Living Large by Living Small

One thing I’ve learned from Shelter-In-Place, is that it’s the quality of my relationships, not the quantity, that has my life be fulfilling. Let me illustrate.

The first few months were rough. I had pretty much just stopped everything that I was doing and did what I thought it meant to “shelter-in-place,” which was just sit inside and do nothing. This was a drastic change for me, because previously I kept myself busy with the blogs, workshops, and courses I was planning for my coaching, on top of all my hobbies: circus arts, partner dancing, and burlesque. My calendar was so full I had to make sure I set time aside for lunch and dinner, or I might not get to eat that day.

Now, over 6 months later, I find I’m doing far fewer things. I don’t schedule in 15-minute intervals any more, it’s more like 1-hour blocks. I get to focus and really enjoy what I’m doing, without having to worry about rushing on to the next thing. I get to say hi to my roommates if I see them in the kitchen, stop to chat a bit before I get back to work. I get to spend some time outside with my neighbors if I see them walking around. I don’t have to schedule time with them, I don’t have to drive over to their place. If I want to chat, I just go outside and see who’s there.

I go visit my mom and sister a few times a month, which also means we know more about each other’s lives, and we’re calling each other more often when we need advice or just an ear to listen to. 

This photo popped up today on my timeline as a facebook memory.

It feels like a community, it feels like belonging.

I met my neighbor that had been living there for a year, and I’d never seen him before! He was always at his company’s SF office, and I was always rushing off to a class, or dancing, or rehearsal, or something else. He’s been joining me for aerial straps and kungfu workouts every weekday for 4 months now. It’s extremely satisfying to me to see his progress. He even said to me the other day that this was the most fit he’s ever been in his whole life!

None of this would have been possible if I kept focusing on “living large” by impacting a greater number of people, rather than having a deeper impact on fewer people. I also get so much more fulfillment from these deeper interactions with the people immediately around me.

Fractal design, aka Mandelbrot set.

Lastly, I want to bring your attention to the idea of a fractal. It’s an infinitely scaling, infinitely repeating pattern, meaning if you zoom in you will see the same shapes repeated. It’s the same if you zoom out. Consider that the universe is a fractal. If you zoom in, the same pattern repeats on the scale of our galaxy. And if you zoom in more, it’s our solar system, then our planet, then our society… until you get to individuals like you and I.

I know that we’re receiving messages about impacting the world, being unforgettable, leaving a legacy. We are bombarded with phrases like “aim high,” “shoot for the stars,” and “reach further and farther.” The whole point of this blog is to tell you, play on the scale that makes the most sense. Play on the scale of the individual human being. It’s the easiest to access, and it’s what our minds and bodies are designed for. You will find deep connectedness, community, and fulfillment here.

Your access to changing the world is with the people right in front of you.

Reflect on your actions and your impact on the people immediately around you. Are there people you’re overlooking? Are there interactions you’re missing, or opportunities for connectedness that you’re letting pass by?

What do you see?

Please tell me. I’d love to know!

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