Small Beginnings

“The longest journey starts with the first step.”

Welcome to our new newsletter, hopefully bringing you some useful information and inspiration based on our understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Spring is the season of new growth and new beginnings. It is the time for the first step as the Chinese sage Lao Tzu reminds us in the quote above. In the busyness of daily life we may often be quite disconnected from the seasonal changes but if we take the time to look around we can start to see and feel the season of spring all around us.

I believe most people have both an ambition to and a good sense of what they would like to change in order to enjoy life more. And while everything around us in nature is starting a new cycle of growth spring is the perfect time to make some small changes that can lead to great rewards down the track.

Most of us will probably accept that to a smaller or larger degree the weather affects how we feel whether it is arthritis playing up in the cold or the difficulty in getting motivated on a wet and miserable rainy day. (Although as I write this some more rain would be very welcome). What we often forget is how different seasons affect how we feel. Some people love summer while others prefer winter.

Seasonal changes may be more obvious in the colder climates but also in Australia spring offers another chance at new beginnings. Instead of going at it alone we can take advantage of this natural process affecting all living things. We may not be able to start life again from scratch, but we can plant the seeds and nourish the new growth in some aspects of our life.

Some people seem to be able to make a decision and make big changes, often brought on by a crisis in health, work or personal life. For most of us it seems to be a struggle we often lose between big ambitions and little or short lived action.

So start with the seed of inspiration.

  • Sow the seed: Put the walking shoes by the front door, place some extra vegies or herbs in the fridge, do a simple stretch after shower, turn off all devices for a short period. Choose whatever seems like a good idea to you and that will benefit your well-being in the long run.
  • Water it regularly, and nourish the new growth: Keep it simple, small, enjoyable and easy to do. Keeping it regular and tied to something you do anyway. It makes it easier to remember.
  • Watch it grow: Tender beginnings needs tender care, not too much and not too little and it will grow by itself. Spring is not the season to harvest the fruits but without sowing the seeds and regular attention there will be no fruit in autumn.

In Happiness by Design the behavioural Scientist Paul Dolan have come to a similar view based on modern research. First of all start small. Then he has a simple 3 step formula:

  • Decide what you need or want to change
  • Design your environment or circumstance to facilitate the change
  • Do, practice makes perfect.