Reflection: Familiarity brings with it a certain level of comfort and ease.
You hop in the car to head for work. Without even thinking, you steer in the standard direction of your standard route with your standard expectations about how the trip will unfold.
You walk into a social or professional gathering not sure who you will meet there. As you scan the group, you find a few familiar faces and gravitate in their direction.
You walk into your favorite coffee shop. Without even scanning the menu board to see what might be new on offer, you place your regular order for your regular drink in your regular size with your regular barista.
Same. Same. Same. Over and over and over. It’s little wonder that our daily interactions can have a distressingly numbing effect on our minds and emotions.
Action: There are other ways of being in this world that generate livelier, more engaging experiences.
In one of her recent reflections, my niece, Jillian, (writer, photographer, artisan, and frontierswoman at large) offers this suggestion. Make yourself ‘available to awe’.
When I read that phrase it stuck in my mind. I’ve been carrying it with me in this lead up to the holiday season. I’m noticing that awesome abounds when you search for it in everyday experiences.
On the practical front, it’s awesome that our bodies take care of so many functions automatically without needing our conscious care and attention. It’s awesome that you can find fresh fruits and vegetables in the grocery store in the middle of winter. It’s awesome that planes stay up in the air, and that stars light up the night sky.
On the emotional front, it’s awesome that something as simple as a child’s laugh can light a candle in your heart. It’s awesome that a familiar piece of music or the scent of pine can surface sweet memories buried deep within. It’s awesome that we have the capacity to remember the good times, and minimize the past hurts and troubles of our lives.
As we move into the darkest days of winter, I invite you to make yourself ‘available to awe’. Pay close attention to the awesomeness of life. Share what you see with others.
We could all use a little more ‘up’ and a little less ‘down’ as we move through the days of December and into the new year.
Quotes Of The Week: In case you have not been adequately informed, consider this official notice that you are awesome. – Anonymous
The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. – Henry Miller
Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are. – Markus Zusak
The awesomeness in you will always see the awesomeness in others. – Amrut Jadhav
Make today so awesome that yesterday gets jealous. – Anonymous
Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. – Wayne Dyer
Resources Of The Week: This is an interesting article by Summer Allen that summarizes the research on the impact of awe on our well being: Eight Reasons Why Awe Makes Your Life Better.
This article by Juliana Breines describes Four Awe-Inspiring Activities.
If you’re looking for some ideas that prompt remembrances of awe, you might want to dip into one of Neil Pasricha’s many books: The Book Of Awesome, The Book of (Even More) Awesome, or perhaps this one specially written for the month ahead, The Book of Holiday Awesome.
Special Offer: I’ve got quite a supply of the Take A Bow booklets in stock, so I’m extending a holiday offer that might be of interest to you. Regularly priced at $6.95/copy, for the month of December I’m making them available in any quantity of 15 or more at $2.95/copy plus GST and shipping.
Take A Bow – 67 Ways To Pause For Applause, Celebrate Your Success & Keep Your Spirits High is a great way to express appreciation to employees, colleagues, clients, friends and family.
For this offer, contact me directly with quantity required and shipping details, and we’ll take it from there. To learn more about the Take A Bow booklet, follow this link for full information.