Drip, Drip, Drip: Small Steps = Big Changes

What is one thing that you’ve wanted to accomplish lately (or all your life)?

What are the fears that are keeping you from doing it?

What is one small step you can take – today – to soften resistance?

For me lately it has been a desire to cultivate and devote more time to one of my all-time loves: photography. And last week, when I found out that a teacher whom I’ve admired for some time is going to be in town teaching one of her programs, I jumped at the opportunity to study with her.

Well, not exactly.

No. I didn’t dive in. I “dripped” in: I put my toe into the idea and swished it around.

I waded and waited. I expanded. I contracted. I talked myself into it. I talked myself out of it. I hemmed and I hawed… and basically followed a “clearing process” which looked something like this:

Step 1: Check my calendar and make sure I can do this.

Step 2: Check that I have enough to fund this extra-curricular activity and set it aside.

Step 3: Watch my mind play games with my heart and try to derail my efforts: It’s too expensive…It’s too long… It’s too far away… What if it’s too hard… What if I don’t like it… I don’t need a class…

Step 4: Breathe into and allow the fears, objections, tightnesses (aka resistance), to come and go without judging them (or me for having them) until the “stuck energy” starts to lighten and lift. [Note: this step is key]

Step 5:  Go online, and sign up for the class.

Drip. Drip. Drip…  

Step 6: Repeat Steps 3 and 4 every time Monkey Mind starts ranting again: Yikes, I did it!… Can I get my money back?…  The class is next week…!

Now maybe my example is too big a challenge for you to chew on right now. Maybe all you want is to reduce your caffeine intake, for example. If you break it down into small doable, conscious steps, this is what your “slow drip” steps might look like:

Step 1: Set the intention that you will drink one less sip of coffee a day.

Step 2: Pour a bit less coffee or tea into your cup than you’re used to.

Step 3: Watch your mind play games with you.

Step 4: Breathe into (clear) the resisting patterns.

Step 5: Sip slowly and notice how it feels.

Step 6: Repeat Steps 1-5 tomorrow, and every day for a week, and notice what happens. Notice the shifts, not only to your caffeine consumption, but how this practice morphs into clearing of other “consumptions” as well…

And if you’re game, share your experiences in the comment thread. (We’d love to know!)

You see, it’s not about the issue or the desired outcome, it is how you relate to it that can change everything.

Want more? Enjoy this fun posting below by Elizabeth Gilbert to inspire you. [Can’t see it? Click the “For Better Viewing” link above]


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  • Monica

    Stephanie, I just started your course, A Year to Clear, on Dailyom. That led me here. Coincidentally, today is the day I’m going to try to quit coffee as a morning ritual. I want to be open to consuming it occasionally, but more as a treat than a necessity. A few weeks ago, I drank several cups a day. The last couple of weeks, I’ve limited it to two. Today, I just had one and wasn’t sure how or if to let that last one go. Sip by sip, as you explained above is perfect! I’m so glad I found you today! Thank you!