Small Y’All

Lately, I’ve had epic fatigue. Sandwiches are “epic,” sports plays are “epic,” a viral YouTube video is “epic.” There is a mall in America’s heartland so big, so huge, so incredibly massive it has its own zip code (guessing, assuming). It’s large enough to fit SEVEN Yankee Stadiums inside of it and includes an indoor theme park complete with roller coasters. Apparently we need this. It makes us feel powerful, formidable, consequential that even our coffee drinks have swagger.

I’ve become desensitized to a lot of the largess crowding us daily because it’s so much a part of both our visual lexicon and our national consciousness. I live in a great city with its share of retail that climbs three and four stories high, with massive bridges, and with public art designed to float above the city skyline (now that is truly epic). So it was an otherwise innocuous post on my Instagram feed that made me pause.

The post was from someone who often shares aspirational content like those lovely, artsy graphic images meant to encourage you to “start the journey” or “show up with 100%,” which on paper feels completely reasonable, doable even. Living those isms is something else entirely and usually requires less charming poster art and more raw will.

The post was meant to be a half-time, get in the game type energy booster with phrases like LEAP WITH ALL YOUR HEART, DON’T SETTLE FOR SETTLING, and DREAM PASSIONS BIGGER THAN THE UNIVERSE. Pressure, much? What if my passions fit right here in my side pocket? What if I prefer to amble instead of leap? Do I still count if I’m not to scale?

There’s a lot that gets left out when you chase life on the wide screen.

A couple of years ago I got a macro lens for my camera. I love it. It owns me. The focusing is a challenge, almost an exercise in Zen breathing. The pay-off is totally worth it: the veins of a leaf track like little highways, the yellow lip of a mug curves into an entire shoreline, a bee’s legs spin, mining gold dust. Extraordinary. Small is mighty.


Sometimes small is all we have to give. Some days a smile is our most precious and valuable commodity. Sometimes the sun on our face is the razor thin membrane between defeat and another brave step forward. Some epic experiences unfold over a cup of coffee and delicious silence.

There is beauty in the big. There is power and awesomeness in what is sweeping and vast like the oceans, the night sky, or a thousand miles of desert. I looked into the maw of the Grand Canyon last winter and was appropriately dwarfed by its unhinged majesty and that feeling did not suck at all. Big is great and has its time and place, small ain’t so bad either and can be every bit the game-changer.

I’m not that interested in the “go big or go home” mindset that seems to drive the herd these days. Honestly, I’m tired just thinking about the work involved in casting such a long shadow and I don’t know that it will serve the world better if I aspire to live as large as a super sharknadotsunami.

Someone has to carry the pebble. Someone has to be the ripple, the ray, the breath that makes the mountain shiver.


18 thoughts on “Small Y’All

  1. Sheila – you have no idea what a gift you are – which makes you so much more rare. Whatever the subject, I am guaranteed chills at the end. Thank you – for your deep wisdom, your power to stop time, if even for 3 minutes, your ability to make me want to stop and consider, and your profound mastery of word. I’ll take your small blog over the epic novel any day. The effect is ever so much more impactful.


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    From: Spirit Meets Bone <> Reply-To: Spirit Meets Bone <> Date: Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 1:05 PM To: Kathleen Kinnett <> Subject: [New post] Small Y’All

    Sheila posted: “Lately, I’ve had epic fatigue. Sandwiches are “epic,” sports plays are “epic,” a viral YouTube video is “epic.” There is a mall in America’s heartland so big, so huge, so incredibly massive it has its own zip code (guessing, assuming). It’s large enough t”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful piece! We have always been taught to go big, but why must we stop enjoying the small things? A small event to one, can be a life-changer to another. It’s all perspective, and we should reach for the goal we want, not the one someone else thinks we should get.

    I’m actually guilty of holding a coffee because I thought it was the “hip” thing to do…needless to say I don’t anymore.

    I look forward to coming back to this blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jessica! That means a lot. I couldn’t agree more that we can’t get tangled up in the net of something big, shiny, and exciting simply because it feels or looks that way. We need to tune in more to what we really need, really want, what we’re really being called to do or be in any given moment. It’s hard, the journey is always a work in progress and so imperfect, which is what makes it truly extraordinary 🙂 peace!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this post. I have recently discovered that for the moment, small is all I’ve got, and that’s okay. It’s all the small steps that lead to bigger things, all the small moments in which we listen to the whisper of our intuition that lead to big and beautiful change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautifully said..and so much YES. whatever you have is plenty, more than plenty because it’s coming from YOU–your energy, your intention, your heart. It can’t be qualified and I know for me, I want to do a better job of editing out that culture message–the cult of epic and huge and enormous and all of that–and focus on whatever is right in my hands. Keep up the great work. Thank you so much for connecting! XO S


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