Brilliant sunshine. It is a welcome and wonderful start to the day, after days of waking up to overcast skies. I have slept in a bit, and the slight shift on this Saturday means that the sun is already streaming its golden rays on the light dusting of snow on the roofs in the distance, as I finish my morning meditation. I crack open the window a bit and the morning song of the birds comes flooding in with the rush of really cold air and the light of the moon that hasn’t set yet.
On the surface, it doesn’t seem like much, and yet, the combination of small shifts in external light and sounds from a mere twenty four hours ago, seems to have a significant effect on me in this waking hour. As I absorb it all, I ask if the small shift in one single aspect of my daily evening practices is having an outsized impact on my inner state the following morning?
From experimentation and observation, the answer seems to be an unqualified yes. My meditation journal tells me that I am currently on an ‘eight day streak’ of ‘evening cleaning’. It is a simple, fifteen minute practice of a ‘wholesale cleaning’ of the accumulated inner detritus of the day, every day. It is akin to brushing your teeth before going to bed at night, so the bacteria doesn’t grow in the warm petri-dish of your mouth while you sleep.
A small shift. Imagine ‘brushing out’ all the thoughts, words and actions that leave ‘crud’ within your heart, during the daily flow of normal life. Imagine doing this every single night, before you got to bed. What would the state of your heart be, when you wake up the next day? A bit cleaner, just like your cleaner teeth, I imagine?
It has taken be the better part of five years, to make this small shift. I have read and heard about the benefits of ‘cleaning’, over and over again, for five long years — and I am finally putting it into some kind of regular practice. And the shift within is noticeable!
Is there some small shift that you have been meaning or planning to make in your life, but for whatever reason, haven’t made yet? What is it that will inspire you to take action, make that change? For me, it was the realization that I had perhaps ‘plateaued’ in my inner growth, that made me ask – what is missing in my practice? It was sitting there, staring at me, right in front of my face. Evening cleaning – yes, of the teeth and if the heart.
I invite you to find your small shift within, whatever it may be, and then take action. Know that there is no such thing as a ‘small action’. Let not another evening (or year) go by, without making the shift that whispers to you. Start today, build up a streak, keep track of the effects, and observe how the small shift is creating big course corrections for you.
Who knows. You may discover that it doesn’t take much of a shift for the heart to open just a bit wider and the light to flow brighter.
P. S. Join us for our weekly twitter chat, Sunday Jan 23 at 9amET / 730pm India with the #SpiritChat community. We will share about our inner and outer shifts. Namaste ~ @AjmaniK