There is so much to say about having wonder and awe in this world. As a Yoga teacher I get to watch people destroy boundaries and imaginary limitations in their bodies and minds all the time. In my Chinese Medicine practice I get to watch the same thing happen. Although because of confidentiality issues I can't share the personal details, I did want to tell a story about how one of my clients re-engaged with awe.
Let's call her Erica. Erica is a lovely young woman. She is smart, easy to speak with and has a beautiful heart. When she came to see me for the first time, I asked her to distill down to one sentence what she really wanted more than anything from our sessions together. With tears in her eyes, she said "hope."
Erica had gone through a very difficult year that included a toxic relationship. The root of all her pain both physical and emotional was that she felt like somehow like she was a tarnished person who would never get "better". From her perspective, she was weak and unworthy of happiness in her life.
My perspective was that she was simply too focused on a small part of her experience. Her past had become a big bad monster and because of it, she was missing the wonderful things in the world, including her own potential to be a game-changer. Over the next few weeks of getting to know Erica, I performed treatments to improve the physical symptoms she was having. As her symptoms started to clear, new hope emerged. Still, Erica was simultaneously nervous that she would easily be pulled into her past.
What she needed was a fresh take on an old story.
"What if everything you went through over the past year is no longer a problem, but actually becomes the way you can relate to people who are dealing with the same thing? What if you stopped seeing this as a story about your weakness and instead saw it as a valuable life lesson learned? You have no idea who you could inform and how many lives could be made better because of your experience, and what you decide to do with it from here."
We started talking about life as a process and it made me think about how this one small period of time, no matter how challenging it had been for Erica, was nothing more than a blip in the grand scheme of things. And this lovely young woman took it and ran with the new perspective, full of hope and I can't wait to see what she creates in this world.
Our small tweak this week is to be in awe. Seeing the wonder and beauty in the world around us should be very natural, but when you are pressed up against the small details of life, it is easy to lose the big picture. How do we regain that wonder about the world we are blessed to be part of? Let's find out!
Living – Step back and think about your impact.
A quick way to uncloud and expand your perspective is to ask if something is going to really matter in a week, a year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 100 years. Making decisions based on what you really want for the future in your life and after you are gone is a profound reminder of how precious and amazing it is to be here.
Having clear priorities and knowing that our time in this body is limited will inspire you to enjoy the beautiful world around you, filled with people that you love and who love you back. A big expansion of your perspective can only help you be in awe and stop taking life for granted and be more responsible about your decisions.
Working – Do you love your work? If yes, then this week your small tweak is to verbally acknowledge that daily. The popular work culture is to complain about our careers as though someone forced us into it. I have never heard anyone say "It's Monday! Woo hoo back to my amazing job for 5 whole DAYS!!". It doesn't happen. Monday for most, is met with dread and it is actually a bonding ritual for you and your co-workers to say disparaging things about it in the mile long line for coffee. If you love your work, spread the love. No need to be Pollyanna, but celebrate your victories, prop up a co-worker who needs it or express gratitude to someone who is working hard.
If you don't love your work, your small tweak this week is to spend a few minutes thinking about why and what you would rather be doing. You don't have to jump ship quite yet, but spend some time this week considering what it would take to start doing something more meaningful.
Being – Last week we spent a lot of time on creativity and being. Being in awe requires that same spaciousness. When we are pressed up against small details as we are so often, perspective is the first thing to go. Spend 15-20 minutes each day this week in meditation with the sole purpose of getting unstuck from any thought, feeling or physical sensation that arises. Hold the widest lens that you can and you will be in awe.