Invitation to Join Me in Seeing Small

I want to start a small revolution.

Those of you who have been reading my posts most likely know what I mean. For those of you new to my blog, understand that because I have experienced the great benefits of small, I want to help shift as many people’s attention as possible from large to small. And because I have such great trust in the power of small, I want to set off this revolution in small ways. To do this, I won’t be creating huge ads, like a new company called “shrinkify,” which makes large claims for the importance of shrinking just about everything you can think of. And I won’t be suggesting enormous changes in your life either.

Instead, I’m going to begin with small suggestions for how you might introduce small into your life, and experience its power. One day I might suggest that you take a look at a tree near your house. Once you’ve chosen a tree, I will suggest focusing on a small portion of that tree– a bit of bark or a single leaf. Or I may suggest that you isolate one object in your house to look at much more closely than you’ve done for some time. Or that you concentrate for a minute or two on one bite of one portion of your next meal.

The possibilities are endless. And although they may seem small at first, if you follow them, you will see that these small experiences accumulate into large shifts in your perception. Within a month or two or three, you will likely realize that you are spending more time feeling happy than sad or depressed or annoyed or angry or disappointed. You will also likely realize that if you are feeling sad or depressed or annoyed or angry or disappointed—even afraid–you now possess the perfect strategy for shifting your mood away from negativity.

I had my first experience with small several years ago, on a walk with my dog Daphne. Following the route I followed every afternoon, I was used to taking most of the sights and sounds I encountered for granted. Life didn’t change all that much in our neighborhood from day to day. But this particular day, I happened to notice a dried sycamore leaf curled gracefully on the sidewalk. Not only did I notice this leaf, but I stopped to appreciate its beauty. I took in its balletic arch, the delicate tips of each lobe, the symmetry of its veins.

After a few moments, I continued walking. But when I reached home, I realized that the happiness I had experienced noticing the leaf was still with me. It had remained with me for over five minutes, all the way around the block. It was as if the moment of beauty I had seen had entered me and shifted something deep within.

At that moment, I first realized the power of small. And I made the decision to practice seeing small for the next year. I had no idea what the experience would yield, but I was anxious to replicate the experience of noticing the leaf on the sidewalk, and the joy it had brought to me.

Now, I am inviting you to set out on a similar journey. With my guidance, I’m hoping you will encounter as much beauty and reap as many benefits as I did during my year of seeing small.

Moment of Rust, Mare Island

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