The A.W.E. Method
Therapist Jake Eagle and chronic pain specialist Michael Amster, MD, have developed a simple practice for micro-dosing mindfulness through Awe. As lifelong meditators and mindfulness teachers, they, “were almost embarrassed when we stumbled onto a five to fifteen second shortcut to transcendence.” If you want to learn more about why it works and the large studies they conducted to document its effectiveness, pick up a copy of their book, The Power of Awe and visit their website at https://thepowerofawe.com. For now, I invite you to experience The A.W.E. Method for yourself:
Attention. Focus your full and undivided attention on something you appreciate, value, or find amazing. Look at it closely and with intent. If it’s small, pick it up and turn it over to see all of all of it. If it’s a plant, smell and touch it. If it’s a person or a street scene, notice how each person is dressed, how they move, the contours of their face, and how they interact with each other and their environment. If it’s a large object or vista, look at the small details and think of the larger picture of how it came to be the way it is now. Wait – Slow down and pause, taking a deep breath as you appreciate what you’ve given your attention to. Exhale and Expand – make a slightly deeper exhale but don’t focus on your breath (unless that is the object of your attention!) Use your exhale to amplify whatever sensations you are feeling and allow them to fill you and grow. Do you feel easier in your body? Did a smile come to your lips? Did you vision soften as your eyes moistened in gratitude for the wonder you observed? This should take under a minute, and you can practice by focusing your attention on people, places, things and whatever else that’s nearby and present in the moment, that you remember from your past, or that you can imagine in your future. The key is to just do it 3-5 times per day for a while and see what happens. For myself, the practice brought small smiles and more appreciation of what I focused on at first, but no big changes. Now after more than a week, I notice more things to appreciate and focus my attention on and often feel drawn to them. I also had an experience of spontaneous A.W.E. today while walking from one tram stop to another when I suddenly became part of something larger than me while flowing along with everyone else. Your results may vary, but I encourage you to give it a try, especially since it takes less than a minute each time you do.
My newest experiential retreat, Reclaiming Awe in Everyday Life, a three-day retreat near Missoula, Montana from June 22-25, 2023, will help you experience awe and bring practices like the A.W.E. method into your everyday life to counter the over-stressed, over-achieving, and under-satisfying experience of daily life common to all of us at times.
In gratitude and honor of readers of my blog. I'm offering a $500 discount to you and anyone you know who might be interested. This offer will be valid for registrations received with a $500 deposit by May 1.
Au Revoir for now!
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