Small is Powerful

There are lots of reasons for being small.

  • Maybe your actions are small because you are chronically ill, and your energy is limited.
  • Maybe your actions are small because your two year old is bidding you to come away from the computer (or the easel, or the guitar…)
  • Maybe your passion project is tiny because you are working difficult jobs to keep the pantry stocked and there’s not a lot of time leftover for your creative dream.

This is reality. And in spite of what Facebook posts might lead you to believe, lots of us live here.

I have good news for you though: Small is Powerful.

People often ask me how I get “so much done” in the midst of parenting, and chronic pain, and the general demands of Gremlins and Procrastination. I often guffaw at that comment. I don’t feel like I’m getting “so much done.” What I feel is frustrated that the migraines only let me work a few hours a day. But I know I can’t always trust my self-assessment skills on this one. So I’m learning to receive this oft-repeated observation as gods-honest-truth: Everyone says I’m productive. It might must be true.

So how do I get so much done?

I work small.

Everyone has the same number of hours in a day. But how much energy we have to invest in those hours varies widely. And the flexibility around how we might be able to use those hours varies as well.

There are not many available hours in my day for what I think of as my “work.” And there is not much energy to pour into them. (I suspect your day is not much different.)Most of the hours are taken up by doctors appointments and Epsom salt baths, quietness and ice packs. What my illness doesn’t consume the household cries for — peanut butter sandwiches to make, stew pots to fill, laundry to swap.  What is left are mere minutes. (Small things they are, minutes.) This limitation requires me to know what game I’m playing. And that game is focused. That game is small. Small and powerful.

In this smallness, I change lives. When people step out of church, lost and tribe-less, I help them find their way. When families want rituals to anchor thier year in meaning and value, I help them create traditions. I write things that bless people. And I do it all in a small amount of time.

If you are on the interwebs today, reading about Passion and Big Dreams and Growing Your Business, I want to tell you something important.

Your small, sustainable efforts will produce beautiful results. Small is powerful.

(Click to Tweet the Good Word)

Hold on to hope, friend.

Much Warmth,

Rachelle Mee-Chapman
*your magpie girl


What about you Magpie? How have you experienced something small as something powerful? What small thing would you like to notice and celebrate today?


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Claire May 7, 2012 at 9:55 am

thank you so much for this important reminder! as a stroke survivor, some days all i can manage is getting up and dressed! but it means, i AM able to interact with my family… bless you :) x

Rachelle May 8, 2012 at 11:17 am

I just popped over to your blog, Claire. I loved the small post card of Madeline Peyroux. (She’s one of my husband’s favorites!) Thank you for sharing how art — both Madeline’s and yours — is bringing you healing. (A lovely collaboration between the two of you!)

Fiona Skye May 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

Oh, this is going to sound silly, but I’m literally sitting here in tears right now after having read this. I have so many BIG dreams and because of my life situation right now, I can’t do much to make them come true. It’s nice to hear that small is just as powerful as BIG and even the teeniest steps are contributing to making these dreams of mine come true. So thank you thank you THANK YOU for this beautiful reminder!

Rachelle May 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

You are not alone in this experience, dear Fiona. And…you *can* still pursue, and even fullfill(!) your dreams. A shift in expectations creates so much juicy freedom.

Do you know Michael Nobbs at Sustainable Creative? He has a “little and often” theory that’s quite supportive.

Thanks for being here today. And much warmth to you on your creative adventure!

Kate May 7, 2012 at 10:21 am

Love this acknowledgement of power in small things beyond measure.
Thank you for lending credibility to those of us who have Big Dream envy, what a gift to have this post.

Rachelle May 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

You’re welcome Kate. Thanks so much for being here today and joining the Small is Powerful chorus. (We should have a theme song!) :-)

Woz May 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm

i usually adore your posts, but this one is extra special for me. i love this one beyond words! it’s so easy to overlook the small moments, the smalls steps. they are there…we just have to notice them.

Rachelle May 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

Thanks Woz, and thanks too for your email this week. It’s nice to hear from you!

Meg May 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm

This post was so what I needed to hear right at the moment. Thank you!

Vina May 16, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Oh my word. I just started reading your Small is Powerful Series and this is SO along the lines of what my Inner Voice has been gently telling me and I have been reluctantly to hear. I know this is so very true for me right now, where I am in life as a mama (and potentially a homeschooling one at that) and in my personal/spiritual healing but I get so hard on myself for being small. I’m trying to go BIG and I am often falling short and the problem then becomes I end up not delivering. But when I do embrace this Present Smallness – I do get a LOT of what I truly want to do get done and I am more in the flow, more at peace. I so love this Rachelle. I think the direction of my work has drastically re-shifted to where it has been needing to go. Thank you!

Persephone March 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm

It seems like fate that I came across your blog today. I struggle a lot with feeling like I’m not enough, like I’m a burden because I can’t do my “fair share”. This series came right when I needed it most. Thank you!

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