Have you ever wondered if the small things we do really matter?
I was having a conversation with a friend recently about how to add more spirituality into his life, in an easy way that doesn’t involve complicated things like retreats to ashrams or getting up super early to meditate. Seriously – these were tips he read in a book that claimed to include “easy spiritual practices”. I don’t know about you, but trekking to an ashram or waking up before dawn to spend an hour or two in meditation when I’ve got a family, a full to-do list, and social obligations are just not on my list of “easy” things. He’d heard someone talk about little things one could do, and wondered “can these small things really have a big impact?”
And I get it. It makes sense to think that in order for things to have a big impact, they need to be BIG THINGS. Fortunately, the reality is that little things can have a big impact, too – especially when it comes to spirituality. I believe in this so strongly, in fact, that I base my whole business around this philosophy!
You see, I know what it’s like to feel burned out by the hustle & bustle of professional life.
Even when you consider yourself a spirituality-inclined person, who knows the value of slowing down, the thought of adding even one more “to-do” can seem daunting. But I also know that in order to be our best selves in the world OUT THERE, we must really take care of our INNER WORLD. And I’ve come to learn and experience the truth that small things can have a big impact.
There’s this thing called “The Butterfly Effect” in chaos theory, which is based on the thought and research into the fact that something as small as the movement of butterfly wings several weeks earlier can create impact into something as large as the exact time of formation and path of a tornado storm system. Isn’t that amazing? If the flapping of butterfly wings can change the weather, why wouldn’t our supposedly small spiritual pursuits have a similar impact in our daily lives?
Here’s an example of how this theory can play out:
Let’s say you work for a large company and manage a team of people who depend on you to perform at your very best. From the moment you walk in the door, to the moment you leave, you have to be “on” and ready to deal with whatever they bring to you at any given time. As well as managing this team, you must constantly report your progress to your supervising team – so you have weekly reports to compile to showcase your team’s work. You’re so busy that you often work through lunch, and leaving at a reasonable hour sounds like a dream.
Then there’s your personal life: a family, community responsibilities, and oh yeah – maybe some relaxation thrown in there somewhere, when you can find the time. But that time is always elusive and the pressure of this job and family and community obligations have you worn out, and there seems to be little hope of anything changing.
Can you relate to any of this?
Now, think about those days when you just seem to get off to a bad start: your alarm doesn’t go off, so you rush through your morning, probably skipping breakfast. Then, you get stuck in traffic, which makes you even later and in even more of a bad mood. When you get to work, you find out that there’s an impromptu meeting that you’re due to present at, in which you have precisely 20 minutes to prepare yourself and your team for. Talk about stressful!
To get ready for this meeting, you approach your team in your frenzied state and frantically try to come up with something for the presentation. Because they can feel your stress, your team also becomes frenzied and panicked, which affects their ability to help you. So you walk into the meeting and fumble through your presentation, all the while feeling your boss’s eyes drill into you with exasperation that you know you’ll be dealing with later.
Wouldn’t you love to be able to avoid this scenario?
What if instead of using the full 20 minutes to prep, you took 3 of those minutes to collect yourself by doing some deep breathing in your office? You could shut the door, turn your phone off, and sit still and really ground into your body. As you breathe, you allow yourself to release the craziness that came before this moment and allow yourself to become fully present.
You open your eyes and briefly compile a list of the most important pieces of your presentation, and also note the people on your team that will be best suited to help you. You get your team together and calmly relay the plan, noting that you have about 15 minutes now to complete the presentation. With everyone feeling your calm, they’re then confident in their own abilities. You and your team produce a simple yet effective presentation that wows your boss. She’s so impressed with your ability to keep your cool and organize your team and the presentation in such a short period of time, that you get a raise!
The small act of taking a few moments to tap into your Higher Self, and to focus your mind and energy before proceeding allowed you to not only focus yourself but your team as well. Just like in the previous scenario when they fed off of your stress, they will feed off of your calmness and confidence, too. You don’t have to be a manager or work in a high-stress job to feel the burnout or to have spirituality breaks impact your day.
I hope you found this post helpful! Want to learn more about holistic, effective self-care? You’ll find lots of great tips in this post.
Until next time,