This is our bird feeder that I attached to the window above our kitchen sink in an effort to stay connected to nature even in the midst of winter. We get cardinals and all kinds of other little birds I don’t know the names of and it’s a great way to add something special to the daily practice of loading and unloading the dishwasher.
Getting a dog who needs walking multiple times a day has also really helped keep that connection to the outside world going—so much so that for a few months there I never found the time to refill the birdfeeder.
I finally re-stocked the birdseed a few weeks ago and something I didn’t expect happened: the birds didn’t come back.
For about three weeks, this lusciously full birdfeeder was left unattended. As Donald Trump would say, sad!
Which got me thinking about how powerful consistency is. Do something regularly and your results build on each other. Do it every now and again and the only thing you’re consistent about is continually having to start again.
And starting again after a full stop does not feel good, I can tell you. That’s why I’m such a fan of little steps—the two minutes you sit quietly in the car and tune in to the sound of your breath before you head into work. Or, the walk around the block you take when there’s not enough wiggle room in your schedule to go for a longer jaunt. These little micro-steps not only help you clear your head in the moment, they also keep your seat warm for when you do have more time and/or energy at your disposal for a deeper dive. They keep you from feeling like you slid back to square one.
Making a commitment to consistency isn’t about being hard on yourself. It’s about being compassionate with yourself. Because when you can consistently meet your minimum requirements for feeling good, you gain momentum, you find ease, and you teach the ego that you are actually doing just fine without it’s help, thank you very much. Which means you’re less prone to beating yourself up.
I found this quote on Pinterest that really sums it all up:
Here’s to your continued momentum!