Our minds have been trained by adventure and thrilling stories, and action movies, that the world is changed by brave heroes on grand adventures. However, in reality, the world is changed one washed plate or bowl at a time. But you won’t believe me.
LITTLE THINGS THAT CREATE POSITIVE IMPACT
We believe that only the great acts matter. But remember the lesson from the raindrops: a trickle of water erodes the hardest rock if you give it enough time. We should remember these miracles are happening everywhere and every day.
You and I pick up the shoes in their correct place, we light a candle near the window, we feed the stray dog, tip toe in or out of the room because our partner is asleep and so peaceful. We wipe dripping noses, and make breakfast in bed, enfold a friend in our arms, and cry at the end of a touching story. And the heartbeat of all these things keeps our world spinning.
HOW TO PRACTISE
You don’t need to write the next bestselling book, or produce a blockbuster film.
Just communicate the stories that are in your heart and express the emotions you feel to the people in your life.
After a death, tell the tales that turn your tears into laughter, and then back to tears.
Dare to laugh in the hospital ward.
Tell the silly stories to a sleepy child filled with anxiety.
Tell the stories of your parents for the thousandth time to their grandchildren so that they know their own history.
Wash the dishes as if the destiny of the world hangs on the gentle swish of the soapy sponge. Stack them in the cabinet as if you are building the future, one bowl at a time.
Sit and be still ! Take a moment !
Be still for longer than you thought you had in you. Watch the light move across the wall, the spider spin its web in the corner of the room, or the squirrels running up and down in the tree behind the house.
That is enough. Some days it is all there is.
Light the candle. Yes, the one you love the smell of and were saving for the right time. That time is now. Watch the flame, or close your eyes. Listen to the sounds around you. Do a load of laundry or dishes. Wash away the past and prepare a clean slate for whatever comes next.
Trust that everyone around you, behind doors and windows, your neighbours are doing the exact same thing. Washing, and reading, and sitting, crying and laughing, because they are. Human, and more similar than we are different. Each of us building the world one bowl, one shoe, one rubbed back at a time. And if only we knew.
Cry, when you need to., Cry, especially if you’ve been taught not to.
Hold one another tight. Hold with arms, or hearts, or in the mind’s eye. Don’t let go until their breathing comes a little calmer.
Bake or order that cake. Forget the diet. Stop starving your beautiful, beloved body and taste the miracle of flavour and nourishment. You alchemist of bliss.
That it is sacred. What you ask? Everything. The trees, the mountains, the birds, the wind in the pine trees, the sound of children laughing and giggling, the curve of your belly, your tears, your rage, your racing heart, your aches and your pain. Everything.
I do not have for you a plan to make your life or the world right. The only thing I can tell you is, listen to the trees, and each other, and let your heart grow big and soft and open. Breathe. And know that every breath is a blessing. And consider every exhalation an exchange, a gift to that world that keeps you alive.
Breathe. Wash the dishes. Listen to the wind. Live. Love. Laugh.
Sometimes your gut will tell you that it isn’t enough or fast enough or hard enough. Try to silence your gut. Even if you fail at it, take one step anyway. And together, we will arrive. Each step is a blessing, an offering, to whatever you may choose. Because the beauty is in the doing, whether you do it with hesitation or with boldness.
That’s it, that is our sacred, blessed life; in this sacred and divine world.
And I have no bigger blessing for you than this: keep going.