How the Little Choices Make Big Change
I recently learned a lesson first-hand that I already knew in my mind--that the part impacts the whole. When I set out to paint the treatment space I rent at Studio 34 Yoga, I figured that I would only need to paint the back wall as an accent wall. The surrounding walls were a neutral off-white. But once the grey primer went onto that back wall, I looked around in awe that the side walls now appeared to be a creamy pale yellow, and I realized that the paint I had chosen no longer worked.
One small change to part of the room impacted everything else!
We see this kind of effect vividly in our lives when we make big leaps--starting or ending a relationship, moving, changing careers. But it’s also true that EVERY choice we make impacts the whole of our lives. Sometimes we can see the impact of our choices immediately, but, mostly, our lives and our health are impacted by teeny-tiny choices made all the time every day.
Change can be overwhelming, but I’ve seen the powerful impact of small changes in the people I work with. One less soda a day, one more glass of water, one more nap, ten minutes of meditation a day, one time a week reflecting in a journal; all of these micro-choices can add up to powerful effects on our health over time!
In a culture of quick fixes, sometimes these little changes seem like “not enough” or “not worth it” and so it’s easy to get discouraged and just quit. But witnessing first-hand that small adjustments can make a big impact overall is part of why I encourage others to never give up.
Right now, I have a business buddy named Annabelle who I call for accountability and support. Last month we both set goals for the coming 6 months and every 2 weeks we check in to see how we’re doing with our businesses and our lives.
Because life is dynamic, sometimes we seem to be “on track” and sometimes not so much. Sometimes our goals need to be revised because our vision shifts or because something in our lives or in our health needs attention. This is all part of the journey! The point is not to do it perfectly, or to obsess about wandering around off-road for awhile. The whole point of setting goals and checking in is to remind each other of what we value most and to help each other get there.
If you’re struggling to make choices that support you and the life you want to live, reach out for help. An acupuncturist or a therapist can help you understand what your big-picture vision is, and they can help you prioritize small changes that can support this vision. A good friend, like my buddy Annabelle, can help you do this too.
What matters to you most? What brings you joy? Take some time with yourself to really check in. Be willing to be surprised.
Summer is the time of year governed by the Heart in Chinese Medicine. What is your heart thirsting for?
I hope that you can enjoy this summer and drink in some joy. This is a season for play and for passion. This is a great time of year to get curious, to be open to new experiences. Be bold this summer. Don’t let your mind trump your heart. Try something new that you’ve been thirsting for, and let me know how it goes!
Wishing you a happy heart,