To be in awe! What a wonder that would be — particularly if we could be in awe on a regular basis in our daily lives.
I wasn’t much thinking about awe as the new year got underway, but then I stumbled upon a New York Times article titled, How a Bit of Awe Can improve Your Health and I became curious. Of course, most January articles are going to bend toward good health habits to get the new year underway, but I wondered what else awe could do for one’s self?
According to the article and author who wrote the book on awe, “it is a feeling that transcends one’s self.” Do you agree with this idea? When you are in awe are you no longer holding yourself in mind, but something beyond yourself? For me, when I think of awe filled moments in my life, they usually have to do with something spectacular I have seen or experienced, i.e. a double rainbow after a rain storm, amazing wild animals in their natural habitat, gorgeous beauty in nature, a friend’s baby and seeing her first steps, meeting my nieces for the first time, and more.
I am also in awe of others — people who contribute to their community in a meaningful way, people who check in with me and hold me in mind, particularly when it comes as a surprise, people who jump in to save another from harm, and more. I think when I take in humanity on the whole, I am in much awe. For as much as the world feels stressed and strained, people push forward in ways that are awe inspiring.
A dose of awe on a regular basis, I believe does take one outside of herself to focus on things larger than one’s self and one’s problems. However, they are moments and difficult to sustain — particularly on a dreary ho hum day in January. However, I believe we can cultivate it on a regular basis with intention.
How? Well, we aren’t necessarily going to run into something awe inspiring each day, but we can choose to be on the lookout — in the news, on our walks, in our interactions, in what we observe of others. Remember back in the day when we were encouraged to kept lists of things we are grateful for. Perhaps the list needs to be revamped to capture what filled us with some awe in any given day. Remember writing it down not only helps us to remember it, but also to build the muscle to recognize awe more and more often.
I want to have an awesome year ahead. One filled with awe-fiiled sights, sounds, people, kindness, and more. Here’s to not only finding it, but also embodying it within ourselves.
On that note, has anybody told you today just how awesome you are?