Faced with a rapidly changing world it is not unusual that many seekers still get stuck on the big things: the challenges we face personally, the goals that appear unattainable, the critical state of the world – so much needs to be done. As a consequence, I am used to seeing many seekers caught in a trap of their own mind’s defeat.
This is a natural outcome when the mind spends so much time thinking about the end of the road and counting up all the steps that are in between. It’s no wonder that our minds simply feel overwhelmed and incapable of achieving anything so large.
Yet despite the obvious futility of approaching life this way, it still remains the typical track that most people are running on. The little things don’t seem grand enough or valid enough to the mind. The ego likes to pass off the little moments as insignificant – even as a nuisance.
How many times have you heard the saying – “The little things are sent to try us”? In other words it is the grit in our shoe that we want to blame for our discomfort. There are various versions of this saying and in each instance, even though the statement may imply an opportunity to stretch one’s patience a little further, really it’s just a smoke screen, an attempt to divert attention from the impatient ego. So what if instead we could say “The little things are sent to improve us”?
What if we had a change of heart, humbled our ego, let go of those grand measures and spent more time looking at the little things? What if we learned to truly appreciate the value of the little grains of sand; each precious little moment? Most of us have heard about the universal laws – how we see creates what we believe and manifests what we receive. So if we spend so much time grumbling about the little grains of sand, abusing them or at best ignoring them then why would we be surprised if pretty soon we’re in an avalanche?
I understand how we all deeply ache for outcomes; the heart truly desires to achieve goals, to be successful or to be enlightened. Yet, no matter which of these takes our fancy there is still only one way we undertake the journey: each little moment by each little moment, each little thought by each little thought, word by word, act by act. So, when seekers ask me how, “but how do I do it?” I refer again and again to the little grains.
If we truly seek to be all that we can be, then we simply cannot afford to ignore the little things, the little moments. This doesn’t mean we forget about our vision or the bigger picture altogether. But it does mean that we approach our vision from the right level. The very substance of the mountain we seek to create or stand atop of IS made of every little grain. And, the best we can ever be IS what we are in the moment – for all we ever are is what we are in each moment. Every little grain of our being takes on the form of our attitude with each moment, with every little event. Each grain is building the mountain of our appearing reality. The level at which every thing is created is the constant level of the now – the absolute presence of every LITTLE thing of every little moment. And, let us also emphasise – EVERY little thing. That means our attitude and response to: the car that wants to suddenly turn in front of you or the checkout chick who is having a grumbly day and is rude to you, or the bill that turns up unexpectedly – all those little things that were sent to… !
Really the little things are sent to improve us. They are the invitation of the Universe saying – Hey, do you want to create a better version? It’s the story of evolution…it’s why frogs, birds, and hedgehogs start marching up the mountains to higher grounds when mankind heats the world up by just one more degree. It’s why foxes in the searing savannah have long ears whilst foxes in the arctic have short ones. They didn’t grumble, they responded. And if they didn’t the fox in the desert wouldn’t keep itself cool and the fox in the snow would freeze his ears off! Nature responds, moment by moment, one little degree at a time.
So, when it comes to our evolution, the shedding of the ego, the awakening of our consciousness, why would it be any different? Why do we not see that every little drop (of every little person) counts when we are all part of the drought? Or that each little absent thought of resentment, or each moment absent of thought (or more mindful awareness) is the creative substance for our own unconscious suffering: moments when precious drops escape us, moments when our grains are filled with the ego’s destructive nature?
If you can make it your simple heart’s vow every day that you will pay attention to each little moment you will create a major shift just through that one simple act.
Then if you can make it your heart’s vow every day that you will accept each little moment you will create an even bigger shift through just one simple attitude.
With each little moment of acceptance your eyes will begin to see the true nature of what is happening around you. Your ears will hear what underlies the moment. Your mind will be lit up with greater wisdom, your heart will fill up with gratitude and your form will become an act of virtue. It is when we appreciate each and every moment that we can embrace what it is giving us and in return we give it our best. If the substance of each little moment of our life is our best then we don’t have to worry about the rest. This is where grace comes in. Our life then becomes a flow of ease, power, love and beauty. This is the substance of all success. All that is great has come from that which is small.
Blessed be the little things!
Originally published in InnerSelf Newspaper © 2008 Isira Sananda All rights reserved