-inspiring, the spiritual awakening process is at the core of every human’s quest for freedom, love, and happiness.

The Spiritual Awakening Process

We cannot develop a healthy personality by using techniques from the Upper or Under World, such as meditation or shadow work. Instead, we must use inner work techniques that pertain to ego development and healing, such as assertiveness training, non-violent communication techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, NLP, and other psychological avenues of self-development.

Under World

Image of a dark forest that represents the spiritual journey

Purpose: Soul discovery

Our Soul is the vital, mysterious, and wild core of our individual selves. It is the unique essence within each of us that goes deeper than our personalities.

Think of your Soul as a stream that is connected to the ocean of Spirit. Our Souls contain our destiny, purpose, gifts, and the ultimate significance of our individual lives. To access these deep layers and qualities, we must descend into the Under World of our unconscious minds.

Unfortunately, for thousands of years, our culture has “protected” us from the hardships and dangers of the descent into the Soul. This has been done through the establishment of comfortable, predictable, and clockwork lives that revolve around material pleasures and shallow values.

In fact, thanks to religious thought, the descent into our Under Worlds has been condemned as “evil” and wayward.  Only Shamanic cultures and a few Western mystical schools like Hermeticism and Alchemy have dedicated themselves to exploring the Under World.

The descent into the Under World has been so feared and avoided because it is a perilous journey. There is a reason why Christianity referred to this place as “hell.” Within our Under Worlds lie our repressed thoughts, feelings, desires, traumas, and denied gifts. Often when we descend, or inscend, into ourselves, we come across many demons, ghastly creatures, and other parts of our Shadow Selves that we’ve been unconsciously hiding from.

Yet despite the fact that the Under World journey can be such a harrowing and haunting experience, it is ultimately a powerful odyssey. Only by descending into our personal Under Worlds can we truly embrace our true life calling, talents, gifts, and deepest values.

Under World, or deeper inner work techniques, include practices that allow us to access altered states of consciousness . These may include practices such as  lucid dreaming , drumming, shadow work , shamanic trances, breathwork, vision quests, etc.

Upper World

Image of a forest and the colorful night sky

Purpose: Uniting with Spirit

The Upper World journey, or that of the ascent, is what we often refer to as Self-Realization .

There comes a moment in our journey between the middle world and the underworld in which an equilibrium or inner spaciousness forms , allowing us to move up into the Upper World.

For example, it’s much harder to spiritually awaken to the Upper World when our unconscious minds are plagued with deep childhood traumas (that stem from the underworld), trust issues (underworld problem), and poor self-esteem (middle world problem).

The practice of inner work is what allows this inner space to emerge because it dissolves the contractions of the ego that hide our True Nature as Divine Consciousness.

We enter the path of ascent up into the Upper World when we learn to surrender our ego identification (known as ego death ) and Soul identification. It’s at this point of the path that soul work is needed – soul work, in this case, refers to doing the soul’s work of letting go, opening, and merging back into its original home of Spirit.

The experience and realization that the personal identity (or ego) is an illusory thought construct, and who we truly are is Infinite Consciousness, is what has been referred to as Self-Realization , Christ Consciousness , Buddha Nature, Nirvana, or Enlightenment.

This shift of consciousness involves our Infinite, Divine, Eternal, and Absolute Nature awakening from the dream of the separate egoic self. Techniques used to induce this inner shift of being are often found in the mystical schools of Zen, Kundalini, Taoism , Sufism, and disciplines such as meditation, self-inquiry , and yoga.

Note:  Unfortunately, many people in the spiritual community believe that spiritual ascension is all that is needed to experience peace and wholeness. As a result, the middle world and under world paths have been cast aside as if they don’t matter. However, only focusing on your “higher chakras,” cultivating positivity and Oneness with Spirit , creates lopsided individuals. When the darker and more down-to-earth elements of self-growth are ignored, the result is imbalanced and unhealthy individuals . As such, here on lonerwolf, we try to focus on exploring all three realms (the middle, under, and upper world) to create balance.

Image of a pure white light symbolic of the soul

In the previous section, I mentioned inner work and soul work a few times. But what’s the difference? And how do both relate to the spiritual journey?

Within this website and the work of myself and Aletheia, inner work refers to the active exploration, illumination, and dissolution of blockages within the psyche. Inner work is a psychological process that helps us to heal and find inner harmony and wholeness on a human level.

Examples of inner work practices include the practice of self-love, inner child work, shadow work, body work, and anything that involves actively finding and releasing the contractions within the mind.

On the other hand, soul work is the more passive and receptive process of opening, surrendering, and resting within our True Nature (also known as Consciousness, Presence, Nondual Awareness, and Spirit). Soul work is, quite literally, doing the soul’s work of remembering and returning back to Source as our Ultimate Home and True Nature.

Examples of soul work practices include self-inquiry, prayer, contemplation, meditation, mirror work, and anything that involves cultivating a sense of being .

Both inner work and soul work are needed on our spiritual journeys to help us both wake up on a spiritual level and grow up on a human level. To avoid lopsided development and getting possessed by unresolved inner shadows (which can and do arise no matter what level of realization we’ve had), we need to explore both our human psychology and relax into our birthless, deathless True Nature.

Inner work makes the inner space for soul work to take place. Soul work helps to illuminate and sharpen our inner work. Both go hand-in-hand and are vital allies on our spiritual awakening journeys. As you get familiar with this website and our work, you’ll hear about both inner work and soul work.

Image of a train track symbolic of the spiritual path

Roughly speaking, there are about five phases of the spiritual journey (although, of course, there could be many more – but I’m just sharing the phases I’m aware of).

I refer to these as ‘ phases ‘ and not stages because the spiritual seeker’s journey is not a linear process that has a start and end; it is cyclical. It’s like the moon. It’s a spiraling dance of energy that is ever-deepening and changing – there is no “end,” even after you’ve had an enlightened shift in awareness.

Here’s a visual diagram of the Seeker’s Journey , which is the spiritual wheel of transformation that we base our work around on this website:

The Seeker's Journey Spiritual Awakening Wheel of Transformation image by LonerWolf

Below, you’ll find the five phases ruled by the Seeker, Apprentice, Warrior, Mystic, and Sage archetypes.

I’ve also linked each phase to the ten different parts of the journey that myself and Aletheia have discovered, crystallized, and defined after many years on the path:

1. Soul-searching

(Ruled by the Seeker archetype.)

