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Small Wins

Last week my dog, Willa, and I went to a friend's house after work (we're vaccinated and in each other's pods). My pup has always struggled with some excited-incontinence issues and unfortunately peed ALL OVER my friend's nice couch.

I was so embarrassed and apologetic. My friend insisted on cleaning it up, so I was left to continue expressing how sorry I was about my dog's mistake.

My friend, in her own wisdom, reassured me that it was really no big deal and reminded me that her own dog was recently a puppy (a very cute one, at that) and was until recently peeing on things left and right.

Then she said something like, "Cleaning this couch cushion is a manageable problem. It feels good to be able to fix something when the world is out of control."

I immediately felt relieved of my guilt (Thanks, Emma), and her words made me think about what a gift and practice small problems can be. With consciousness, we can savor tackling small problems when others feel beyond our means.

We can savor how it feels to get the dishes done and have the kitchen clean. We can savor how good it feels to cross that phone call with the insurance company off of the to-do list it's been on for the past three weeks.

We can also think about how breaking our larger problems or concerns into smaller chunks brings the finish line closer, at least temporarily.

When things feel large, chaotic, overwhelming, or unfamiliar it's very human to question our capacity to cope. And when we can't cope, it's only natural to shut down or give up.

Instead of interpreting such stuckness as our destiny, I encourage my clients to practice curiosity and experimentation. Depression, fatigue, and stuckness can serve as data and entry points to experimenting with how to start again.

With small wins, we can learn to trust in our capacity to do hard shit by starting with the smaller stuff.

I'd love to hear from you all - how does savoring the small wins support you?

Want support getting started with this practice? Join me in my upcoming somatic coaching group ARISE for depression, fatigue, and stuckness, starting May 5th! Book a consultation to get started.

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