In all the hustle and bustle of life and trying to do our best and be our best we sometimes forget that it can be the little things, the simple things that can make an extraordinary difference. We sometimes believe that it is the big statements, the complex experiences, the hard-to-do exercises, the huge effort that will shift us, that will move us toward alignment and progress, that will ultimately deliver our deepest connections and desires.
Whilst this is possible we can also remember that there is immense power in the effortless, the simple and the things that are sometimes even easier to do.
The social norm and narrative growing up was always hard work gets you the results, lots of effort is the only way to get success. Such that if anything came your way that wasn’t earned through grit, determination, sacrifice then deep down you never felt it was truly deserved. Any real development or personal progress came through blood, sweat and tears. Whilst this is changing and our beliefs are much broader and open now, being alert to that our original narrative can be the default.
A few years ago there was a study to measure people’s tolerance to pain. It was done by putting their feet in to ice baths to see how long it would take before they leapt out due to sheer agony. (In case you were wondering right now, this was pre-Wim Hoff). What was fascinating was that when the people had others surrounding them with encouraging words they were able to withstand the pain twice as long as when they were on their own. Just with encouraging words alone – nothing tricked up or fancy – they were able to improve their resilience and go that much further.
There are plenty of stories out in the world about other such incredible feats solely achieved because the people, either individuals or groups were encouraged to believe that they could – simply through encouragement, big and profound change has been achieved.
Luckily, our daily meditation practice helps us to remember and strengthen the belief that being effortless, easy and simple can lead to significant changes. Consider how appreciation and encouragement for others, ourselves and our environment is purely a natural extension of it in action in our eyes open state.