This phase is divided into the following two parts (also linked to on the Seeker’s Journey page). Feel free to click on any for further guidance:

  • The Spiritual Calling
  • Resisting the Path

Summary: Phase one of the spiritual journey begins with a deep craving and longing for something more than mundane daily life. There may be a sense that life has become a dry, desolate, meaningless, and barren wasteland without some kind of spiritual dimension. This type of existential crisis can arise spontaneously due to a traumatic situation, mental or physical health issues, or simply due to one’s sensitive temperament. The result is a search for meaning, purpose, and greater spiritual connection – or what is commonly known as soul searching .

2. Awakening & learning

(Ruled by the Apprentice archetype.)

  • Finding Guidance
  • Starting the Journey

Summary: Awakening and learning is the next phase of the spiritual journey. Once one has listened to the ‘call to adventure’ and has begun searching for answers, the sense of inner deadness and stagnation lifts. The veil is pulled from our eyes. We awaken to fresh possibilities, new horizons, and deep insights. There is renewed hope, ecstatic zest for life, joyful anticipation, and a passion for learning, exploring, and growing. It’s as if the sun has finally emerged from its slumber, and we’re bathed in the dawning light of spiritual awakening .

3. Death & demons

(Ruled by the Warrior archetype.)

  • Turning Inwards
  • Facing the Darkness

Summary: As our spiritual journey matures, we eventually face a crossroads. To continue growing, we must enter through the gates of our personal Underworld and face our demons. We learn that the spiritual journey is beautiful, yes. But it’s also demanding. If we’re sincere about authentic spiritual growth, we need to illuminate our inner darkness, explore our shadow selves, and heal our buried traumas. This death of the spiritual ‘high’ of the previous phase can lead to much fear and confusion. The result is often an experience of the Dark Night of the Soul , a glimpse of ego death , or even a spiritual emergency where we step out of the ‘sunshine and rainbows’ world into the moonlit world of ghosts and ghouls.

4. Rebirth & reward

(Ruled by the Mystic archetype.)

  • Illumination
  • Traps & Pitfalls

Summary: Eventually, we emerge out of the other side of the Dark Night of the Soul, existential crisis, or ego death glimpse. We have been to hell and back – we’ve had our hearts ripped open and our minds excavated. But we arise victorious with heart and Soul blazing bright with clarity. This rebirth and reward often result in mystical experiences , moments of Satori (Enlightened awareness), and blissful heart openings. We may go through a new level of awakening, this time at an energetic level, via an experience known as the Kundalini awakening . However, this experience is not all love and light. There are many lurking shadows and spiritual traps to be wary of .

5. Illumination & sharing

(Ruled by the Sage archetype.)

  • Integration

Summary: After the body, heart, and mind undergo this cleansing and purging journey, a deeper level of Illumination may begin to arise within. We’ll begin to integrate all the lessons we’ve learned, bringing them into our daily lives. This is the moment where we truly start walking the talk, integrating both the human and Divine aspects of our lived experience. As such, there is a strong desire within us to share what we’ve realized through the grace of Divinity (our True Nature) with those who need support. We may adopt the role of teacher, guide, creator, or mentor – or otherwise, embrace new ways of helping others through the power of creativity. Perhaps the key defining quality of this phase is a strong connection to one’s True Nature and a non-dual shift in awareness. There’s an intimate, inner-lived experience of the Divine as one’s true face, authentic essence , and ultimate home.

Again, the above five phases are by no means linear or static – they are cyclical and ever-deepening. Gradually, we discover that we are Life itself and that what we have longed and searched for has always been right here, right now !

Image of a woman walking along the river at sunset

Everyone’s spiritual journey is unique, ever-changing, and ongoing.

There is no single point at which we stop this inner transformation. In fact, the whole mistaken idea of reaching a state of “perfection” really only equals death and stagnation. And what happens when things stop growing and flowing? They become lethargic, break down, rot, and disintegrate.

While the demands for constant growth and evolution may be difficult to handle at times, they are necessary grit for the inner pearl to develop.

If you wish to find truth, peace, profound love, deep freedom, and your ultimate home, beginning your spiritual journey is not only important but crucial.

Understandably, you might feel a bit intimidated and lost, not knowing where to start. As someone who has been on the spiritual journey for a long time and who has devoted their entire life’s work to the inner call, here are my tips:

1. Be gentle and go at your own pace

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and a little inundated by the influx of information when first beginning your spiritual journey. My advice is to go slowly, be gentle, and go at your own pace. You don’t need to know every tiny detail of every field of wisdom ever created. (I know it’s tempting!)

Besides, everything that you’re learning about is already within you. Yes, you have all the answers you need at a Soul level because you are an expression of the Divine at your core. Everyone else is just a mirror of that.

So cut yourself some slack. The key is to go gently but deeply – that is how you will learn and grow the most.

2. Tune into the deepest yearning of your heart, your holy longing

What is it that you truly, deeply yearn for, above all else? What is the most ancient longing of your heart and Soul?

There are a myriad of reasons why people enter the spiritual journey, many of them stories created by the mind to build a better-looking ego. But beneath the desires of the mind, what does your heart want? Your heart is the doorway to your Soul, and your Soul is a unique expression of Spirit. So listen to your heart’s yearnings.

How do you listen to your heart? One of the best ways is to place a soft hand over your heart, let all thoughts go, and drop into a sense of stillness. Then ask yourself, “What is it that I truly, deeply yearn for, above all else?”

Do you long for peace, truth, freedom, love, happiness, healing, or something else? There are no right or wrong answers. The heart wants what it wants. But be aware that the mind may jump in and try to concoct a bunch of ideas, artificial longings, and idealistic stories. What you need to do is listen for the still, small, quiet voice within that responds with gentle clarity (not the loud, anxious, and abrasive voice of the mind).

Finding your holy longing will provide you with the fuel and compass to direct your spiritual search. Instead of being outwardly led by the egoic self, you’ll be inwardly led by the heart and Soul. You may even find that as you progress through your spiritual journey, your holy longing will evolve and mature. Let it!

3. Pay attention to philosophies, tools, or practices that intrigue you

Once you’ve figured out your holy longing, simply pay attention. Notice what spiritual fields, ideas, philosophies, and practices call to you that relate to your deepest calling. The spiritual journey doesn’t have to be something dry, monotone, and repetitive (unless you want it to be). This is a quest that can be playful, joyful, and passionate. In fact, you’ll likely get the most out of your spiritual path if you approach it from this heart-centered place. Neuroscience has proven that we learn the most when we’re having fun – so find your bliss. Walk a path with heart. This is the path you’re meant to be on.

