"Small steps, Spark. Small steps."
This is one of my favorite lines from the movie Contact, starring Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey from 1997. Seemingly a sci-fi movie, it turned out for me to be very spiritual. Foster's character Ellie hears this quote multiple times from her beloved father. He guides her to be patient in her scientific research, and it sets the audience up for a deep and moving story. From time to time I think of this simple line. When things are particularly challenging or overwhelming, I sometimes hear this line in my head. "Small steps, Brandi. Small steps."
For many of us, small steps are incredibly difficult. We need reminders that things don't happen all at once. I am not a patient person, and my guess is neither are you. And when things look bleak, and things don't seem to be changing, the hope of tiresome small steps can be doggedly depressing. We don't know if things will ever change, ever get better, ever go back to normal. Small steps are NOT easy. Right now this feels awfully close to home.
It was helpful to find a little social media reminder today, saying, "Focus on the step in front of you. Not the entire staircase."
Slow and steady may win the proverbial race, but we also relate to the tortoise as the rabbit runs circles around us. What is challenging you today? What rabbit is circling you? What staircase is staring you down? Where do you need to commit to small steps? Where can you celebrate small victories? Who can be on your team of encouragers right now?
British-Indian poet, playwright, writer and illustrator Nikita Gill reminds us:
Everyday is not an opportunity to improve yourself.
Some days are just there for you to accept yourself and look at the clouds.
This too is growth.
This too is rising.
Just existing is enough on some days.
The flowers do it everyday and make the world more beautiful just by being here.
So do you.
Small steps, dear one, small steps.