I met Jennifer Parker as a peer therapist about 15 years ago at Harmonia: Madison Center for Psychotherapy. Shortly after meeting Jennifer she joined a spiritual journaling class of mine. “Julie encouraged me to take my writing intention seriously and to ‘follow my calling,’ and to believe I had something to share.” Jennifer then attended my book proposal class later to join a writing support circle of mine. “After years of perseverance and growth as a writer, I published my book, Coercive Relationships: Find the Answers You Seek, in 2021.”
Now here in 2022, I re-opened my in-person practice from a room set aside in my home where I see a few clients a week. (I lost my space in Prairie du Sac in the first year of the pandemic. And have been engaged in live video therapy and mentoring). Two of my first clients to arrive at my door were in the most Coercive, psychologically abusive relationships I have encountered in my 40 years of practice. The first and most critical challenge was to help them leave their relationships. After about a month of weekly sessions, I suggested they get Jennifer’s book. The next week they came back, having finished the book.
The following week they both exited their decades-long toxic relationships.
So many singular (and even small) acts led to this.
These singular choices to attend a class, write our story, read a book, or try therapy, make for the big, necessary changes in our personal and collective lives. Our singular acts, made up of many small acts of courage and vulnerabilities, lead to what appears to be a miraculous encounter or transformational change in ourselves or others. In reality the miraculous in our lives is a by-product of our singular acts.
These singular, often small acts carry us across the thresholds of our lives.
There are no singular acts really because our small actions impact countless others.
When someone leaves a toxic relationship this singular act has a profound and positive effect on everyone they encounter.
Acts of courage can be even more simple and mundane than ending a toxic relationship as opportunities within our everyday lives. Trying things out, like attending an Al Anon meeting or checking out colleges on line in pursuit of an old dream that seemed dead. Writing a poem. Calling a friend. These singular acts are at the root are simple, at the crown, transformational.
One choice. One Act. One encounter. One book. One consideration. One small change of attitude. One step.
This is all we need to focus on, these singular (in the moment) acts. This is enough to feel better in our skin, to recalibrate our lives toward the good, to be free.
Through these small, singular acts we are leaders.
Listen to this 6 minute Ted Talk: Everyday Leadership by Drew Dudley.
"Hope is holding a creative tension between what is and what could and should be, each day doing something to narrow the distance between the two." —Parker J. Palmer
Other singular acts that you can can take, that will lead to something big:
Small act of being an ally
Small act of being kind to your grumpy neighbor
Small act of calling out micro-aggressions
Small act of buying a book at Bookshop.org
Small act of changing your attitude
Small act of a sincere apology
Small act of speaking up
Small act of writing a poem
Small act of staying present
Small act of listening to the body
Small act of Trusting your experiences
Small act of writing someone a letter
Small act of sending a thank you note
Small act of giving a compliment
Small act of feeding someone a good meal
Small act of noticing something beautiful or sweet
Small act of helping out
Small act of adding to the community conversation
Small act of listening to others
Small act of joining in
Small act of meditation
Small act of contemplation
Small act of consuming less
Small act of decluttering
Small act of shopping local
Small act of not disposable plastics
Small act of reaching out
Small act of making art
Small act of acting on that inner knowing
Small act of surprising someone with a gift
Your pilgrimage so far is found
In your body
All the stories, lessons learned
Every shade of emotion
Every transgression from that Other
and the taking on of their transgressions
Your treasure too
in the dark of your knowing and seeking
at the feet of the Minotaur
Don’t stop there!
Step over the bones at his feet
(the bones of giving up)
face your inner Minotaur
He has secrets to reveal
Claim that treasure that is
All along you’ve been carrying this gift of self
Hidden behind the face of the inner enemy. – JTJ, 2022
Jangle Natural Living. Get help with small steps of living more green and earth-friendly. I just bought bar hand soap (instead of bottled), and bar dishwashing soap at Jangle Natural Living in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. I started using dryer balls a few years ago (instead of sheets). One small change at a time I am creating a greener home. Most of these items can be purchased at SOAPworks (on-line ). All natural cleaning products are at their small store in Mount Horeb WI. “At Jangle Natural Living, we focus on a healthy home and healthy life for our animals, our family, our community, and our environment. All sopas and body products are filled with local, natural and organic ingredients, botanicals, pure essential oils, and natural clays. The goats are theirs! “We milk them by hand to get the delicious and nutritious milk for our soaps. Only fresh, raw milk is put into our soaps!”
LOVE THIS GUY! Want authentic help in promoting your message, books, or work out into the world? Here is your guy: The Unmarketer “We are not against marketing, we are only against bad marketing and bad business practices. We want to provide and establish your credibility and authority in an authentic way.” –John. I met John through a writing friend and so appreciate how he coaches me in sharing my message.
What’s The Growing Edge of your life? Take the singular act to explore that question here: The Growing Edge. “Life forever invites us to grow into new challenges, new adventures, new opportunities to learn and to serve. What’s your growing edge? Maybe it’s a quest for meaning or purpose. Or for a vocation where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need. Or for ways to join others in working for the common good. Whatever it may be, you’re invited to join us in this online and in-person gathering of people who seek to grow toward the light, even in times of darkness. Through online conversations, podcasts, and face-to-face retreats—supported by prose, poetry, and music—together we’ll explore where life is calling us next.” Parker J Palmer and Carrie Newcomer
Want to add your resource or idea to our Community Conversation? Email me HERE. Join the Community Conversation by adding in the comments your singular acts. Include resources and products if you like!
Find me on my (new) YouTube station!!: Live Your Truest Life.
There are so many ways we are silenced or silence ourselves. Speaking up, sharing ideas, confronting injustices, and challenging passive (micro) aggressions can cause a great deal of discomfort. I nearly put this article away for good, being silenced by the idea “too much time has passed.” (So therefore it’s forgotten and we all have gotten on to other [better?] concerns.)
All Write Wednesday blog: Some Wednesdays and my Come as You Are blog on some Friday's.
Read the past posts.