Generic filters
Header Text

Welcome to the Duke Health & Well-Being Programs website!

The Not So Big Life

Making Room for What Really Matters

Have you ever wondered if there’s more to life than meets the eye, or suspected that you’re missing a big part of it? Ever felt like a human “doing” rather than a human “being?” Sarah Susanka, best-selling author of The Not So Big Life, offers guidance in this weekend workshop to help you identify what’s in the way of living your full potential – right here, right now.

In this workshop, you’ll discover how to inhabit your life completely by listening to what your heart already knows. The end result is greater meaning, vitality, and a sense of being at home in your life, focused not on what you do, but instead on how you are in everything you do. Explore techniques for remodeling your life, transforming it into something you love, without having to change your outer circumstances at all. Through collective inquiry and simple exercises, you’ll learn to:

  • Find time in a too busy life
  • Understand how you’ve created the idea of “you”
  • See through habitual patterns, and emotional reactions that no longer serve you
  • Experience everything that happens as a reflection to help you see yourself more clearly
  • Relax into life as a human “being” instead of a human “doing”

Recommended reading: The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters

What Participants Have Said:

“I read the book but it is so much better to have Sarah here to explain it in person…”

“I enjoyed learning from the other [participants] and gained a lot from the diversity of life experiences.”

“The entire experience was just beautiful.  I loved the open forum feeling — the ability to discuss and ask so many questions.”

Upcoming dates and deadlines



Sarah Susanka, FAIA

Social innovator, acclaimed architect, agent of personal transformation and author of the ‘Not So Big’ series, Sarah Susanka has become the inspiration for a new way of understanding how we inhabit both our homes and our lives. She is the best-selling author of nine books – including The Not So Big House, Home By Design and The Not So Big Life – that collectively weave together home and life design, teaching us that a ‘Not So Big’ attitude serves not only architectural aims, but life goals as well.

A master in the use of metaphor to reveal the life that is hidden beneath the surface of everyday existence, Susanka has a gift for making the complex simple and for demystifying even the most obscure and esoteric of subject matter. Through her writing, lectures, and workshops, we learn that a rich, full and extraordinarily satisfying life is readily within reach.  Susanka explains that what’s important is how you are in what you do, not the specific content.  So there’s no need for massive upheavals in everyday life to find meaning.  Her credo is simple:  When we look with the eyes of a student, everything can teach us more about who and what we truly are – we just have to learn how to look.

Accommodations Statement

Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access should contact us in advance of the program.

Join Our Mailing List

For more information about

Duke Health & Well-Being programs, please join our mailing list.