Name a few moments of ‘Awe’ you have had lately. I recently read an article from Mayo Clinic that indicated having awe-inspiring experiences, especially in times of distractions, worries and distress (as illustrated in the picture of our son Kyle), helps to reduce stress and anxiety. So with this awe-inspiring information let’s begin to keep a portfolio–either virtually or on paper–of awe-inspiring quotes and pictures. I began a folder several years ago and occasionally get the folder and review the many items saved. I always come away refreshed and many times with laughter. We should fill our life bringing a sense of wonder to small daily things that often get overlooked. For example, a bumblebee exploring a flower, a grandchild’s delight or an elegantly crafted piece of furniture. Many times it will only have meaning to you and no one else.
So why do I want to have these moments of awe. Accordingly, moments of ‘awe’ produce feelings of warmth and positivity which flood your mind in a way that doesn’t happen when, for example, doing laundry. Doctors still don’t understand the underlying mechanisms, but studies show positive effects—reduced inflammation, lower stress levels and improved heart rate and diastolic blood pressure, to name only a few.
Research recommends two overwhelming ways to produce the moments of awe. First, get out in nature. Take a walk, go for a ride in the country, have a flower garden. The important thing is to be observant. Secondly, establish relationships with other people. It is critical for our own preservation to establish personal relationships. I underline the word personal—face to face. Our moments of awe can easily be stolen through virtual relationships…….”do not forsake the fellowship of people with a kindred spirit.”
Therefore, your prescription for the next week is to focus on each day in search of ‘awe’. Try to bring a sense of wonder to small daily things that often get overlooked. Share these moments first with ‘yourself’ and then with someone else….. “You can’t believe what I saw today……..” Have you ever seen…… “I saw a patch of God light today……..”
Grace and Peace