AWE. We know what it feels like but it’s hard to pin down. Awe is both mysterious and complex. And awe can be a tiny moment or something grand. For example, witnessing my children’s first steps or my grandparents holding hands under the dinner table, seeing a pod of humpback whales breaching off shore or mountains in the Sierras are just a few ideas that come to mind when I think about awe.
How about you?
Awe makes us feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, it connects us and inspires us. And it’s good for you! Scientific studies link awe to greater happiness, better relationships and even better health. Plus it just makes you feel good.
But, maybe you’re thinking – great, but I’m stuck here in my apartment, what’s this got to do with me?
Awe is everywhere.
Every day experiences — watching a sunset or looking at stars, watching a hummingbird hover over a flower or the call of a hawk in the sky — inspire awe. Or your house plant that’s thriving because you’re home more to take care of it. Your dog looking at you with such love you feel it in your heart. Even watching a beautiful ballet or musical performance on your computer can inspire awe and improve your well-being, fill you with joy and happiness and calm your body.
And savoring memories of past awe experiences can do the same.
What are some times (tiny or big ones) when you’ve experienced awe? Make a list.
As you write down your list, pause to really feel each experience, close your eyes, feel it in your body, remember to focus on your senses: I see …, I hear …, I smell …, I feel …, I taste…. This will allow you to create a strong memory.
Exploring your past memories of these times can shift your mood, make you feel the awe all over again, and deepen your joy and resilience. Please take a moment to close your eyes and reflect on how examining the details of your memory felt. Write down your reflection in your own words.
How can you experience awe now? Start looking for the wonder. What’s one tiny step you can take? Take it, savor the awe, pay attention to how it makes you feel — repeat!