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Poco a poco, se va lejos

Poco a poco, se va lejos

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Poco a poco, se va lejos
by Rev. Elizabeth Rowley,
Spiritual Director
May 31, 2019

I attended a high school graduation last weekend for a family member where the school’s Spanish teacher gave the commencement address. There was one sentence he spoke in Spanish that captured my attention which was poco a poco, se va lejos. Translated this means little by little, you go far.

This resonated with me deeply as I genuinely believe that it’s in the tiny daily accomplishments where we build our strength to go far.  Just like the runner who trains little by little, adding ten percent to their mileage for each run to build their strength for an upcoming marathon, then the day of the marathon arrives, and it’s time to run far. The runner has built up the fortitude little by little over time for this great achievement.

There are small adjustments you can make in your daily life, which will cause you to live a freer, fuller, more expanded version of your highest and best self.  Whether it’s adding five minutes of meditation time in the morning and evening, writing a simple gratitude list first thing in the morning and before going to sleep at night, or smiling more, these tiny changes create significant results.

While these slight adjustments may seem too small or insignificant to produce results, poco a poco, or, little by little, a shift begins to occur.  The transformation can be so subtle as to go unnoticed by you alone.  However, the people around you notice new freedom and happiness about you that continues to expand. Suddenly there’s a joyful spring in your step which was but a dull stomp before.  People will want to know your secret, and you can tell them poco a poco, se va lejos.

In chaos theory, this concept is called the butterfly effect, which states that a small change in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in substantial differences in a later state.  Simple systems can also demonstrate the butterfly effect.

Begin to ponder which small change you can make in your life today that will alter the way you move through the world.  What is one thing you can start doing or stop doing that will lead to a life of more joyful expression or freedom?

Try alternating your daily routine by putting on your other sock and shoe first, or taking an alternate route to work.  When sitting down to pay bills, speak a blessing of gratitude for the gift you received from the service provided.  I’m so grateful for hot running water, a roof over my head, preservation of food, clean clothes, and the ability to connect with others using my smartphone.  Maybe you wake up a little early to go to the gym, to pray and meditate, or to journal.

Whatever you choose, make it a small adjustment that is workable for you in your life, commit to it, and follow through.  Enjoy the journey and have fun.

Also, remember to smile.

And so it is.

Rev. Elizabeth Rowley

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