I’m not just talking about the paint-like-Picasso kind of creativity. I’m talking about the kind that infuses your life with passion, helps you solve problems, improves relationships and illuminates meaning in life. To live creatively is to go through the days with a open-hearted kind of curiosity and the awareness that you can make something out of any situation. The kind that allows you to experience awe.
Awe is a big-time emotion that can have a big-time impact on our lives. As described in Monday’s post, when we experience awe, we are more likely to reach out and share and connect with one another. Sounds something like this: “Hey did you see that race?” “Check out the full moon.” Or “Isn’t this song, just powerful?”
But, awe goes further than just inducing good feelings. It also creates a sense of meaning, and purpose. Every time I look at the waves of the Pacific crashing into The Cove along Oregon’s North Coast, I am touched. It’s awesome, no matter what else is going on, no matter how many times I’ve seen it. When I think of the creatures that can survive in those tide pools and rough surf, from the tiniest hermit crabs to the largest whales, I feel full of life. Moved by it. And I feel like I matter too. Knowing that something as awesome as the ocean and the creatures within it exists, give my life meaning too. It reminds me that we are all an integral part of something bigger and wonderful and mysterious. Awe can help us tap into that and inspire us to live on purpose. It raises us up and in turn we raise the level of our life.
Want more of those AWEsome moments? Here’s how to get them.
Go big. Take time to be the small piece of a larger whole. Go stargazing or whale watching. Become part of a flash mob or sing out loud at a live concert. Whenever we can get a little perspective, add our small voices to unified, larger one and recognize ourselves as part of larger whole, an important part of the Universe, feelings of awe often take root.
Go out. Check out your environment. Nature is awe-inspiring (and stress relieving) check out the oceans, or a corps of ants constructing their pathways. The buds on the cherry tree outside my house are awesome when they return every spring. And I love thinking about the amazing salmon who return to the same waters each year. I don’t understand all the science behind it. Doesn’t matter. I like the wonder of it all. I like not knowing how it all works, but trusting that it does. Even man-made structures can provide major awesomeness. Think Egyptian pyramids or the Golden Gate Bridge. Get yourself out in the world and look on it with curiosity and awe.
Go looking. Remember the video clip of the young Autistic boy who finally gets a chance to play basketball and he hits all those three-pointers to the glee of his teammates who mob him after the game? Or Susan Boyle showing up Simon for the first time? We are surrounded by awesome moments in nature, in people, in ourselves. Find a way each day to see, hear, experience something amazing. It’s inspiring.
Remember, no matter what you’re doing, you’ve got to take notice. Become aware and present to the moments of your life. With quiet awareness wonder shows up and makes for a truly awesome experience.
portions of this post first appeared on this site in 2011.