Familiarity may not breed contempt, but it sure does breed ennui and indifference. This drag on our energy and effectiveness permeates everything in our lives. But, what has really happened is a loss of WONDER. When we cannot see wonder, we cannot see gratitude, and we sink into the doldrums of sameness. The beautiful things about our lives become invisible. We need gratitude as a consistent way of being for our success, so I suggest we short-cut to that state by cultivating WONDER.
At Philosophers Camp, we call forth “fierce guardians of wonder and wisdom” to lead in our chaotic world. WONDER is part of 12 essential qualities that we teach that support a high-vibrational way of moving through life.
How do we cultivate WONDER which then naturally glides us in a state of flow and gratitude? Practice “fresh eyes.” Make it a habit. Try this:
Take three deep, slow breaths with eyes closed. Place your feet uncrossed on the floor. Sit up straight.
Imagine in your mind’s eye a once-upon-a-time thing that brought you joy, contentment, or excitement like: a risk you took, the first time you flew in a plane, driving a new car, waking on Christmas morning and seeing masses of presents under a tree, a first home, a first date, seeing the Grand Canyon, seeing the Earth from space, seeing a meteor, holding a newborn's fingers, witnessing a marriage, landing that new job, a beach vacation, etc. It could be anything.
Pick one that fills you with wonder at something larger than yourself.
Now, in your imagination, look at it as if you had never experienced it before. Get into relationship with it from the energy of discovery all over again. Keep imagining that.
Experience the flow of emotion and energy that arises.
Want an example? I forget that my life is a THING.
Over five years ago, I left a large, beautiful home in an affluent suburb for a 400-square-foot cabin. I left a cushy office that had a Starbucks 124 steps away for a place where the nearest Starbucks is a 45-minute drive. I live on the edge of the wilderness where we are the last full-time property with electricity; there are 12 people per square mile; I ride a quad on rough dirt trails; I hear coyotes and see the Milky Way at night; I see deer, beaver, and turkeys by day; I see where Brother Bear has sat down in the raspberry bushes for a feast. Not many people would spend 17 days in an off-the-grid hut at the mountaintop for a deep reset. But I did.
And, sometimes, I forget the why. I get lonely. I complain. I say I cannot do this anymore, and then experience a spectacular sunset and know I am not going anywhere.
I forget that most people look at me with awe or even that I am a little nutty. But, when I welcome guests to our 100 acres and show them around, I remember I consciously chose an inspirational life way outside most comfort zones. You know when you go on vacation and say, “How do people live here?” It’s that. I see it in their eyes, their faces, I hear it in their words ~ WONDER. So, I practice imagining those moments of introduction every day; it makes me laugh and bubbles up joy. I remember and everything is fresh and new and lovely.
I am re-presenced to the courage and intrepidness of saying YES to a rustic mountain adventure.
Ok, so my life is a bit unusual, but the point is that the WHAT does not really matter. The most amazing lives become dull and dark because we forget due to familiarity. The difference between wonder and ennui, enthusiasm or malaise, passion or pallor is simply in what we perceive. What I cultivate in my “Inner Eye Stance” is the only difference. So, go remember the wonder already in your life. Every day. I guarantee you will like what you find.
Blessings from the mountain, Christine
P.S. Let’s connect! Book time with me to explore how to bring more wonder into your life and leadership.