Lifting your little finger

Its amazing how the smallest things can often have the biggest impact and a little change that we make has a major ripple effect (or less ripples in this case..!) 

I’ve been experiencing a lot of change the past few months and have become very aware of my natural inclination to push to make things happen. We are taught at an early age that everything only comes from hard work, decisive behaviour and assertiveness. The ‘go-getter’ is most successful. In reality this is not the case.

Before you castigate me for this statement, bear with me for a moment, I’m not suggesting you sit and do nothing, however in our modern lives we are so bogged down in the ‘pursuit of..’ mode. Pursuit of happiness, pursuit of money, success and achievement. This results in a more or less absolute loss of ‘allowing’. Allowing feeling, allowing progress, allowing learning and growth. The spiritual people will tell you its about ‘just being’.

I’ve tried to pay attention to this concept of allowing over the past few months and have been amazed at the results. 

On a physical level in my swimming my pinkie finger taught me the lesson. I’ve been noticing that I tend to splash more when doing faster swim sets but I don’t necessarily swim any faster – I think I do because I’m pushing and ‘going hard’. But the stopwatch tells the true story. My swim coach suggested that I seem to drop my left hand and thus elbow early and lose some of the pull through power. His simple solution was to lift my pinkie finger more once my hand enters the water. I was sceptical of this for obvious reasons but when I tried it, the results were amazing. That slight pinkie movement seemed to ‘lock’ the elbow and naturally allow a stronger and longer pull through underwater. While it took a bit of practise, it resulted in a smoother and faster swim reflected in my times and with less splashing and excess movement.

In terms of the change I’m experiencing, every time I have attempted to ‘push’ the process, something happens to stop me. Initially this frustrated me but each time I realised that my pushing was getting in the way of a much better result that would come through my allowing.

Continuing the swimming analogy – often we believe we are getting ‘there’ more quickly because we are doing more but in fact we are splashing. If we back off a little, consider the stroke and change what is necessary, we move more smoothly, more efficiently, more effectively and eventually also with more speed. 

Stop, step back, consider, allow and then move forward at the right time.

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