There is a plum tree right outside my office window I check in with every day. Two weeks ago I started to notice a fuzzy little something on the branches, barely even noticeable. Then it snowed and it was gone. A few days later, I noticed tiny buds starting to form. And then it snowed again, but this time they persevered and remained steadfast to the branch. The next day, beautiful blossoms appeared. Overnight, I tell you! It was a complete transformation of my tree in just 12 hours!
Of course it takes longer than 12 hours to fully blossom. No matter how easy the media sometimes makes it look, there isn’t any such thing as an “overnight success” – not in Hollywood, not in yoga class, and not on plum trees. When you see the beautiful practitioner next to you in yoga class looking so effortless in her backbend, you could ask her how long she has been practicing. Her transformation has been built on many small changes over time – and lots of practice. Because transformation does not take place all at once. It’s about small change. Baby steps. Persistent buds. Tiny waves. Lotus coming out of the mud. We have heard all these analogies and yet we are still impatient. We are still asking, how long is this going to take?
The truth is we are transforming in this very moment, we just don’t always see it – or remember where we started. Just like the bud on my plum tree, we can choose to remain steadfast in our daily diets, how often we get on our yoga mats, who we eat lunch with, and what phone calls we make that are all affecting our transformation. Or, we can get scared and stay safe, resisting even the smallest change and keeping our buds from blossoming and our lives from transforming.
What small change could you make today? In your breath, your posture, your water intake, your attitude, or spending habits. Remember that even though we don’t transform overnight, the big transormations begin one choice at a time, with small change.