The Simple Acts

All it took was intention + touch.

Yesterday was just one of those plain ol’ rough days. I’m traveling with some important meetings coming up, so that’s stressful, plus personal frustrations and things to work through, all while already feeling like I can just squeak by each day doing so much, yet its only the bare minimum. I need a break.

My evening plans were sushi  and yoga with some friends. Intense traffic filled my ride, feeling like it was just tearing any resolve I had at ‘not losing it’. Despite just wanting to curl up and push the world away, I held on to my plans.

Nestled right on a small riverbed, the yoga studio provided wonderful natural sounds of flowing water and a gorgeous view. Centering myself, I focused on the teachers words. “And as we begin, let us set an intention for our practice. For someone or something, dedication your practice donate”. One small, swift move hit my heart- my friend reached over and firmly placed her hand on my knee. It knocked the breath out of me. No matter her inability to pull me from my struggles that day, she was there, and wanting to help. She’d offer to sweat, work, and spiritual gifts tonight in my honor.

And isn’t that what we need in this world? When we see anyone going through some sorrow that we can’t solve, should we not find some way to dedicate ourselves to them in solidarity? Often times, we become frustrated that we can’t apply a quick fix, so we turn away from the orphaned and starving children shown on tv, the man selling artwork in the subway, or the prickly secretary. Even more so, these frustrations are magnified when it is someone that we love who is suffering.

Maybe that is when the small acts can be most appreciated. A card, a prayer, a touch, a poem, a “let me shoulder your burdens today”, flowers, a reminder of what you love about them, a bear hug, homemade comfort food, let your heart run wild with ideas.

As I drove home, I still was so touched. After class, I tried to tell her how much it meant to me, but the words couldn’t bring justice to how I felt. Of course my worries and troubles were still omnipresent, but I felt less alone and more fortified to face these struggles.

Let us not forget that the simplest acts can be the most powerful. At the end of the day, their suffering or mine might not be gone, but at least we are left with the feeling that it is now ‘ours’.


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