4. Go deep-diving

Image of a moon reflected on the ocean

One of the main issues that often arises on the spiritual path is a certain kind of spiritual materialism or spiritual window-shopping .

Jumping from practice to practice can be useful at the beginning (to become familiar with the territory). But if we get into the addictive habit of finding the “next and best” spiritual practice , tool, workshop, etc., we are doing ourselves a great disservice. We are not only approaching spirituality with a materialistic mindset, but we’re also avoiding the fundamental purpose of the spiritual path: to discover our True Nature.

Once you’ve done some dabbling here and there (this might involve watching YouTube videos, reading books, attending workshops, etc.), it’s time to slow down and commit to something. Don’t worry if you discover later down the road that the path you’re on is not for you, you can always change route. What’s important is that you slow down and commit to something to begin with – this is the only way to extract the nutrients, deep essential truths, and embodied wisdom that contribute to your awakening.

So go deep-diving and commit to something all the way through to the end. What paths, practices, and teachings speak to you on a profound level? What has benefited you the most? Begin to circle around that topic, practice, or path and dedicate your full attention to it. (And if there are a handful of paths, that’s okay too; stick with them, although it’s generally best to keep your focus simple.)

5. Be aware of sharks

You’ll meet many people on your spiritual path (whether online or in the flesh), and while some of these people will genuinely have your best interests in mind, others won’t. Yes, there are many ‘spiritual sharks’ out there, aka., there are sleazy, snake-oil salesmen and women who are consciously incentivized to use you for personal gain.

There are also some people (typically leaders of spiritual communities or certain gurus) who are totally unaware of their unconscious shadow motivations (but are equally as dangerous). So be discerning. Learn to trust your intuition and gut instincts . Tap into your inner lone wolf : that primal wisdom you carry inside that drove you to begin this quest to begin with.

Even if you do fall into the jaws of a shark, know that you can get out. Not only that, but you can actually use the experience as a lesson and fuel to grow even stronger. No one can take away your power from you unless you willingly give it to them. And even if you do, you can get it back.

6. Record what you’ve learned and experienced

We hear a lot of pretty-sounding words and mystical ideas on the spiritual path. But all of them mean little if we don’t actively find ways of absorbing them into our being.

One of the simplest ways of recording what you’ve learned and experienced is simply through the act of journaling . Have a special journal or diary that you dedicate to writing down your thoughts, experiences, ideas, and discoveries. You don’t need to be a good writer (or even good at spelling/grammar) to do this – forget about that! What matters is that you have a solid record that you can refer back to throughout your journey. (Learn more about how to journal .)

There are also other ways of recording what you’ve learned and experienced, such as creating pieces of art or composing music. Find whatever creative outlet suits you the most – that might even include creating a vlog where you go into your daily experience (and you can keep this private or share it with others).

Here are a variety of inner work Journals that we’ve created that might help you get started. »

7. Integrate and embody your spirituality

It’s easy to go spiritual window shopping and jump onto whatever new and exciting bandwagon emerges. But it takes much more strength of character, sincerity, and courage to integrate and embody what you’ve learned actively.

To integrate means to absorb something into your being and to make it a living and breathing part of you. To embody means to be an expression of what you have learned: to be the change you’re looking for, to infuse your life with the essence of what you’ve discovered.

There are numerous ways to integrate and embody your spirituality, but remember that this is an organic process that takes time. You cannot rush or force spiritual integration or embodiment – it is the natural product of spiritual ripening and maturation.

There are, however, numerous ways to begin the integration and embodiment part of your journey. Some of these inner work and soul work practices include:

  • Mindfulness
  • Contemplation
  • Shadow Work
  • Inner child work
  • Self-Inquiry

Anything that helps you to slow down, be introspective, and go inward while encouraging present-moment awareness will help you to integrate and embody what you experience.

Instead of being a magical-sounding idea, you will actively live and express qualities such as lovingkindness, presence, and wisdom. But first, you need to be sincere and dedicated to this path.

In my honest opinion, no spiritual journey is balanced (or healthy) without some level of psychological healing. We need to focus not just on ascending to the Upper World but also on working with the Middle and Under World . See the following articles for more guidance:

  • What is Inner Work? (& Why Most People Are Terrified By it)
  • Spiritual Psychology: Why Meditation Isn’t Enough

The Spiritual Journey is a Valley, Not a Mountain

Image of a golden valley symbolic of the spiritual journey

Wisdom tells me I am nothing, love tells me I am everything. Between the two, my life flows. ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Contrary to popular depiction, the spiritual journey isn’t like climbing a mountain.

We rarely start at the bottom and climb to the top. Instead, for most of us, the spiritual journey is like hiking through a series of beautiful but perilous range of valleys.

Shadow & Light Membership image

Our spiritual journeys alternate between periods of descending and ascending. In one period of our lives, we may cultivate our connection with Spirit, while in other parts, we may descend to the Soul to heal core wounds or the middle world to develop self-care .

Finally, it is very possible and also quite common to get hung up in these valleys. Many of us become lost, distracted, and even forget why we were trying to get to the top of the mountain in the first place. (See our article on traps of spiritual growth for more guidance.) However, with the appropriate guidance, sincerity, and persistence, we can make our way through.

In the end, you’ll find that the spiritual journey is like a mystical marriage between the ego, the Soul, and the Spirit. One cannot exist without the other. The whole experience is a nondual expression of Life living itself.

I truly hope this guide has given you a place to start. This whole website is based on giving free guidance for the spiritual awakening journey, so please feel free to poke around and learn some more. It’s our calling in life to help you with this. And it’s an honor for the two of us to be your supporters on this journey.

To stay connected and get weekly Soul-centered guidance for free, you’re welcome to subscribe to our LonerWolf Howl newsletter – it’s a joy to continue this journey with you as guides and companions!

How to Start Your Spiritual Journey (7 Illuminating Steps)

More Spiritual Calling

Image of a sunny meadow of flowers symbolic of self-kindness

About Mateo

Mateo is a spiritual educator, guide, entrepreneur, and co-founder of one of the most influential and widely read spiritual websites on the internet. Born into a family with a history of drug addiction and mental illness, he was taught about the plight of the human condition from a young age. His mission is to help others experience freedom, wholeness, and peace in all stages of life. [Read More]

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I had neck surgery 4 years ago that pretty much stole my life. I’m in a great deal of pain. It makes me forget what I’m doing, thinking, and feeling. I’m doing tapping with a doctor with much success. I’m scared I will. I’m scared! I feel like a drowning man I’m grabbing for anything. I want to be happy. I don’t like using the word want it just brings more sadness. I’m going to stick with this but I would really like someone to stick with me while I walk this path for a little while. What can I do?


I have been reading about spirituality for quite a while now. Especially reading and listening to Tara Brach, but I am so much in what I’ve learned to call my egoic brain that I can’t quite grasp it. What I’ve read about your work sounds more accessible.

I am in a situation thatI cannot donate any money, is that ok?

journey has begun meaning

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80 nicki minaj lyrics perfect for instagram captions, 34 harry styles lyrics as instagram captions that'll even make him 'adore you', the journey has just begun, go confidently in the direction of your dreams..

The Journey Has Just Begun

Last month, my sister was the last one out of all of my siblings to graduate from high school. When deciding on what to get her as a graduation present I struggled to think of what route to go. Do I go functional and get her something she may need for college? Do I go sentimental and get her a picture frame full of pictures of us over the years to put up in her dorm? Then I thought of my senior year of high school and some of the best words I have received about life and one’s future.

Days before my graduation from high school my senior government teacher had us make a necklace out of a page out of a magazine, a paper clip, and string. The piece of magazine ended up being rolled into what looked like a cinnamon roll made out of paper. After attaching the string to the paper she came around and wrote the directions North, South, East, and West on one side of the paper roll in order for the roll to resemble the compass. After all the necklaces were completed, she said her parting words to our class, “The journey has just begun. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams”. Those words hit me like an eighteen wheeler and are now eternally etched into the internal compass of my heart and soul.

It has been over two years since I left the halls of my high school, and, quite honestly, I did not know where life would take me after my tenure ended there. However, I gripped onto these words and followed the direction life has taken me. These words have led me to some of the greatest highest and lowest valleys of my emotional, personal, and physical life, yet I follow the second part of the phrase, “…go confidently in the direction of your dreams”. No matter what life has thrusted my way I always come back to square one. What is it that I want? What is my dream? What do I crave? What is my passion? As human beings we often get sidetracked by distractions put on by events, people, or even ourselves. We often forget what our dreams are and where we want our lives to go. We neglect to acknowledge at a certain point, what we want out of life.

A few nights ago I decided to take a walk around where I lived. I have been so crazy working three jobs, keeping up with friends and family, and trying to have a personal life. As I was on my walk and had a second to breathe these words instantly popped into my mind. I started thinking about them and then thought of my best friend. You see my best friend is moving to Florida this week in order to attend chiropractic school. I will not get the chance to see him as frequently as I would like or go for a weekend visit to his college at the drop of a hat. However, this is all OK because I think of the quote. “The journey has just begun. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams”. We are both pursuing our passions. Our dreams. We both are some of each other’s biggest cheerleaders. We are both so proud of one another.

So, what did I buy my sister for graduation? I bought her a necklace of a globe. It was attached to a piece of paper that said, “The journey has just begun. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams”. She is attending college this fall in hopes of becoming a traveling nurse. Her journey, like the rest of ours, has just begun.

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Unleash inspiration: 15 relatable disney lyrics, leave it to disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to..

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics . While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

1. "I would go most anywhere to feel like I belong."

Hercules: "I Can Go the Distance"

Anyone can relate to feeling like you don't belong. From being picked last in gym class to not being as popular as another classmate, you probably understand, to some degree, what it's like to feel out of place. You would do anything to find a group of people or an activity where you feel like you belong and have a purpose.

2. "Tranquil as a forest, but on fire within."

Mulan: "I'll Make a Man out of You."

If people consider you to be very mellow, odds are you are just waiting to let it all out, especially if you are short. Never underestimate the power of a shorty.

3. "If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew you never knew."

Pocahontas: "Colors of the Wind"

The best way to understand other people better is to look at things through their eyes.

4. "I know we're different but deep inside us, we're not that different at all."

Tarzan: "You'll be in my Heart "

I think we all need this line after this last election. No matter who you or your neighbor voted for, remember that we are all humans and we should treat each other with love and respect.

5. "These guys don't appreciate I'm broke."

Aladdin: "One Jump Ahead"

This lyric never resonated with me until I came to college. I need all of these textbooks? What is that $20 fee even for? I'm broke guys.

6. "When will my life begin?"

Tangled: "When will my Life Begin?"

When I was in middle school, I thought I would experience the best time of my life in high school . When I got to high school, I just wanted to get to college to experience life on my own. Now that I am in college, I am still dependent on my parents for almost everything, because I can't afford anything even with a part-time job. I would just like to know when my life, a life where I can support myself, really will begin.

7. "That perfect girl is gone."

Frozen: "Let it Go"

I spent my entire life trying to be the perfect daughter, the perfect student, the perfect Christian and the perfect person. I realize now that perfection does not exist. I can only aim to be the best version of me I can be. I became much more content with myself once I let the perfect version of myself go. That perfect girl is gone.

8. "Barely even friends, then somebody bends unexpectedly."

Beauty and the Beast: "Beauty and the Beast"

Many high school sweethearts know what it's like to have an acquaintance turn into a friend and then into a lover.

9. "I will ride, I will fly. Chase the wind and touch the sky."

Brave "Touch the sky"

A great song to get inspired, keep going, and work hard to achieve your dreams. Everything is possible if you are determined to make it happen.

10. "The men up there don't like a lot of blabber, they think a girl who gossips is a bore."

The Little Mermaid : "Poor Unfortunate Souls"

I had to make at least one of these lyrics sarcastic. Men, I know not all of you fall into this category, but a whole lot of you don't like long, deep conversations and you don't pay very much attention when it's not a subject you're interested in, like sports . Am I right, ladies?

11. "Forget about your worries and your strife."

The Jungle Book: "Bare Necessities"

This lyric is more inspiring than relatable. However, it does serve as a little reminder to stop worrying about things you cannot change.

12."If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true."

Cinderella: "A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes"

Never give up on your dreams. If a dream is easy to achieve, it is not a dream. It is a goal. If you give up on a dream, it was never a dream in the first place. It was a desire. If you work hard enough toward a dream, you can make it a reality.

13. "Anywhere I go, I'm home, if you are there beside me."

The Lion King 2: "Love Will Find a Way"

This song is probably not as well-known as the others on this list, however, The Lion King 2 is one of my favorite Disney movies. We all have someone in our lives that make even the worst places feel like home whenever he or she is around.

14. "Up on the shore they work all day, out in the sun they slave away."

The Little Mermaid: "Under the Sea"

You got that right, Sebastian.

15. "When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you."

Pinocchio: "When You Wish upon a Star"

This is probably the most well-known Disney lyric of all time. It was so inspiring and the music was so beautiful that Disney decided to use it at the beginning of all Disney movies. Disney was built on following your dreams. If there is one message that Disney communicates in every single Disney movie from Pinocchio to The Little Mermaid, it is "Follow your dreams."

The Six Most Iconic Pitbull Lyrics Of All Time

Mr. worldwide just wants to see you succeed..

It is no secret that Pitbull is a gifted artist, but many fail to remember that he can be a source of great inspiration as well. The following is a list of iconic Pitbull lyrics that we know and love. Read on to feel empowered — if you think you can handle it.

1. Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane / No, it's just me, ain't a damn thing changed. (From "Timber") Not a day goes by that I don't see Pitbull flying over my rooftop, dressed in white linen from head-to-toe and drinking a Capri Sun. If that image doesn't motivate you to be better, then nothing will.

2. Been around the world like the sun / I've seen more breast than your newborn son. (From "Shake Senora") Need to boost your resume? Trying to impress a colleague? Use this line. Watch them be amazed, first by your worldly experience and then by your rhyming ability. Thank Pitbull later.

3. And it's not our fault that we have all the ladies / But it's hard to see these ladies when your middle name's Equator / All around the globe, matter fact, see you later. (From "Celebrate") Take a lesson from the school of Mr. 305 — it doesn't have to make any sense, it just has to rhyme . Also, it is possible to have all the ladies, even with a middle name like "Equator."

4. In L.A. they get krazy / Miami they get krazy / In New York they get krazy / Atlanta they get krazy / In London they get krazy / In Paris they get krazy / In Rome they get krazy. (From "Krazy")

Pitbull wants you to never stop studying your map of the world. Learn the names of every city. Say them one after another, all the time. However, Pitbull also wants you to know that you can put that dictionary down. Spelling doesn't matter. Kraziness is universal.

5. Modern day Hugh Hef (uh yes) / Playboy to the death (uh yes) / Is he really worldwide? (uh yes). (From "Dance Again") Does Pitbull wait for someone to answer his questions? No, because he's a grown-ass man who knows the answers. Are you going to wait around for someone else to answer your questions, or are you going to be like Pitbull? Be like Pitbull. Be a grown-ass man who parenthetically answers his own questions.

6. This for anybody going through tough times / Believe me, been there, done that / But every day above ground is a great day, remember that. (From "Time of Our Lives") If Pitbull tells you to be thankful, then be thankful, dammit. After all, we live in an amazing time when a man who wears sunglasses indoors can make millions by listing the names of cities and rhyming Kodak with Kodak. Feel #blessed.

7 New Year Clichés: Break Free, Embrace Change!

Those that everyone know.

It's 2017! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family . What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

1. "I will be serious about working out"

Are you? Odds are you will get that gym membership, go for a few weeks, and completely forget about it. You will realize that autopay is taking $80 out of your account and you either need to cancel or start going again. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be in better shape, but do it at a pace that is right for you. Don't let the change in year dictate it.

2. "New year new me!"

This cliche is the most over used and most underdone. Every year we hear "New Year New Me!!", and the most that comes out of it is someone dyes their hair or gets a tattoo . Yes, these are life changing attributes to a person, and everyone should be commended for trying new things, but don't try to change you just because its a new year. Stay true to yourself.

3. "I'm going to be more outgoing!"

Being adventurous is always a great thing! Stepping out of your comfort zone is always exhilarating, but don't force yourself to do things that make you feel uncomfortable. So are you really going to go out, or will you continue to watch Netflix and go to the same restaurants. The choice is yours!

4. "I'm going to get more organized "

Trying to get organized is a great feat few of us can manage. It's always good to do a big spring cleaning, but trying to completely organize everything is trying to change how you live. I know when I try to do something like get a new planner, I either stick to it or I forget about it.

5. "I'm leaving my bad relationships in the past!"

Bad influences won't go away in your life if you wish them to stay in another year. Work hard at this one if you are going to make it one of your New Years cliches. Toxic relationships should stay in the past, but it is up to you to keep them out of your life.

6. "I'm going to party less"

Party as much as you want. There is nothing wrong of going out and having fun as long as you are safe doing it. If partying is what you enjoy doing, then that is okay. Not everyone conforms to that lifestyle, but if that is your thing there is no shame in that! Don't leave it in another year because you think you have to.

7. "I'm going to get more serious about my career/schooling"

This is the cliche that you should stick to. It's never a bad thing to be more focused on your career and school, as long as you don't lose sight of the important things. If you get serious, make sure you make time for your family, friends, and most importantly, yourself.

11 Essential Expectations for Becoming the Ultimate Cheermeister

Mastering festive expectations: tips to shine as your holiday cheermeister.

So you’ve elected yourself as this year's Holiday Cheermeister, there’s no shame in that. The holidays are your pride and joy, and you've taken on the responsibility to get everyone in the spirit. With only one week until Christmas , here are some things we expect from you, Cheermeister.

1. Counting down every second until the big day


2. Being the first to put up their Christmas decorations

3. planning all the holiday festivities for your crew, 4. forcing your holiday enthusiasm on others, 5. winning first place in every holiday sweater contest.


6. Giving the best secret Santa gifts (Puppies for everyone?)


7. Being the life of all the holiday parties


8. Getting defensive when someone says Christmas isn't the best holiday. Cheering on your friends through the last week before school vacation


10. Never missing the opportunity to rock out to Christmas's greatest hits


11. Lastly, not letting anything break your Christmas spirit!

What does santa want for christmas 5 presents on his wish list, santa is really hard to buy a gift for..

Santa Claus is the hardest self-employed freelance worker out there. The Christmas spirit of joy and peace himself reading a list of people's names and their gifts to be delivered, and all in one night is no cookie cutter task.

He should know; there's plenty of cookies to go around. Santa has his reindeer to keep him company but spreading Christmas cheer is not always what Santa wants to do for himself.

Here are five presents Santa wants for Christmas because he deserves them.

1. Gap years.

Santa gets to travel across the world but only in one night. Think of all the local hot spots and destinations he is missing out on. It is unfair that he has to deliver billions of presents while the rest of the world enjoys their vacation time.

We all could chip in and give Santa an extended holiday leave. Parents can just tell their kids he had to rush order their presents this year. And the year after that, and the year after that...

It is about time Santa got out of his boots and into some sandals. He does not do timeshares either.

2. Real food.

It was cute the first few times around, but does it have to be the same thing every year? Santa is a sweet and jolly man plenty enough on his own.

He doesn't need another candy cane, chocolate chip cookie, or glass of milk to keep the holiday cheer going. If anything, he is bound to have another sugar crash.

That's what caused the infamous Sleigh Crash of 1964. Ditch the dairy and baked goods, and give Santa a plate of your Christmas meal.

You thought Santa spent all of December up at the North Pole? He has an incredible side hustle, working grocery stores with his bell for the Salvation Army.

The worst gig of all is staging his workshop in every mall he goes to. Santa is a full-time toymaker and a part-time socialite. You know Santa is overqualified and he deserves what he is worth.

It is the season of giving, so give Santa his trillion dollar annual salary already.

4. Workshops around the world.

Why does Santa have to make all the world's gifts and toys from one workshop? Christmas magic can only to take our indomitable bearded friend so far.

He needs workshops in every country, that way he does not have to fly everywhere and everything at once. He will be closer to those who asked for gifts and spend more time out of his natural environment.

If Santa cannot stop working, give him something more and something better to work with.

5. Shorter lists.

Santa is not suggesting a decrease in population here. He just wants everyone to be nice instead of naughty. The gifts are enough to carry without that coal weighing him down.

He is also tired of hearing the reasons why you were naughty this year. It is breaking his gumdrop heart . Santa should not have to bribe you with presents or punish you with coal.

The greatest gift you can give Santa is kindness .

Santa is not that picky when it comes to gifts. Do the right thing, and he promises there will not be any coal in your stocking this year.

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Attacks on ships in the Red Sea are disrupting global trade. Here’s how it could affect what you buy

The Associated Press explains who the Houthi rebels in Yemen are and why are they attacking Red Sea ships.

File - This photograph provided by the Indian Navy shows U.S.-owned ship Genco Picardy that came under attack Wednesday from a bomb-carrying drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the Gulf of Aden, Thursday, Jan.18, 2024. Attacks on ships in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Houthi rebels have unraveled a key global trade route, forcing vessels into longer and more costly journeys around Africa. (Indian Navy via AP, File)

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Houthi fighters march during a rally of support for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and against the U.S. strikes on Yemen outside Sanaa on Jan. 22, 2024. (AP Photo)

FILE - A cargo ship sails through the town of Ismailia, Egypt, March 30, 2021. Houthi rebels in Yemen are attacking cargo ships plying the waters connecting Asia with Europe and the United States, forcing traffic away from the Suez Canal and around the tip of Africa. (AP Photo/Ayman Aref, File)

File - The Tesla Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg plant is seen in Grunheide, Germany on Jan. 12, 2024. Electric carmaker Tesla will emporarily shut down the factory near Berlin because of shipment delays related to attacks on cargo ships by Houthi Rebels. (Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP)

A cargo ship waits near the Centennial Bridge for transit through the Panama Canal locks in Panama City on Jan. 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Agustin Herrera, File)

File - Shoppers pass a branch of British retail chain Marks & Spencer in London on Aug. 18, 2020. Marks & Spencer warned that shipping disruptions caused by attacks on ships in the Red Sea would delay new spring clothing and home goods collections that were due in February and March. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Car factories have idled in Belgium and Germany. Spring fashion lines are delayed at a popular British department store. A Maryland company that makes hospital supplies doesn’t know when to expect parts from Asia.

Attacks on ships in the Red Sea are delivering another shock to global trade, coming on top of pandemic-related logjams at ports and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Houthi rebels in Yemen , seeking to stop Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza, are attacking cargo ships plying the waters connecting Asia with Europe and the United States, forcing traffic away from the Suez Canal and around the tip of Africa. The disruption is causing delays and driving up costs — at a time when the world has yet to vanquish a resurgence of inflation .

“What’s happened right now is short-term chaos, and chaos leads to increased costs,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of the supply chain management company Flexport. “Every ship that gets rerouted has 10,000 containers on it. It’s a lot of emails and phone calls getting made to replan each of those container journeys.”

Adding to the bedlam in global shipping is what Petersen calls a “double whammy": Passage through another crucial trade corridor — the Panama Canal — is restricted by low water levels caused by drought. And shippers are in a rush to move goods before Chinese factories shut down for the Feb. 10-17 Lunar New Year holiday.

The threat grows considerably the longer the war in Gaza drags on. Disruption to Red Sea trade lasting a year could surge goods inflation by up to 2%, Petersen says, piling on pain while the world already struggles with higher prices for groceries , rent and more. That also could mean even higher interest rates, which have weakened economies .

For now, Man & Machine in Greater Landover, Maryland, is awaiting a shipment from Taiwan and greater China. It’s been one setback after another for the company, which makes washable keyboards and accessories for hospitals and other customers.

Who are the Houthis? The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have sharply escalated their attacks in the Red Sea.

  • Houthi rebels swept down from their northern stronghold in Yemen and seized the capital, Sanaa, in 2014, launching a grinding war.
  • They have sporadically targeted ships in the region over time, but the attacks have increased since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.
  • Read more on who the rebels are here .

Founder and CEO Clifton Broumand usually gets a shipment of components about once a month, but the latest delivery, which departed Asia four weeks ago, is delayed. The normal route — three weeks via the Suez Canal — has been shut down by the Houthi attacks .

Rerouting to the Panama Canal didn’t work either — the shipment was stymied there by the drought-related mess. Now, it might have to cross the Pacific to Los Angeles and come by truck or train to Maryland. Broumand has no idea when the products will arrive.

“It’s annoying, and it’s interesting. I think our customers, everybody understands. This is not like, ‘Why didn’t you plan this?’ — who knew?” he said. “We call our customers and say, ‘Hey, it’s going to be delayed. This is why it is.’ Nobody likes it, but it’s not going to kill anybody, it’s just another frustration.”

