You know what they always say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” I’ve always heard this, but never really listened. Or maybe I just have been too in a hurry to see the simple truth in it.
Our culture in general exalts the state of being in a hurry, of being busy. We barely make time (versus having time, there’s a difference) to do the things we want, much less develop them further in order to enhance our life experience.
I was encouraged this week and wanted in turn to encourage you on your journey of bettering yourself. I believe a lot of stuff can be done once we stop underestimating the value that smallness can have in our lives. I must add that one does not need to be slow living to accomplish this.
Everything big today started small. Things take time to grow, whatever that thing is.
So I decided to test this principle out. I read on a book this week that the smallest step we can take is to show up. If you want to start exercising, just get dressed for it; if you want to write, just sit on the chair; if you want to start a yoga practice, as is my case, just get on the mat.
And so I did. After my husband left for work Friday morning, I was still in bed (he leaves before sunrise) and caught a glance of my mat all rolled up in a corner, collecting dust and suffering from abandonment. I rolled to the other side of the bed feeling lazy and not wanting to get out of bed at all, but I did. After a little while, I rolled out the mat on the wooden floor facing our balcony on the third floor and said to myself all I needed to do was sit on the mat. Well, when I found myself on the mat, with legs crossed already, I figured I could maybe perform the next step, but was I willing? Heck yea! So I searched for a 10-minute video on YouTube, set my phone on a tripod, and was guided through a quick morning practice. It felt like it had been ages since my last time going through poses.
Wow! I couldn’t believe myself. I made the intentional decision to show up and all of a sudden, the next degree became easier and possible. I had finally taken action. I could almost see Rome’s first brick being laid on that vast Mediterranean expanse centuries ago.
Easy? Not really. Small? Totally.
After all, a single step is how journeys begin, isn’t it? Every step we take, no matter how small, is still a stride toward the life we want to live. So for every habit, ritual or discipline you want to incorporate in your life in order to bring you to a higher stage of success and self-development, I want to motivate you as I was as well as discourage you to have any perfectionist thoughts, as I used to have. I would see these wonderful yogis on social media and I thought I could never get to that point: my joints are too weak and I’m not flexible at all.
Ditch that negativity, please! Don’t focus on the finish line, just plan on getting started and do. That skill or craft you’ve been thinking about, the 30 pounds you want to shed off, that language you want to learn, that marathon you want to run, that blog or business idea you want to launch, or just a daily walk on the beach you want to add to your routine; the tiny leaps you take will result in big changes!
I believe I can advance in my yoga practice one day, but for now, I’m just going to keep on showing up, whenever I am able, for 10 minutes at a time until I feel I can do 20, 30, and so on.
You can, too. Decide to get stuff done and take that baby step today.