Practicing Small

I have a confession: this is the first time since the beginning of Covid 19 that I haven’t been able to isolate a moment of joy within all the uncertainty and anxiety. Not because I haven’t experienced anything positive. Quite the opposite. Life has opened up quite a bit in the last few weeks. I’m not doing that much more, but my level of anxiety and concern has lowered considerably, which makes me feel much freer and more open.

However, there has been one single change with an enormous charge: I’ve spent indoor time with my granddaughters. At long last! As I’ve said plenty of times, not being able to hug them was the biggest deprivation of Covid for me. Spending time with them outdoors, with masks, at some distance, made it nearly bearable. But after a year, I was beginning to feel as if I’d been denied a vital nutrient and parts of me were beginning to wither.

And it’s because I was able to spend time with Amelie and Poppy indoors, that for the first time, I’m unable to isolate a small moment to write about. First of all, every single moment with them felt BIG. And second, there were too many of them. Simply to be able to bend together over a drawing, or envelop Poppy in a bear hug (Amelie doesn’t love hugs), or run my hands through Amelie’s hair as I helped her braid it, or sit down together around the dinner table, where Poppy’s sweet velvety-high small voice and Amelie’s more basso notes floated in the atmosphere around me—all of these and so many more moments thrilled me.

Writing this, I feel a mixture of joy and sadness. I’m looking forward to more happy moments. The girls will sleep over tonight, when we plan to make pizza and watch “Beauty and the Beast” together, all in a row, sides and elbows touching, on our couch in the TV room. But failing to be able to isolate one perfect moment leaves me less acutely aware of the gratitude I feel for whatever good comes my way. For over a year now, these tiny moments have fed me, lifted me up, fueled me to keep going during the pandemic. Now I fear I’ll begin taking much of the good in my life for granted. I’ll begin accepting it casually–even expecting it.

So I’m glad I’m launching my free program of “Practicing Small to Sustain Happiness.” It’s been a huge reach and quite a challenge for me to do this. But if I myself need a reminder to practice small, other people will benefit as well. During the pandemic, I had no choice but to practice small. Now, for a few weeks, I admit to forgetting to do so.

It’s been a while since I’ve practiced small in a systematic way. Even thinking about doing this, I remember the rich year of practicing and writing about this healing discovery I made one afternoon walking my dog around the block. That one balletic sycamore leaf is responsible for so much of my current happiness and well-being!

I don’t know where this next month will lead, but I’m sure to be writing about. And I’m certain to be experiencing many new moments of joy and observing a huge bouquet of beautiful small moments, many of which I’ll be writing about.

Love Lock on Bridge near Fort Bragg

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