Life comes at us hard sometimes. There is so much to wrap our arms around at once it seems to stretch our limits. The responsibilities of performing well at work, nurturing a family, making a home, maintaining good health and being engaged citizens are satisfying and often stressful. We get a double dose of stress this year with the recent elections and now the holidays upon us. It seems we need a double dose of coping skills to get some relief too.
It is time to tap into awe! The experience of awe is defined by Oxford as the feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder. Often the experiences that trigger awe lead us to simply exclaim “OMG” or “Wow!” These are experiences that blow your mind like watching the World Trade Center towers fall or seeing the Grand Canyon. Most recently, the experiences with the election have left many of us awestruck. How could this happen? What will we do to stop all that threatens our future?
The researchers say that two elements are central and present in all clear cases of awe: perceived vastness and a need to adjust one’s current mental structures to process the experience. The researchers also tell us that awe experiences motivate people to do things that enhance the greater good. (Keltner, Haidt).
The experience of awe, even a small dose can stop the clock in other words stop the mind from thinking. This phenomenon increases the sense of time availability consequently boosting the person’s life satisfaction. This boost in turn results in people being more generous, cooperative, sacrificing, less self-focused and less materialistic (Rudd).
Tap into awe to Enhance the Greater Good.
Our country’s current reality is vastly disturbing, chunk it down, do what you can to will help you, your family, your work and your community now.
Build on the amazing work that has already been done.
Form new alliances for support as you engage in social action change efforts.
Dialogue with the ‘others’ to gain new perspectives and build bridges.
Tap into awe Stop the Clock to stay strong to keep up the good fight.
Take a hike or it’s equivalent: A dear friend told me while hiking she sees vistas so amazing she feels “close to God”.
Visit a museum like the National Museum of African American History & Culture and be awed by the sacrifice, perseverance and dignity of generations.
See the beauty of the world and it’s people.
Keep the holidays simple, enjoy your loved ones, and be thankful for all that is good!