‘Small steps are big steps,’ ~ one of the paradoxes that make up life. There are so many directions this month’s blog could go on the topic but let me start by posing a question to you.
What goes into the feeling or awareness of a big step?
I would say for me it would be either a sense of climax or pivot happening because of the step or be one of those moments in life that take more—like courage in the face of great fear or risk in the face of great uncertainty.
But the step is always a step.
And one step is just that- one step.
It is like Neil Armstrong’s statement when he took the first human step on the moon
‘One step for man is one giant step for mankind.’
So what comes to me in light of this, is the quality of our steps….
I remember during my honeymoon phase with the Beloved there would be moments of dancing wildly on fire with love out in nature, singing songs to my Love. These were steps of tremendous consolation. During that honeymoon phase I would also find moments of not feeling so connected and sing to my Love a song from the movie Brother Sun, Sister Moon.
The song goes like this:
‘Bro-the-er Sun….and Si-i-ste-er Moon
I seldom see you, seldom hear your tune.
Preoccupied with selfish misery…’
Even though I was singing a song of separation from myself, and hence from the Beloved, the propelling force of the singing and running in nature was Presence happening in me.
It was a step. A small step.
It may have seemed insignificant because it was not dripping with consolation
yet was just as full of Presence.
We have many choices as we take our steps.
When times are tough, taking one step can make the moment manageable. It can redirect the attention away from the magnitude of the challenge and bring it down to the moment which is manageable. It can also provide strength, knowing that ‘this too shall pass.’
We can use the awareness in difficult moments that taking one step
will give us the strength to make it to times that are easier that will come.
We can also develop the ability to full accept the small step as IT.
Without any anchoring perspective that it is a stepping stone.
This brings us to a level of Presence that will yield a consolation
quite different, quite light, yet all penetrating.
I liken it to awakening experiences that renowned teachers have had.
Adyashanti, one spiritual teacher, says that he came to a point that he, ‘gave up,’ during one of his Zen sits…and in that moment everything in him shifted. And John of the Cross said once as he aspired to union with God, ‘none can reach it,’ from which he ‘realized his prey,’
This example gives us the opportunity to inquire into our motivations….when things are uncomfortable or difficult does our surrender have the tone of defeatism? or the tone of confident releasing? When I was running in nature singing that song, it was not from a place of self-criticism that I should be doing better, but rather from the place of joyful gentleness in the face of my human weakness and distraction. Since it was the latter, it carried with it a consolation that filled my cup.
How can you recognize every one of your small steps as big steps today?