“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
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.