An Alternative to Denial

Not facing a fire doesn’t put it out. Tennessee Williams

The Japanese word Kaizen means (small and continuous) improvement.

The making better of things, over time.

Rather than confronting issues, problems and long-festering wounds “head-on” with a Hollywood-action-movie-like-grandiosity, what if you identified a particular component of an issue or problem or long-festering wound and took small steps to heal/solve/make-it-irrelevant?

This week’s Action Exercise doesn’t come from one of last week’s posts, it comes from a quote I found today.

I would like you to examine your life and pick something that you’ve long wanted to change.

Something that matters to you, and that for whatever reason, isn’t getting better – and in your mind needs to get better.

Got it? Good. Here’s what I want you to do:

Sit in a quiet place, close your eyes and breathe full, healthy breaths, allow any tension and expectation to fall away.

Think of that that “thing” you want to improve. Notice any tension that comes up and let it go. Allow your breath to breathe it away.

Next, pick a part of this “thing,” a small, manageable part, and ask yourself: “What’s one small way I can make a positive change in how I think and/or act here?”

Keep breathing and let the question breathe.

Allow for your innate wisdom to respond to the question. Make a mental note of what “comes up.”

Once you’ve opened your eyes, formulate a small action you can take, either the same action repeated, or a tiny project with tinier steps, to slowly improve that aspect of the issue, problem or long-festering wound.

Do that, every day for at least a week, and notice both your view of the problem/issue/long-festering-wound changes and how “it” actually changes.*


* The problem/… might not change right away (likely not as it was probably long-in-the-making and will take time to actually resolve), but your view of it will most definitely change – and when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

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