Big acts of bravery are just a series of small steps. #notestoself

Yesterday I was sitting in a coffee shop getting my current daily writing challenge done and I couldn’t help but overhear the enthusiastic conversation going on the table next to me.  Four women having post workout drinks, snippets of conversation drifted over to me.

One released 60lbs and feels better than ever.  The conversation turned to stomach stapling (she is a nurse) and the lack of additional support given by insurance companies.

As they chatted my mind screamed, they are your people-talk to them.  Which was immediately followed by, are you out of your mind, I can’t just walk up to strangers and talk to them.

All the while, my fingers did their thing while my ears confirmed they were talking my kind of talk.  In a world of alleged connectedness, here I was flailing around in my mind about speaking to four beautiful souls.

Putting my computer in my bag and getting ready to leave, I still felt conflicted, I wanted to walk straight out of the door but something else was pulling at me, reminding me to get over myself.

I’d just given a workshop on Lessons from Fear two days earlier, and here I was getting all fearful about introducing myself to four awesome, local women.  What did I have to lose?  What the hell was I afraid of anyway?  And just about as soon as that question formed in my mind, it answered itself, rejection and the fear of being perceived as pushy.

I’ve been rejected before and survived, I teach that every no is one step closer to yes, a and as for being pushy, I truly had no agenda other than just saying hi to real people who happened to also be sitting in a local coffee shop – it’s the kind of thing we used to do more of before we, me included, sat behind laptops or glued to our phones.

That was one of the things that attracted me to these sweet souls, they didn’t have their phones out and they sustained an interesting conversation for the duration of my stay.  I zipped up my bag, I was ready to leave.  And there was the tug again.  I had to do it, it might seem like a silly thing to get in a tizz about, but for an introvert like me, it’s always a big step to speak out to people I have yet to meet.  Perhaps you can relate.  And no most introverts are not the proverbially church mouse you might expect, more on that in another post.

So I took a step closer to their table, took in a deep breath as I caught Annie’s eye and introduced myself.  She had the warmest smile as she looked up from the conversation to me hovering at the side of their table.  It wasn’t the smoothest intro I have ever given, but it broke the ice and got to chat with them for a few minutes before leaving them once again to their original conversation.

Walking out to the car I felt lighter, there was a little piece of me inside that was happy I listened to the tug inside asking me to step a little out of my comfort zone and risk rejection in the name of connection.

Where will it lead?  Who knows, and to be honest it doesn’t matter, it’s not about what will come, but more about the step that was taken.  What will be will be, but in the meantime I flexed my “I did it” muscles and in the mind gym, that’s one of the most powerful moves we can engage our mind with.

That which is stretched can never return to its original form.  And that includes the mind.  It’s the smallest step that can take us in the direction of a new way of being.

I have always marveled at how big acts of bravery are often misconstrued as being big acts of action, rather than being seen for what they really are, a series of small steps, one taken after the other.

And sometimes taking the risk works out, like this time, and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s not the outcome that matters, it’s the steps taken to get there, and the the stretching that happens each time we step out of our comfort zone and into unknown possibilities.  Like all journeys, it’s all about taking small steps, over time, in the right direction, fall down, get back up, celebrate every step.

So today as I sit here,  I am choosing to celebrate that small step I took yesterday.  It feel so much better to have something positive to focus on when there are so many other things that want to grab my mind and take it in a different direction.  Step by step, or rather small stone by small stone, we can move mountains, and celebrate the ups and the downs along the way as part of the very fabric of a life that feels better.

How about you? Do you hear your mind whispering for you to take a small step out of your comfort zone? Do you bolt for the nearest exit, or do you take a take a deep breath and step to the side?

Of course being a human being feeling my way on the planet, I don’t always get it right, or hear the signal, and that’s just it, it’s not about getting it right, it’s about getting it started :).  So don’t worry so much about getting it right, what does that mean anyway, just get it started, take that next step and see where it takes you.  You never know where a change in direction will lead, and it all begins with the smallest of steps.

Sending you so much love, I will be back tomorrow with a the easiest, tastiest, caramelized baked tofu recipe you have ever had the delight of making and eating-yep it’s that good, come see for yourself.

Alone we can do so much, together we can do so much more.

Always in love, sat nam.