The art of small acts: 5 ideas for improving everyday life and surviving in these difficult historical times. Until March 2020, we could wander with our minds wide open, deciding to leave at any time to reach almost any place in the world. The horizon was physically wide and expanded. In the forced contraction in which we have found ourselves, we must not lose heart, because we can find new paths.
The value of gestures
We are used to performing hundreds of actions throughout the day. If we try to dwell on three or four of them, doing them with attention and awareness, we will realise the value of each gesture. If, when preparing coffee at dawn, we dwell on the individual actions and experience them with awareness, the taste of the coffee will be more intense. Let’s try to wash our face, thinking to send away anxiety, fear, toxic thoughts. The gesture of washing the face will become a purifying act. And so on, filling our daily life with meaning.
The little things of every day
It is precisely the small things of every day that can change our perspective. Smallness often conceals great depth. For example, the sharing of a meal prepared with care and love makes us more serene. We cannot change the world, and the pandemic can make us feel like a tiny boat drowning in the ocean. So we respond by focusing on the small space entrusted to us, making it more beautiful and full of light: our home, the stretch of road outside our door, the office, the workplace. We will have done our part and feel better.
Listening is part of the art of small gestures, it is one of the 5 ways to improve everyday life. When listening is an art, it should be practised. If we are used to jumping around, we are in danger of no longer being able to listen. Even our own insecurity can lead us to talk ‘over’ others. So let us try to really listen for at least ten minutes a day. It is a good practice that will help us a lot and improve our relationships.
Focusing on a flower
To practise the art of small gestures, we can focus on a flower, a few minutes every day. It doesn’t matter what kind, as long as we like it a lot. We can get a small flowering plant in our favourite colour, or we can focus on the scent. We put it in an unusual place in the house, avoiding the centre of the table, and spend a minute a day looking at it and smelling it, without thinking about anything. It’s a tiny exercise that pays off in the long run.
Organizing a picnic. The art of small acts: 5 ideas for improving everyday life
In the art of small gestures, there is no shortage of simple picnics, perhaps on the terrace at home or on a park bench. A picnic is made up of small, well thought-out gestures. It leads us to leave behind everything superfluous and to value even a small plate. Let’s change the routine of our meals, planning a fantasy picnic, which will make us travel with the senses. In this regard, my new book is coming out these days:
Tell me about your best picnics.