This image reminds me of my time along the coast. The other day, I was walking and watched a seagull flying high above me, so I began to lift my arms and fly with him. I watched his every move and copied his pattern. It was as if I was flying down the beach. I began to feel a rhythm in my body as I moved. I began to slow, to breathe deeply and to take in every breath and movement with intention. I needed it. It was like walking, doing yoga, meditating and finding a focus, all at once. I was in Awe. I thought to myself…AWE…Always Wander Every day. My mind began to play with the word over and over…Always Wonder…Amazed…Enthusiasm. So, AWE is now a type of mantra.
I walked for awhile and on my way back down the beach I ran into some neighbors. One of them said, “I thought that was you. Were you doing yoga or something while you were walking? Whatever you were doing, you seemed happy. I knew it had to be you.”
I smiled and responded, “I was flying down the beach, breathing in the fresh air…kind of like yoga,” I smiled.
I walked away happy to feel like I was giving off a happy vibe. For me, it was a moment and an experience that transported me to AWE.
What can you do to find a little AWE in your every day??
What do you think of when you think of moments that bring about AWE?
For me, it is so many little things. So many gifts that nature bestows upon us. I don’t think anyone could visit the Redwoods and not be humbled and in awe of the giants, the quiet, the almost reverence that is felt there. Every day I stand and look out onto the vast ocean I am in constant awe of how it changes every day. Don’t get me started on sunsets, full moons, tiny rose bud flowers, dew drops on green grasses, the way water mirrors and reflects surrounding beauty, moss, forest paths, clouds, rainbows, patterns and symmetry in nature….so many little things. Nature brings about so much AWE in everything.
No wonder it is mostly memories and experiences in nature that bring people to AWE inspiring moments. If you ask anyone about AWE, guaranteed there is some type of natural place, setting, backdrop of the details that made a walk special, a place memorable, an internal awareness, etc. that holds the gift of AWE within.
What Science says about AWE: According to Psychology Today, Psychologists are busy at work trying to understand more about awe, why it exists and how experiencing awe changes us. So far, they’ve found that after experiencing awe, people feel that they have more time and are part of something bigger. They also are more generous to other people and more satisfied with their lives. And there may even be a link between awe and health—recent research shows that people who tend to feel a lot of awe have fewer proinflammatory cytokines.
Some ideas to instill a little more AWE into your life: go with my quote above. I think it will help you remember daily to Always Wonder and Always Wander…as well as be Amazed with Enthusiasm. This little trick may help you take steps every day to wander.
WANDER: Find new places where you live. Seeking out new things to delight your senses will fill you with more AWE. Think about it. When you just do the same things—nothing excites you, its routine, but if you shake up your norm and find a new hike, walk through a creative store, wander down a new street or a place you have never been–your senses light up and are fired up with all the new colors, new sounds, new sights, etc. It is a new delight. It’s a surprise.
What do you think of when you think of WANDER? I think of–wandering around with no expectation, just a curiosity, a need for a good meander.
WONDER: The sense of wonder speaks of our hunger to be moved, to be engaged and impassioned with the world and take pleasure in it, attuned to it and fascinated by it. Grateful for it.-Gregg Levoy, Psychology Today
Being in a whole new state brings curiosity and wonder every day. Just being near the ocean has brought about daily wonders—what are the types of sea life we find along the shore, the tiny flocks of birds running in and out of the waves, why are these shells or rocks here today…there is so much to learn in every environment, but everything changes when you step out of your norm. There is a sense of play, the variety of experiences that show up, the new people and places, the vast amounts of newness and wonder have a tendency to excite at every level.
There are a variety of ways to bring about a sense of wonder: Maybe you learn a new word of the day (love this) & try to use it in various sentences or listen to a new music station to find some fresh songs to play. Maybe you find new cultural ways to expand your universe—Visit places you’ve wondered about–is there a special exhibit on how chocolate is made at your local museum or is there a play you are curious about attending. Maybe you need to watch an inspiring documentary on a desired subject (My daughter is studying to become a Marine Biologist & had our family watch, “My Octopus Teacher” it was incredible & thought inspiring on many levels–not your normal movie night but it was full of wonder and interest–highly recommend). Maybe you need to enjoy a concert that interests you–(We just watched the Coldplay concert on Netflix & it was fun to see the story and journey of this incredible band). Maybe watch inspiring people give Ted talks on subjects that seem to teem with your personal interests or just stop where you are and seek to find something that stirs some type of AWE within you.
Wonder plays at every turn. Wonder can be found in the beauty of nature or in the simplest of acts when you slow down and notice the details around you. It can delight the senses and it can also deepen your feelings of what you need within your life.
AMAZED: My little family walked the beach earlier today and I had them stop, drop and begin to sift through the tiny grains of sand to see what they could discover. We were in awe of the size and colors of the various minerals, the specks of light, the huge amounts of vast debris that landed at our feet after being moved and tumbled from the ocean floor.
Nature has this incredible way of reminding us how truly small we are. The sands that we walk upon on a beach change every day, the water ebbs and flows, everything cycles, everything moves with an incredible, awe-inspiring beauty that only nature can deliver.
ENTHUSIASM: Comes from the Greek word “Entheos” which means, “The God Within” I LOVE THIS beautiful meaning. When you think of AWE—Enthusiasm must be included because usually things that bring AWE have some detail of God within it. Whether something brings you a sense of awe through joy, simplicity, details, quiet, new experiences, tickles the senses, is thought-provoking, or growth-inspiring–any experience that encompasses AWE—God is happy and so are you.
Think about it. Wonder, Wander, Amazed and Enthusiasm—all touch upon the incredible moments and memories that make your life memorable and worth living. When you grow, when you see and experience new things, when you step out of your comfort and move forward without fear, when you slow down and notice the details and gifts held throughout your life—AWE is the experience.
Finally, I love this quote…Wander often, Wonder always. I would just add…and be Amazed with Enthusiasm 🙂
A few of my favorites lately–besides daily walks in nature. Take these seriously. Slow down your walks on occasion and notice the tiny details. Yesterday, I was at a beautiful, ocean lookout and noticed the field covered in tiny, daisy-type flowers. I got close-up and took a few pics. I thought, “these are probably like dandelions in Utah, these poor flowers are probably not too loved.” I blew them a kiss and proclaimed my love for them. Some people will see weeds, but I see the beauty. We must stop and see the beauty, appreciate it and be in awe of it all.
A FEW ADDITIONAL IDEAS: Enjoying new things…enJOY! A few ideas to get you started.
WORD OF THE DAY to begin: Solivagant…Wandering Alone. Sign-up for word of the day emails or apps that send you a word. There is also WORDLE that I heard is a fun challenge. OR you could also do words of the day for learning a language. Your brain loves a good challenge and induces feelings of inspiration—all good things.
OLYMPIC MUSIC: I came across some beautiful, awe-inspiring music from some of the Olympic. A few favorites: “Wild Side” by Roberto Cacciapaglia and “Experience” by Angele Dubeau. Don’t be afraid to listen to new types of music and find things that inspire awe.
PLACES TO WANDER: Park, garden, or pond you have never been to…a creative store…
MAKE: I recently saw a beautiful mandala at the beach that someone had made out of layers and layers of rock. It was incredible. Make something that slows you—color a mandala, create a mandala out of nature items, draw words or circles in the sand,
Hope these ideas get you started on seeking and finding a little more AWE in your life. xoxo -H