Joy, Wonder, and Awe
Awe is the feeling we get in the presence of something vast that challenges our understanding of the world, like a brilliant night sky, a child’s curiosity, witnessing a simple act of kindness, or being part of a large snake of skiers in a marathon. Awe take us outside of our ‘small self’ and into the larger patterns and wonder of the world, syncing our internal rhythms with the natural world and the people around us.
Recent studies, detailed in Dacher Keltner’s new book Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life, show robust evidence that humans are wired for awe. He presents evidence that awe improves and supports your health by stimulating your vagus nerve, which slows your heart rate, boosts your immune system, reduces inflammation and may help with a variety of chronic conditions. Awe also helps build community and connection by activating the vagus nerve which “orients you to be open to the world and to other people” and “allows you to vocalize, it allows you to look at people in the eyes.” Jamming to get things done this week as my surgery quickly approaches, I rushed out to get groceries before the store closed, only to be met by a balmy breeze and the smells and sounds of spring.
Slowed down and opened by awe, I took the scenic route. Along the way I encountered Genevois frolicking in the parks and enjoying each other in sidewalk cafes, as well as these stunning pansies. Opened fully now by awe and outside my "get it done" self, I remembered I am enough and had done enough, and called a friend to share a beer and meal in Paquis before returning home to a settled and relaxing evening. Now I know why I've built my life and based my work as a coach, guide, and instructor on seeking and experiencing awe and sharing it with others. If you’d like to improve your health, connect with and build community, and tap into your innate creativity and ability to thrive by experiencing the awe of your everyday life, apply for one of two openings I have for new clients starting April 15. Au revoir for now Steve Hindman firstname.lastname@example.org
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