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A Small thing really - by Ian Stevens

How can such a small event make such a really large impact? That is the question that I

often ask myself?

I am starting to have a clearer idea of why when the right thing is said or done at the right time things can change out of all proportion to the precipitating event. I assume the difficulty lies in the culture we live in; it is assumed a hammer is needed to crack a nut, which the solution is through force or direct intervention…..We are not used to looking round the bend or seeing what is in front of us in a different way …..

Just like the sea limpet who when the time comes to stop moving and live its life stuck to the rock it literally eats its own primitive brain I often felt my body was heading in a similar direction! Life was getting pretty stuck and my stiff body was becoming an increasing part of the foreground.

I had started a Tai Chi movement class out of curiosity and added it to my list of achievement orientated pastimes climbing, kayaking, work and family …..I didn’t practice much but enjoyed more than anything else moving in a different way with awareness.

I attended a group gathering last year near Oban which was the real catalyst for writing this small article. The one thing I was asked to do by Richard and thought I couldn't was the one thing that changed my opinion on so many things in my everyday life. In turn attaching personal value to the objects I was asked to collect made the principles of Tai Chi meaningful to my everyday life.

In the summer sunshine I passed a gate and saw the two objects that provided the source for inspiration. The old orange malleable nylon rope and the thick industrial galvanised metal wire held the gate shut. I struggled with the wire and easily untied the nylon rope. Immediately the idea struck me that this was the way I had become embodied. The gate had been firmly shut and feelings withheld by so many things.

Seeing such a simple thing in a different way was a catalyst for change, introspection and growth in many ways. The two objects achieved the same goal but by very different means.

I had previously physically stretched these rigid areas of my body, been physically pummelled by well meaning colleagues and 'diagnosed' by others as having some complicated musculoskeletal ailments. I knew instinctively that only by meeting my body with less resistance could things change.

This one small incident changed a great deal, so it is in lots of areas where what seems like a huge complex problem acts as a barrier to a move in a different direction.

What seems to be a major problem with an obvious fixable solution may really need a nudge with a different approach and often what seems insurmountable only needs a small catalyst …….


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