Other industries are seeing similar hassles.

Electric carmaker Tesla has to shut down its factory near Berlin from Monday to Feb. 11 because of shipment delays. The Chinese-owned Swedish car brand Volvo idled its assembly line in Ghent, Belgium, where it makes station wagons and SUVs, for three days this month while waiting for a key part for transmissions.

CAPTION CORRECTS LOCATION TO GULF OF ADEN In this photo provided by the Indian Navy on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, a view of the oil tanker Marlin Luanda on fire after an attack, in the Gulf of Aden. The crew aboard a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker hit by a missile launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels is battling a fire onboard the stricken vessel sparked by the strike. (Indian Navy via AP)

Production at a Suzuki Motor Corp. plant in Hungary stopped for a week because of a delay in getting engines and other parts from Japan.

The British retail chain Marks & Spencer warned that the turmoil would delay new spring clothing and home goods collections that were due in February and March. Chief executive Stuart Machin said the Red Sea trouble was “impacting everyone and something we’re very focused on.”

Roughly 20% of the clothes and shoes imported into the U.S. arrive via the Suez Canal, said Steve Lamar, CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. For Europe, the impact is even bigger: 40% of clothes and 50% of shoes traverse the Red Sea.

“This is a crisis that has global implications for the maritime shipping industry,” Lamar said.

As of Jan. 19, Flexport says, almost 25% of global shipping capacity is being or will be diverted from the Red Sea, adding thousands of miles and a week or two to trips.

The cost of shipping a standard 40-foot container from Asia to northern Europe has surged from less than $1,500 in mid-December to nearly $5,500. Getting Asian cargoes to the Mediterranean is even costlier: almost $6,800, up from $2,400 in mid-December, according to the freight booking platform Freightos.

But things could be worse. At the height of supply chain backups two years ago, it cost $15,000 to ship a container from Asia to northern Europe and nearly $14,200 to take one from Asia to the Mediterranean.

“In terms of supply chain disruptions, we’re not even close to what was happening during the pandemic,” said Katheryn Russ, a University of California, Davis, economist.

In 2021 and 2022, American consumers, stir-crazy from COVID-19 lockdowns and armed with government relief checks, went on a spending spree , ordering furniture, sports equipment and other goods. Their orders overwhelmed factories, ports and freight yards, leading to delays, shortages and higher prices.

Things are different now. After that supply chain mess, shipping companies expanded their fleets. They have more ships to cope with shocks.

A cargo ship waits near the Centennial Bridge for transit through the Panama Canal locks in Panama City on Jan. 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Agustin Herrera, File)

“The market is in a state of overcapacity,” said Judah Levine, Freightos’ head of research, “which happens to be a good thing. There should be enough capacity to accommodate this disruption.”

Global demand also has cooled off — partly because the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks have raised interest rates to combat inflation and partly because China’s powerhouse economy is sputtering. Inflation has come down over the past year and a half, though it’s still higher than central banks would like.

“There are really big forces bringing down inflation,” said Russ, who was a White House economic adviser in the Obama administration. “It’s hard to see (the Red Sea disruption) would substantially muck up the declines in inflation that we’ve been seeing beyond a tenth of a percentage point here and there.”

Many companies say they have yet to see meaningful impact. Retailer Target, for instance, said most of its products don’t pass through the Suez Canal and was “confident in our ability to get guests the products they want and need.”

BMW said: “All lights are green… our factory supplies are secure.” Norwegian fertilizer giant Yara said it was “only mildly impacted by the transit challenges in the Red Sea.”

Carlos Tavares, CEO of automaker Stellantis, has said: “So far, it’s OK. Things are moving well.”

The respite may not last. If shippers avoid the Suez Canal for a year, Flexport CEO Petersen warned, “it’s a really big deal.” The higher costs would lead to “goods inflation of 1 to 2%.”

Houthi fighters march during a rally of support for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and against the U.S. strikes on Yemen outside Sanaa on Jan. 22, 2024.  (AP Photo)

Jan Hoffmann, a U.N. shipping expert, warned Thursday that Red Sea shipping snags posed a risk to global food security by slowing the distribution of grain to parts of Africa and Asia, which depend on wheat from Europe and the Black Sea area.

It would be even worse if the Middle East conflict widens and drives up oil prices, which are now lower than they were the day before Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

For now, companies are muddling through.

Retailer Urban Outfitters’ Free People subsidiary imports clothing from India and is shipping “a lot of that through air,” co-president Frank Conforti said at an investors’ conference this month. But it’s too costly to put furniture and household goods on planes.

At least home goods aren’t as “fashion-sensitive” as clothing, Conforti said, so losing 15 days “sailing down the tip of Africa isn’t the end of the world.”

Anderson reported from New York. AP Business Writers Kelvin Chan in London; Anne D’Innocenzio in New York; Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo; Tom Krisher in Detroit; and David McHugh in Frankfurt, Germany, contributed.



  1. Quote: My journey has just begun and I...

    journey has begun meaning

  2. Quote: My journey has just begun and I...

    journey has begun meaning

  3. Top 31 Journey Has Just Begun Quotes: Famous Quotes & Sayings About

    journey has begun meaning

  4. Top 30 Your Journey Has Just Begun Quotes & Sayings

    journey has begun meaning

  5. Top 30 Your Journey Has Just Begun Quotes & Sayings

    journey has begun meaning

  6. Top 30 My Journey Has Just Begun Quotes & Sayings

    journey has begun meaning


  1. Began vs. Begun: What's the Difference?

    Began and begun are both conjugations of the irregular verb "to begin," which means to start or proceed with something. Began is the simple past tense form of begin. It does not need any helping, or auxiliary verbs, like had. So, while you might say, Gavin began to open the package. You would not say, Gavin had began to open the package.

  2. Began Vs. Begun: Differences, Uses, and Examples

    English English vocabulary Began vs. begun: Differences, uses, and examples Began Vs. Begun: Learn the differences between "began" and "begun," and get expert tips on their correct use in sentences. Adam Volz Updated September 18, 2023 10 min read

  3. Has Just Began or Has Just Begun: Past Tense vs. Past Participle

    The correct phrase is "has just begun." When using the helping verb "has," a past participle must follow it to create the present perfect tense. This conveys that something has started but has not ended. "Began" is the simple past tense, which we use to describe an action that has started and finished.

