I love transformation…
I love all that shit. Because I love transformation.
I even loved Transformer toys when I was a little girl. Actually, I had black Transformer sneakers with hologram Transformer images on the sides of them when I was six.
One particularly traumatic day in the girls’ bathroom, all the girls started screaming “there’s a boy in the bathroom!” Because they saw my black ‘boys’ Transformer sneakers under the stall door.
They were pounding on the door trying to get me to open it up and reveal myself. That particular day, I happened to be in the stall with a broken lock so I had to brace myself, pants down, as hard as I could against the door so they couldn’t get in.
I wound up holding in my pee for hours after that from sheer terror.
But did I stop wearing those Transformer sneakers? No.
Because even then I loved transformation, if just in the form of a toy image on a sneaker. I loved the idea that something could completely change into something new.
However, transformation is sneaky.
It doesn’t usually stick if you try to do it in one big fell swoop.
If you try to suddenly change to a new career, or a new diet, or a new way of asserting boundaries, or a new personal style… you often get snapped back to the old familiar way of doing things.
Too big of a change, too soon, is a lot for the nervous system to handle.
A big leap, when you aren’t actually ready for it, can boomerang you back to the starting point. Then you sigh and say, well, I guess I can’t do/have/be that.
But you can! You just might not be able to get there so quickly.
Which brings me to the topic of this note: how small shifts are a BIG deal.
This is a lesson I learned through my own trauma resolution practice. It’s the little shifts that make for big long-term change. They change your course by a degree, which feels insignificant in the moment, but that degree of change will land you in a totally new place weeks and months down the line.
James Clear wrote a book called Atomic Habits, about how an accumulation of tiny habit changes are what add up to major changes… much more so than trying to do a big behavioral overhaul on yourself.
Some notable quotes:
“Changes that seem small and unimportant at first will compound into remarkable results if you’re willing to stick with them for years” (p. 7).
“It’s so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis.” (p. 15)
“Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the potential required to unleash a major change.” (p. 20)
I share this with you because I want to encourage you to blow up your tiny wins, in order to strengthen and fortify those little shifts in yourself.
Celebrate how you said “no thanks” and set a boundary you normally wouldn’t.
Jump for joy at the fact that you finally flossed your teeth two days in a row.
Sit quietly for a while and smile to yourself after choosing to take a walk instead of taking a bong hit.
The little things ARE the big things.
Your best path to transformation is one little thing at a time…
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