“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”
Doesn’t this sound like the practice of Yoga to you? Whether you came to Yoga because of pain or stress, or exercise, or for peace, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting a great and powerful result, for oneself or even for all beings. The amazing Helen Keller reminds us here that it is great attention to small acts that bring lasting results,
to self and for all.
What is it that brings you to attend to the small, the ordinary, the mundane? What shifts you to a state of love, really, so that every ounce of you is gathered, here, now. What is it that brings you to invite awe, to bring a quality that might be defined as sacred to each habitual task?
For me, while I have several reliable forays into this quality, one of my favorites is watching the birds soar. Both the tiny lesser goldfinches that flitter about my neighborhood and the powerful red-tailed hawks circling above me on their hunt, can drop me into that quality of knowing that I am but an iota in the big picture, and that I, like all living creatures, are cut from the same glorious cloth.
And what a tapestry we are!
The other pathway inward for me is the practice of Pranayama, which always serves to gather and center my attention. I invite you — perhaps right now! — to take 5 slow and steady breaths… adding a wee pause at the top each inhale, and another at the end of each exhale. See if that simple act doesn’t take you to this sweet place, too.