Those Small Steps

Alisha: I thought that by this time in my life, it wouldn’t require me to take any more small steps.  Isn’t one lesson enough concerning the beauty of building with these steps?

“Dear Life: Excuse me, but I prefer to fly or at least to be racing someone.”

As I was reflecting on a personal story which I will share later, I came to the realization that I was, again, embarking on another project that was moving forward, at times, in what seemed to be very...tiny...steps.

    Life Lesson = 2.  Alisha = 1.

We have been working with a design house in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) that has turned out to be absolutely perfect for what Shema needs to continue our project. They have been walking very closely with us as we design our brand and apparel line. We have spent months in the research and development phase. Who knew that so much attention had to be given when considering the length of a sleeve?

Recently, we met with them to review the first round of sketches. I remember sitting in our meeting, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of the papers. What was once only a vision, was now being formed into something that I could touch with my hands. I was filled with such excitement and expectation...and honestly, a little shock. I also realized that there were many more steps that we were going to have to take. I thought the attention to the sleeves was over, but alas, not only did we have to revisit that area again, but there were many other details that needed to be addressed, like what type of hemline we should incorporate. Duct tape was not a viable answer.  More small steps. 

At the same time, I was reminded of a story. About three years ago, I was silly slapped by power of small steps. I was in another country, walking to an area that was known for having a lot of internationally-trafficked women. I had watched a show on TV about this area that involved different agencies from all over the world combatting this issue. I couldn’t believe that I was even walking into the same venues that were featured in the show.

My game plan? Go in, grab as many girls as i could, and run like a red panda...well, a panda might run slow, so run like a cheetah. The game plan that I had to follow? It felt like I did nothing, and wasn’t moving at all. The girls were so heavily guarded that there were only certain ways that you could get to them.  We ended up stopping in a place where the girls were sitting in chairs that were lined up against one long wall surrounded by guards. This was a new area of focus for the organization with which we were working. 

I saw firsthand the many steps that had to be taken in order for us to get to the place where the girls were finally brought out of these horrific circumstances. That night we did what we came to do (I know, so vague). It turns out what we did that evening would be something that they would do for months. Slowly, taking one step at a time. 

When I was safely back to where I was staying, I was silly slapped. I realized that these small steps alone, although being so very tiny, were moving into a direction that builds and continues on into something grand, something just, and something beautiful. 

Most of us don’t see what goes on at the beginning of different projects, organizations, or dreams. We usually only see the end result: the flashy show, the brilliant business, or the ginormous success story. I wish life worked where our dreams would be served on a silver platter. You know, no work, struggle, or setbacks in between. However, if everything was handed to us, we would be deprived of the wealth of gold that comes in taking the small steps.

I had to remind myself that day when we were looking at all of our designs, that I needed to continue to be present in the moment, celebrate where we were, and to stop myself from doing a cannonball into the pool of action steps. I just needed to see that one next step.

So, cheers to all of us as we continue to take those small steps. 

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