I am a big believer in the little things, not in the way of gifts, but in moments, in words and in gestures. I appreciate reminders in my daily life to be mindful of those little moments and to consciously choose to respond or act in a way that makes those moments add up to something powerful.
Life hands me many of these opportunities especially having access to other humans in my life including three teenagers and a husband.
Not every moment can be extraordinary. Authenticity is more important than making a moment meaningful, but sometimes authenticity means honest communication or just keeping my mouth shut because authenticity without a wisdom filter just makes me a self-righteous jerk.
There are times, however, when I see myself give up little moments to negativity, and it physically pains me when I realize it (usually a realization that comes later). The sarcastic comment to make a point can feel powerful in the moment, but is more powerful in its ability to create discord and disconnection than in any meaningful change in behavior.
For me utilizing the power of the little moment can be:
- humor instead of annoyance (can’t emphasize how powerful this is in relationships with teens and hubby)
- hug instead of advice (teen daughter)
- smile instead of avoiding eye contact (stranger on the street)
- putting down my phone and listening (everyone!)
- keeping my mouth shut or my fingers off the keyboard (Facebook)
- being vulnerable (my family, friends, sometimes strangers)
- being interested and curious (everyone)
Don’t get me wrong I let a lot slip by and I’m not perfect, but I’m better than I used to be at appreciating these little moments. The gradual improvement leads me to feel hopeful about my future ability to be an awesome grandma. =)
The Little Things? The Little Moments? They Aren’t Little. – John Kabat-Zinn