The World is Made of Tiny Matters

The older I get, the more I’m conscious of ways very small things can make a change in the world. Tiny little things, but the world is made up of tiny matters, isn’t it? Sandra Cisneros

Meditations in Motion

I was running on a bike path near my house the other day when I happened to look down at my feet. “I’m throwing my left foot out to the side every time I stride,” I thought to myself. My left leg and hip are injured. I was changing my stride to accommodate the injury.

I immediately thought back to my “Chi Running” principles. One of them goes something like this, “Imagine your feet are on train tracks. Point them straight ahead.” I made a miniscule adjustment and was amazed at how much more relaxed I felt. That one small change allowed me to continue running. If I hadn’t made it, I would have been ready for a walk break. Progress.

The success of that one tiny modification made me think: “What other small changes could I make that would have a big impact?

Meditations in Motion

One that immediately comes to mind is to smile more often. My hubby would disagree with this one. He thinks smiling gives you more wrinkles. I notice a difference, however, when I make eye contact with people I am passing while running or walking and smile. Most people will smile back, and smiling releases a small amount of dopamine in your brain, which makes you feel good. It’s one simple way to spread happiness and make the world a little bit brighter.

Meditations in Motion

If a task seems insurmountable, I am easily overwhelmed. I feel better if I break it into chunks. The whole house needs to be cleaned? How about if I start by vacuuming one room. I need to train to run a marathon? Just begin putting one foot in front of the other, gradually building up my mileage half a mile at a time, until I can run 26.2 miles. This allows me to celebrate small accomplishments along the way (maybe with a tall glass of cold chocolate milk!). If I don’t think about the entire project all at once, I will get more accomplished.

Meditations in Motion

Give something new a try. This picture of a bee represents two things. First, I am not a good photographer but I would like to get better. I am practicing by taking pictures of objects in my yard. When I saw this bumble bee on the vinca, I thought it would make a good picture, and I think it came out pretty well. Second, when I was a kid, we caught this type of bumble bee (they have white dots on their heads) in our hands, but lately, I have been too chicken. I am proud to report, I caught this bee in my hand. They do not have stingers. These fleeting moments of happiness were brought about because I was willing to give them a try.

The World is Made of Tiny Matters

Remember that everyone matters. If I disagree with someone, I have a tendency to be dismissive, and I always think I am right.  Adjusting my mindset so that I take everyone’s views into account, even if I don’t agree with that person, promotes peace and harmony. Everyone has the right to respect, dignity, and the courtesy of being heard. Other people’s opinions matter just as much as mine do (as hard as that is for me to believe). “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” We are all part of the same body.

Meditations in Motion

Cook. Yes, cook at home more often. My hubby and I have gotten into the habit of going out for dinner each weekend. Add this to going out with the running club Tuesday nights, and some weeks we are going out to eat more often than we eat dinner at home. Now, this is something we both love. Bill, especially, is a foodie, but I am a good cook (if I do say so myself), and I love to cook if I have the time. On the weekends, I often have the time. When I cook at home, we tend to eat better, take smaller portions, and spend less money. I am not going to suggest that we never go out for dinner, and completely deny ourselves that pleasure, but I think we could go out less often.

These are five small changes I could make that may potentially have a big impact. The trick is to remember to do them! I could start tonight, I have a new recipe for vegetable stromboli that sounds good for dinner. Served with a smile!

What small changes could you make that would make a big difference?

 

I am linking up with Jessica and Amy at Live Life Well, Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for their Friday 5, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Crystal Twaddell for Fresh Market Friday, Spiritual Sundays for Welcome, Embracing the Unexpected for Grace and Truth, The Blended Blog for Friday Loves, Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for their Weekly Wrap, Just a Second for Scripture and a Snapshot, Peabea Photography for Sunday Scripture Blessings, A Jar Full of Marigolds for Selah, Anita Ojeda for Inspire Me Monday, and Counting My Blessings for Faith ‘n Friends.

 

 

 

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57 comments

  1. Generally we only eat out once a week. Which happens to be tonight. 🙂 I do like to cook, but it can become a chore sometimes, too.

    One small change i made this month was getting back to meal planning. Since I don’t work I don’t really have to do the whole weekend meal prep thing, but I like to just jot down a few recipes (and where they can be found!) on the weekends so I have a plan. I definitely eat better when I do this.

    And my immediate thought is “she’s running! whoohoo!”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hope you had a great night out!
      I do meal planning too. I like to have e grocery list so I can minimize my trips to the grocery store. I’m ashamed to tell you this, but I try to get through the grocery store as fast as possible. I always run into former students or parents of former students, and get tied up in the store for a long time! I like to keep my head down, get in and get out!

      I am running – very slowly! Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is so true that small changes can make a huge difference in our perspective, our focus, and in our attitude. I love the quote and am glad we were neighbors this morning 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I continue to work on being more patient. That has always been an issue for me.

