When it comes to making change, I think about rushes and threads.
Rushes are big. They surge in like a tidal wave. A change-it-all-all-at-once attack – this New Years, I will run three miles every day! Volunteer 10 hours a week! Stop eating white flour and drinking red wine! Donate 10% of my income to noble causes!
Rushes are powerful, seem heroic, like I’m really doing something. They’re also exhausting. And usually, my rushes recede like tidal waves because they are so easy to burnout on.
Threads are small. They start quietly, slowly. And take on one thing – today, I’ll walk a minute longer than yesterday. Or add one dollar to my monthly animal refuge league contribution.
Threads don’t usually feel heroic. They can seem too minor to matter. What kind of power do minutes and dollars have?
Well, a lot. Because it’s hard to burnout on minutes and dollars. Those are increments of change we can sustain. Even build on. And sustained change, however quiet and however small, has radical transformative power.
Perhaps, then, one way to know our change is significant is if at first it feels like nothing more than a small thread we’re pulling.
But we keep on pulling. And one day, when we hardly noticed it, we discover we’ve unraveled ourselves out of old ways of being and into new ways.