When I first mastered a headstand in yoga, I was thrilled. But I would hold it for a few seconds, and I would either crash down on the mat or have to come out of it because I felt wobbly and weak. It wasn’t graceful. There was no ease. And it was frustrating. Then, during a yoga class, one of my teachers placed her hand in the area between my shoulder blades and asked me to try to squeeze her fingers. And something clicked. That one simple move transformed my headstand. When I made that small adjustment, my weight was redistributed evenly through my shoulders, neck and arms, and I felt like I was floating. I could hold the pose and feel strong for minutes at a time. There was ease. And grace. This one little change had brought great results.
When I think about it, daily living is like this. We can be trucking along, trying to master something – like cultivating a little more patience with our kids, figuring out how to fit more yoga into our day, or losing those last few pounds to get back to our pre-baby weight. We’re doing okay, but it feels harder than it should.
And some days it feels hard enough that we think maybe we’ll never get there. We start to talk ourselves out of what has started to feel like a bigger task than we thought. We say things to ourself like, “Maybe I’m just always going to be reactive and impatient, that’s just who I am.” Or “Clearly I can’t fit more yoga into my day with my schedule the way it is. I’ll try again when I’m less busy." Or “I’ll never get back to the pre-baby weight so I might as well stop focusing on it.”
But it’s on these days – when we feel like these things we’re trying to do are bigger than us, when we feel like giving up – that perhaps we need to just simplify and make small adjustments. When we need to look at changing one little thing – like getting up 10 minutes earlier to meditate on being more patient, taking 15 minutes before bed to do a gentle yoga practice, or substituting green tea for our afternoon latte. And who knows? Maybe this task we’ve been trying to achieve, the one that feels like a little more work than it really should, might be easily accomplished. Because little changes can bring great results.
What little changes are you making in your life? I’d love to hear.