Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement…get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.― Abraham Joshua Heschel
As 2015 commences I awake to this reality: I’m unemployed, single and childless. The embodiment of the American dream I may not be, but I have a suspicion that I’m smack in the middle of where great stories begin.
I plan to embark on 365 Days of Wonder, and I invite you to join me.
I’ve been intrigued with wonder for a while. I love that it exists as a noun (awe) and a verb (to be curious). Beyond its fabulous dual meaning powers, I believe wonder might just be potent enough to turn my story into a zestier one, encourage yours…and make the world a better place in 2015.
Last year I set out to have a year of wonder but I’ll confess I just got too busy, too distracted, too stressed to pay attention to it. I suppose I never took the time to figure out how to go about experiencing more wonder.
Well, there’s nothing like being laid-off from a high-intensity job to make space on the calendar.
So, here are a few ways I plan to engage wonder this year and I’d be thrilled if you participated too:
1. A PRAYER FOR WONDER – I desire to approach each day with divine anticipation. I plan to begin my day with a prayer for wonder…and I expect to receive it.
Never once in my life did I ask God for success or wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder, and he gave it to me. ― Abraham Joshua Heschel
2. A DAILY EXAMEN OF WONDER –A 16th century Spaniard named Ignatius of Loyola developed a way of processing the day that prioritized gratitude as a foundation to the spiritual life and invited authentic conversations with God. Here’s a link to his approach: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/
In the spirit of Ignatius’ examen, I plan to spend a couple of minutes at the end of each day reflecting on these questions:
- How did I experience wonder today?
- Where did wonder get lost?
- How might it get reclaimed tomorrow?
3. SEE/SHARE/POST WONDER – Let’s create a community that’s on the lookout for wonder. I plan to do a daily post a picture, snatch of conversation or something else that led me to wonder. I’ll post these on my blog (http://tamarapark.com/blog/) and the FB Page 365DaysofWonder (facebook.com/365DaysofWonder). Here you too can post your discoveries, your snapshots or your questions.
Join me…and perhaps we can start a movement!
4. CREATE WONDER – Consider using one of your passions as a portal to exploring wonder (ie photography, music, writing, cooking, woodworking, etc.). See how paying attention to wonder might invigorate your creative work.
This year I plan to write articles on wonder. I’ve had the opportunity to interview a couple of hundred extraordinary people through the years and hope to explore some of their stories to see what I can learn from them about awe and curiosity. I also hope to interview others around the world that live out wonder in innovative and transformative ways. I’ll post those on my blog as well.
I’d love to hear/see/read about ways your engaging wonder too.
I have one talent, and that is the capacity to be tremendously surprised, surprised at life, at ideas. This is to me the supreme Hasidic imperative: Don’t be old. Don’t be stale. ― Abraham Joshua Heschel