A news headline caught my eye just moments before I settled down to write this post. I’m angry, frustrated, and incredibly sad. And I questioned momentarily whether my more quiet, compassion-based work is futile. It’s been a week of bad headlines, following months of bad headlines. Headlines that make me question how people are shaping this world for and with others. Headlines that make me question whether we can “find the magic in small things.” Or whether we should conjure stronger magic to counter the potent destructive forces that seem to be unleashed right now.
But here’s the thing. I believe that small acts accumulate and multiply. It’s the gathering of those acts that create magic. It’s the spread of those acts that generate collective power. And rediscovering magic here and now is an act of reclaiming all the power and magic we already possess. It’s critical work for compassion as well as hope. We need all three – magic, compassion, hope – to envision and build a world that cares for its inhabitants. Without it, I fear that we succumb to skepticism or apathy; perhaps even to hatred or extremism.
This project is small but it’s got potential; I hope you’ll consider joining me on it. I’m calling it the “Magic in Small Things” and it’s an installment of the larger, “Love, Yoga” Project. For the month of December I’ll be curating quotes from children’s books and pairing them with a picture from my personal life. The picture will express some element of that quote for me. You can join me in class or online. Let’s have a conversation here, in class, or on my Facebook page. If you’re on Instagram, snap a shot in one or all of the weeks; hashtags #magicinsmallthings #loveyoga and @winterbrownyoga will help us compile the shots together. Think of it as a kind of vision board for the holiday season – something to recognize and celebrate the many forms that magic takes in our daily lives.
The first quote comes from one of my favorite authors, Roald Dahl. I adored him as a child and I remain loyal to him as an adult (though his adult stories are slightly too strange for me)…
“Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
—The Minpins by Roald Dahl
It seemed like a great quote to launch this project. Glittering eyes? Hidden secrets in unlikely places? Believing in magic? Check. Check. Check.
I’m especially drawn to “glittering eyes.” My children’s eyes glitter, particularly when they’re about to embark on some mischief or they’ve discovered something that truly lights them up. I love it. And I think most of us have glittering eyes when we’re truly inspired, ignited. And it’s those lovely eyes that spy the potential out of which magic and creation are drawn.
So here’s the question: Can you find your glittering eyes? Maybe it means rubbing your eyes a bit, clearing out the ordinary bits of daily life. If you wear glasses, maybe you need to wipe them clean so they serve less as blinders and more as spy glasses. Maybe it means waking up and starting the day with eyes meant for wondering, inquiring, and creating. What magic do you see?