  4. the journey has just begun

    The sentence 'the journey has just begun' is correct and can be used in written English. You can use the phrase when referring to a new undertaking or experience, which implies that there is more to come. For example: "After a lot of hard work, I am finally ready to launch my business - the journey has just begun!". exact ( 5 )

  5. the journey has begun

    1 The Guardian - Opinion And no company that needs to take it should attempt a rebrand before the journey has begun. 2 The Guardian There is a very long way to go in aligning companies' policies and strategies with the capacities of the biosphere, but the journey has begun. 3 The Guardian

  6. Begun vs Began: Which One Should You Use? Find Out Now!

    Understanding 'Begin' and Its Forms 'Begin' and 'Begins' 'Began' and 'Begun' Usage of 'Begin', 'Began', and 'Begun' In Sentences In Grammar Points Commonly Confused Words Begun vs Began Other Commonly Confused Words The Act of Starting Starting a Task Starting a Journey

  7. Begun vs. Began: Choosing the Right Word

    Begun is the past participle of begin and is typically used with a form of the helping verb have. Check out this quick and easy-to-reference chart showing you the differences between began and begun before diving into each term in depth. Advertisement When to Use Began: Past Tense

  8. Began or Begun: Differences, Uses and Examples

    "Began" is the simple past tense of "to begin." This tense is used for an action (of any duration) that has finished in the past: It began to rain. She began to sing. I began to cry when I saw the disgusting lunch menu. You began to run because you were afraid of the dog.

  9. Began vs begun: The correct uses and clearing confusions

    The word is used in the simple present tense to describe an action happening at the moment. So 'begin' is the main verb, and 'began' is its simple past form. On the other hand, 'begun' is the participle variation used in perfect tenses. Some examples of "begin": How do you begin your day? The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

  10. Begun Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of BEGIN is to do the first part of an action : go into the first part of a process : start. How to use begin in a sentence. Synonym Discussion of Begin. ... I had just begun eating when the phone rang. She interrupted as soon as I began to speak. Now that I've begun, I'll go on till I finish.

  11. your journey has begun

    your journey has been. similar ( 59 ) Because as soon as you add even one seashell to the bucket it isn't empty any more - your collection journey has begun. 1. Huffington Post. Monday: Now that Monday has arrived, your to-do list is live and running -- the week's journey has begun. 2. Huffington Post. My journey has begun.

  12. When to Use Begin, Began or Begun

    "Began" is its simple past tense form (describing the time before you are reading or speaking, for example). "Begun" is the past participle form. Along with helping verbs, "begun" is used...

  13. Began vs. Begun: See the Difference

    Dictionary word comparisons began vs. begun BACK TO began began vs. begun began [ bih- gan ] show ipa verb the simple past tense of begin. begun [ bih- guhn ] show ipa verb past participle of begin. Compare More Words Compare More Commonly Confused Words What is the difference between Began and Begun?

  14. Word Choice: Began vs. Begun

    The word 'begun' is the past participle of 'begin'. 'Begun' is used in the perfect tense sentences. It is, therefore, incorrect to write 'I begun', as 'begun' can never be used without an auxiliary verb ('has', 'have' or 'had'). Thus, we must say that something ' has begun' or ' had begun'. The auxiliary ...

  15. BEGUN Synonyms: 139 Similar and Opposite Words

    verb Definition of begun past participle of begin 1 as in commenced to take the first step in (a process or course of action) she began walking to work for exercise Synonyms & Similar Words Relevance commenced started launched embarked (on or upon) fallen (to) set about entered (into or upon) got going opened led off got to struck (into) got off

  16. the journey has begun definition

    1 a travelling from one place to another; trip or voyage. 2. a the distance travelled in a journey. b the time taken to make a journey. vb. 3 intr to make a journey. (C13: from Old French journee a day, a day's travelling, from Latin diurnum day's portion; see diurnal) ♦ journeyer n.

  17. Honor the Beginning

    Don't worry who you will meet or where you will go. The way has been prepared. The people you are to meet will be expecting you. A new journey has begun. Let it be magical. Let it unfold. All parts of the journey are sacred and holy. Take time now to honor the beginning. Note: As much as Melody would love to respond to all comments, this ...

  18. Scatterlings Of Africa by Johnny Clegg & Juluka

    The journey has begun Future find their hungry eyes Beneath the copper sun Ancient bones from Olduvai Echoes of the very first cry "Who made me, here and why? --Beneath this copper sun." My very first beginnings Beneath the copper sky Lie deeply buried In the dust of Olduvai Chorus And we are scatterlings of Africa Both you and I We are on the ...

  19. journey has just begun

    1 Huffington Post "We have high ambitions, and our journey in this direction has just begun. 2 Independent My journey on the bus has just begun, and I eagerly wait every day to see what fresh insight and "furthur" adventures it will bring me, and the people I encounter on my magic "Veggie Bus". 3 Huffington Post Show more... RELATED ( 8 )

  20. How to Start Your Spiritual Journey (7 Illuminating Steps)

    For centuries indigenous people throughout the world have known that to fully explore the depths of the Soul and reunite with Spirit we must go on a spiritual journey into the unknown lands within ourselves. In many ancient cultures, they had Elders and Shamans to encourage and oversee these journeys toward a deeper spiritual existence.

  21. The Journey Has Just Begun

    After all the necklaces were completed, she said her parting words to our class, "The journey has just begun. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams". Those words hit me like an eighteen wheeler and are now eternally etched into the internal compass of my heart and soul. It has been over two years since I left the halls of my high ...

  22. the journey has just begun definition

    n. 1 a travelling from one place to another; trip or voyage. 2. a the distance travelled in a journey. b the time taken to make a journey. vb. 3 intr to make a journey. (C13: from Old French journee a day, a day's travelling, from Latin diurnum day's portion; see diurnal) ♦ journeyer n.

  23. Meaning of My Journey Has Begun by Executed

    "My Journey Has Begun" is a song that delves into the depths of loneliness, madness, and the search for meaning in life. The opening lines present a sense of emptiness and fragility, a feeling of being lost in the darkness.

  24. Red Sea: What do Houthi attacks mean for global trade?

    Attacks on ships in the Red Sea are delivering another shock to global trade, coming on top of pandemic-related logjams at ports and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Houthi rebels in Yemen, seeking to stop Israel's offensive against Hamas in Gaza, are attacking cargo ships plying the waters connecting Asia with Europe and the United States ...