I am delightfully surprised. One of the things I love the most when I experiment new things like I’m doing right now, is to rediscover myself, or at least parts of myself. There’s always a sense of seeing myself with more perspective that accompanies this kind of change, strengthened by my curiosity. I make sure I focus on observing myself, and because I do, I see myself differently.
Since I’m also in the middle of experimenting a different way of living, I’m naturally more open to try new things.
Today, I went cycling, even if I felt really tired. Yeah, I know, it doesn't sound like much. But if you knew me and my lifelong aversion to exercise, you'd know it is kind of a big deal.
I knew nothing really dangerous would happen : we cycle on special pathways and I was going quite slow compared to my usual speed. I also didn’t plan to go very far.
But the fact that I went out despite feeling like I didn’t have the energy to do so challenged the belief that I couldn’t move and the one, even more powerful, that I need to be in good form to do so, when part of me very well know (rationally at least) that physical exercise is actually energizing. That is such an important shift for me, as slow as it can feel right now. Doing is a very powerful wy of knowing.
What carries me in those moments is knowing from the bottom of my heart that each tiny step counts. This is such a precious certainty to have. But I also know it’s not natural at all, which is also encouraging. Anyone who read my texts on my past know that this was learned. I used to get discouraged at the slightest sign of mediocre performance or hardship.
Finding ways in which experimenting hardship, but also play, freedom, letting go in safer spaces is instrumental in developing that sense of trusting oneself.
There’s a lot of reassurance in the ideas that :
if it’s hard, we can learn to find ease;
if we are not good at something, we can improve;
we can play, experimenting freedom, letting go of control, in ways that feel less scary, like art, smaller kinder communities, safe relationships…
For me, experimenting with all of those at different points was fundamental to feel safe enough to try new things. And it’s a big part of my work with my clients/patients. We design little experiments, starting from where we are at, allowing us to make little steps in the direction we want to take.
It doesn’t have to be big, on the contrary, if it’s small, there’s more chance we will do it. And the action part is the most important. There’s not much I’ve seen devastate people with shame and helplessness as efficiently as inertia does. No matter what we want to do, as long as we are open to learn and experiment, to be imperfect, and show up anyway, the tiny steps really do matter, more than the big ones even.
Our inner critic will show up and won’t think it’s good enough. They will judge, criticize, diminish. But if we keep showing up anyway, in the smallest ways, we allow a shift in our mindset to happen. We stop feeding the idea that we are helpless in those situations, and instead take the power than we can get and start from there.
What annoying, frustrating or painful belief can you challenge in tiny ways, to keep going towards what matters to you, my dear hummingbird?