    I noticed the same thing about my left foot this week! I don’t know why I’m doing it–I’m not injured–and I corrected myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Do all those and that is a LOT of changes! Or a BIG change. I have made a conscious effort to be less irritable with the kids when given reason to be, and it us working well. I also tend to be dismissive of those who disagree with my blindingly brilliant opinions on things! So could do with toning that down (or hiding it better!) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, right? One summer, I made it my mission to get this grumpy guy to wave or say hi to me. I passed him every morning on my run, and he never acknowledged me. By the end of the summer, he was saying “hi”. I won! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have noticed the very same thing about smiling at random people.
    And I SO appreciate that running information.I’m trying to work my way up to running, slowly–short distances a couple of times a day. When I go out this afternoon, I want to see what my feet are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whenever I go to the grocery store, I always see former students and/or parents of former students. I live in the same little town I used to teach in. If I’m in a hurry, I tend to keep my head down and charge ahead! Smiling at people is a better idea! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So much good stuff here. I know my body as well will automatically move parts to avoid pain. I have issues with my knees because of issues with my feet which is why the surgeries. But my leg would automatically roll out from the hip to minimize pain – similar to what I think you were describing. Our bodies are amazing.
    I also agree with you about smiling. I look at it like smiling make others wonder what you are thinking which makes other grin and start thinking and so on. Smiling with friends increases your friendship ass it approves and show approval. Smiling is a gift from God and can sometimes be used to diffuse tense situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s amazing how everything is connected, isn’t it? Pain in one part of the body seems to radiate to other parts.
      It’s crazy how much good can come from smiling. And, I’m always for keeping others wondering! 🙂

      Like

  7. Absolutely YES to smiling more. I have no doubt at all that it changes things for the better. We have tried the Home Chef delivery service for 3 meals a week to help with our “what’s for dinner” problem and it has been very helpful. We even cook together now more than we ever did. Thanks for the reminder about one small change. I need to keep that in mind with my healthy eating goals.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so awesome! I love your small changes that could have a big impact. One of my favorite things to do in the store is smile at others. I just thought it was a nice thing to do. Now that I have read this, the idea hit me that it is having a larger impact than I realized. When they smile back THEY are getting dopamine! I did that! That is pretty sweet! God works in wonderful ways!

    Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!

    Blessings,

    Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoyed reading this post Laurie. I do smile when out, especially at the Park. Most of the people smile or make a remark about the weather, but there are some people who pointedly look down at the ground and refuse to make eye contact with anyone which I don’t understand. Someone told me eons ago that you make more wrinkles frowning than smiling. Good news to remember. And there are people who are constantly staring at their phones and not enjoying the morning walk to the fullest. As to me, I wish I could be as organized as I used to be – increased blogging has made me forsake other things and I enjoy the interaction so I’m not about to give any of that up, but I need to be organized with my life. A good New Year’s resolution.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Linda. One summer I made it my mission to get some kind of response from an older gentleman I passed every morning on the bike path below my house. We literally were within a foot of each other on the narrow path and he would not return my “Hello” or wave. By the end of the summer, I finally got him to respond. Now he is very friendly. I won! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good for you Laurie. I similarly have tried to speak to a few people who seem almost catatonic on the walking path – they don’t look at the nature around them, just walk without giving people the time of day, almost like an automoton. That bothers me too. Most of the people at Council Point Park are very friendly.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Any wrinkles I have from smiling (as opposed to the ones I have from spending too much time in the sun or just due to aging) are ok with me. I love to smile at people and get a smile back. We hardly eat dinner out at all, much preferring dining at home. And, my favorite thing to make is leftovers… just microwave and enjoy again 😁.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your posts are always a worthwhile read, Laurie, and this one is no exception. I can attest to the transformative power of smiling: I am not by nature a morning person and I don’t think of myself as a particularly cheery person, but my job requires me to spend the earliest part of the school day patrolling the campus, directing traffic as parents drop off their kids, etc. I make it a practice to smile and wave at everyone I possibly can, and after 20 minutes of that (and getting lots of smiles and waves back) all shreds of morning reluctance and grumpiness have melted away. Wasn’t it Mother Theresa who mentioned only being able to do small things, but with great love?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jan. I am so glad to hear you think my posts are worth your time! I can remember attending parents’ nights where my face hurt afterward from smiling so much. Just checked on the quote – it WAS Mother Theresa. Wonderful advice!

      Like

  12. Little things truly can make a big difference! I am trying to develop the habit of paying sincere compliments to people regularly. Just telling someone they did a good job of something, have a beautiful smile, or that I appreciated their help can give them such a lift. Speaking the words doesn’t come naturally to me – I’m not sure why – but I’m working on that, and asking God to help me be an encouraging voice to others as much as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. When growing up it seemed everyone smiled when out and about. I am sad some days when going out to stores. People are so occupied anymore that they barely make eye contact let alone smile, but you are right, when it does happen, it makes for a better day. Sometimes there is the plus of greeting a speaking with someone about groceries, etc. Great reminder of the small things in our world. Did not know about the running train track tip. Will have to remember that one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lol at your husband’s smiling causes wrinkles comment! I’ve always been a smiler. Then my cousin and his wife told me how they’ve seen me out grocery shopping several times, and I never saw them. They even honked and waved, and I didn’t even turn my head. I blamed the kids! Haha! I said “you have no idea how hard I’m trying to keep it together with 2 young kids grocery shopping. I’m just trying to make it.”

    My small change that I know will have a big impact is thinking of my kids as a joy…no matter what the situation. They are a joy, of course. Yet on the day in and the day out of homeschooling and taking care of little ones 24/7 I realize that I tend to focus more on the work and the fatigue than the joy. This shows in my responses and attitude. It’s sad to admit, but true. Thank you for posing this question and for sharing with us at #LiveLifeWell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was just talking with my youngest son this morning (he has 2 boys himself) about just how stressful it is to be in charge of little ones’ safety and well-being 24/7. You sometimes don’t realize it until after they grow up a little bit and you can look back on that time in your life.

      My hubby has a very dry sense of humor! 🙂

      Like

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