“From wonder into wonder existence opens.” – Lao Tzu
“One clear moment, one of trance
One missed step, one perfect dance
One missed shot, one and only chance
Life is all…but one fleeting glance.”
― Sanober Khan
Caught in lists, checkboxes, to-dos
Busy, jamming and stuffing time
Multitasking, commitments, obligations
Break the pattern, the habit
Skimming the surface
The trance of transaction
Wake up and see beauty, delight
Present in the present
Awaiting your gaze
Awe and wonder
Auto pilot off, snooze alarm too
Arise oh sleeper
“Wonder is the heaviest element on the periodic table. Even a tiny fleck of it stops time.” – Diane Ackerman
“First day of spring
The whole world’s wakin’ up and turnin’ green
And everything connects to everything
It’s a beautiful design
It just takes love and faith and grace, a little time
We’re all sons and daughters, just ripples on the water
Trying to make it matter until our time to leave
One day, they’ll carve your name in stone
And send your soul on home
‘Til then it’s prayin’ for rain and pullin’ up the weeds
Plantin’ trees we’ll never see”
– Lyrics to Amy Grant’s newly released song Planting Trees We’ll Never See
A drive, music turned up high.
Windows open to let spring air in, stale air out.
New music and familiar too.
A fresh playlist to enter a new season.
Winding roads to take.
Twists and turns.
Trees lining the path.
Small and big.
Scatter seeds. Pull weeds.
Planting trees you’ll never see.
Leave a legacy of love wherever you go.
“The practice of paying attention really does take time. Most of us move so quickly that our surroundings become no more than the blurred scenery we fly past on our way to somewhere else.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
“Reverence requires a certain pace. It requires a willingness to take detours, even side trips, which are not part of the original plan.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
Put the weight down.
No need to carry it every minute.
Remember laughter, laugh.
Remember fun, play.
Remember delight, enter.
Remember spring, bloom.
Remember hope, let it carry you.
Remember gratitude, the full view.
Remember joy, invoke it.
Cross thresholds, aware of footholds, break loose.
Pause here a bit, life will surely pull you back in.
Remain longer, lighter, changed, transformed.
Reverence, attention, wisdom.
“Wisdom atrophies if it is not walked on a regular basis.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
“According to the Talmud, every blade of grass has its own angel bending over it, whispering, “Grow, grow.”” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
“Moses could have decided that he would come back tomorrow to see if the bush was still burning, when he had a little more time, only then he would not have been Moses. He would just have been a guy who got away with murder, without ever discovering what else his life might have been about. What made him Moses was his willingness to turn aside. Wherever else he was supposed to be going and whatever else he was supposed to be doing, he decided it could wait a minute. He parked the sheep and left the narrow path in order to take a closer look at a marvelous sight.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
No rushing or hurrying.
Remaining and residing.
Not moving on or going back.
Staying in the present moment.
Not distracted, delayed or racing to the next thing.
In reverence, in awe, in struggle, in ease, in wonder.
Song of a bird.
Blade of grass.
Waiting and wandering.
Tuning out the noise to hear the whisper.
Grow. Grow. Grow.
In due time, not our time.
In due time.
“The practice of paying attention is as simple as looking twice at people and things you might just as easily ignore. To see takes time, like having a friend takes time. It is as simple as turning off the television to learn the song of a single bird. Why should anyone do such things? I cannot imagine—unless one is weary of crossing days off the calendar with no sense of what makes the last day different from the next. Unless one is weary of acting in what feels more like a television commercial than a life.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
“awe is almost always nearby, and is a pathway to healing and growing in the face of the losses and traumas that are part of life.” – Dacher Keltner, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life
Expand rather than contract.
Unbind rather than constrict.
Deep dive, beneath the surface.
Narrow road, wide journey.
Empty and fill back up again.
Make space for awe and wonder.
A daily practice, a commitment.
To see the same with fresh eyes.
Free from criticism, opinion, assumption.
Seek new ideas and ways to see.
Nature, books, podcasts, music, art, laughter, a good conversation.
Pathways to find awe and everyday wonder.
Be on your way.
Awe awaits your arrival.
“From our first breath to our last, awe moves us to deepen our relations with the wonders of life and to marvel at the vast mysteries that are part of our fleeting time here, guided by this most human of emotions.”— Dacher Keltner, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life
“From wonder into wonder existence opens.” – Lao Tzu
“The Sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light while it’s here is up to us. Journey wisely.”― Alexandra Elle
May you experience fresh joy, brilliant light, holy ease.
Pursuing wonder in ordinary days.
The burst of a flower.
The crunch of the snow beneath your feet.
The dance of nature.
The symphony of sky.
A shift in attention, a deepening, a quieting.
Transformation and expansion from wonder to wonder.
Filling the space between sunrise and sunset with delight, awe in the details and the vastness.
Inquire. Observe. Anchor.
Till the garden of grace and gratitude.
“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel
“The insight and wisdom we gain in our journey through love and suffering is transformational and enduring.” Mark Nepo, Surviving Storms
“You may not control life’s circumstances, but getting to be the author of your life means getting to control what you do with them.”― Atul Gawande, Being Mortal
On the path.
Curves, hills, detours.
May you look up, around, ahead.
Wander off trail.
Slowing to see and absorb the full rich view, scenery and beauty.
Seeking and finding joy and delight in ordinary days.
Peace and endurance in struggle.
Blessings in the burdens.
Gratitude and patience in the mystery and unknowing.
Awe and wonder to author your life well.
“The battle of being mortal is the battle to maintain the integrity of one’s life—to avoid becoming so diminished or dissipated or subjugated that who you are becomes disconnected from who you were or who you want to be.”― Atul Gawande, Being Mortal
“Meditation is not about what’s happening, it is about how we’re relating to what’s happening.” ― Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace
“Order us, that we may stand within time holding your hand. That we may know we are enough, not because what we make of these hours, but because within these hours – with you – we are being made.”― Micha Boyett
More is here, unnoticed.
Enough, more than enough overflowing.
Ease, woven in slowing.
Delight, in the rising of the sun.
Brilliance, in the color and curve of a flower.
Joy, in a smile that breaks into laughter.
All of it, prayer.
When we recognize what already is present for our savoring.
An invitation and welcoming, the messy and beauty.
A returning to wonder, a response of praise and awe.
We are being made, written, painted, created each day.
Witness the work of the Author, Artist, Creator.
“Prayer is not an act I perform, words I recite, a behavior I strive to maintain. It is a returning. It is a broken life finding healing, a misplaced soul recognizing home.”― Micha Boyett, Found: A Story of Questions, Grace & Everyday Prayer
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”― Albert Einstein
In a recent New York Times article How a Bit of Awe Can Improve Your Health, research shows that there are health benefits to experiencing awe. As we start the new year with resolutions and intentions, a practice of awe could be the one that facilitates success of the others. Children are the authors of awe. Adults lose it when we enter the “real world.” We become flat, asleep and on autopilot checking off our “to do” lists. According to research, awe is something you can develop, with practice:
Focus on the “moral beauty” of others – witness the goodness of others
Practice mindfulness – distraction is the enemy of awe
Choose the unfamiliar path – gravitate to the unexpected
“Awe is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your understanding of the world,” said Dacher Keltner, author of a new book: Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life
May awe be your new practice and daily habit to expand, deepen and brighten your journey. We can even find in the midst of winter.
“What makes awe such a powerful call to love is that it’s disruptive. It sneaks up on us. It doesn’t ask our permission to wow us; it just does. Awe can arise from a single glance, a sound, a gesture.”― Sharon Salzberg, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection