A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a little book with a little title:
Despite its name and its size, this book has a lot of BIG ideas in it. It’s a quick read, even though I haven’t finished it yet, but I can already say that this is a wonderful book to read to get yourself started on any kind of change you might want to make in your life. Using the Japanese principle of “kaizen” (which actually came from an American in the first place) or “change for the better” with small steps, this process helps one get over the fear of change in the first place by using tiny increments of change vs one huge change.
For instance, since I want to do more exercise, but summer really turns me off with its heat, I decided I would try to do one tiny step towards exercising more. One of the things that I don’t like about my job is that I sit still entirely too much. So, I thought, what is one TINY thing that I can do that will keep me from sitting so much? I thought, every 2 hours I can get up and do one complete yoga sun salutation. This is a basic yoga move that incorporates standing, balance, strength and inversion postures in one (ideally) fluid sequence. So, for the last couple of days, I brought my extra travel alarm clock and put it on my desk. Beginning just before I’m due at work at 7 a.m. I do a bit of yoga, then when I get to my desk, I set the alarm for a bit after 9. When it goes off, I go to my meditation room, do ONE full sun salutation and come back to my desk and set my alarm for the next 2 hours and so on, until I’m done.
Today, I managed all the sun salutations until 1 pm. I didn’t do the last one because I went to get my hair cut at 3:30 (YAY!) and worked till just before I had to leave.
It felt good. Each time I did the posture, I felt (and heard) my bones and joints crack, but the stretch was welcome and much needed. I can feel that I am improving in chaturanga dandasana or “staff pose”. This is hard for me–more intense than a push up and requiring great arm strength and balance. Each time I do the pose I feel a bit more comfortable, so doing it 8 times in one day is a good thing. My breathing in time with the sequence is improving, too and so are my lunges. This is just one example of a small step making a big improvement. I’m keeping the alarm clock down here, too, because it grabs my attention in a way that just looking at a clock and noticing 2 hours have passed doesn’t.
I feel more encouraged now about my exercising, about being more accepting of how I’m doing things. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who might be looking at trying to change something in their life but isn’t sure how to even get started.
I’ve taken some good small steps towards changing my eating habits. They feel good. This step in the yoga/exercise routine feels good, too. Using this method, I might even be able to get the rest of my office cleaned up, and that would be a VERY good thing!
What about you? What small steps do you think you could take towards making a big change that you’ve been wanting to do? Remember, even thinking the thought of making a change is a step.
The threshold is waiting…