Stress and anxiety cannot exist in a state of awe.

When was the last time you felt awe? It’s a complex emotion that encompasses feelings of wonder, amazement, reverence, all those good things. It inspires new insights. It ignites our creativity. It encourages us to build or improve our relationships.

And something maybe you don’t know, is that feelings of awe have physical benefits as well. It affects our bodies in specific ways.

The other day, I heard a wonderful scientist, Doctor Dacher Keltner, interviewed. He’s an expert on the science of emotions and was a consultant to Pixar’s Inside Out, a deep, interesting movie. He wrote a new book called Awe, The New Science of Everyday Wonder and how it can transform your life.

So we’re talking big stuff here. Not just, “Oh yeah, I had this wonderful experience two weeks ago and it was nice,” as you would talk about a good movie you saw, but rather a profound experience that you want to nurture, you want to savor in your memory.

We definitely can do so. Doctor Keltner said this, “Awe makes us nicer and happier and more connected to the people around us.”

How do you describe that sense of awe? It’s a very tough emotion to explain. But we all know what it feels like, right? It’s an amazing experience and when you have that, it opens up all kinds of channels in your body, and in your mind, so that you have this glorious openness where you lose track of your body. Your stress level drops when you’re in that state of awe. Stress and anxiety cannot exist in a state of awe.  I’ll talk about that more in a second.

And it improves your social connections. Because when you have that experience, it makes you happy and you want to share it with others; maybe not necessarily the experience itself because sometimes that’s hard to do, but you can share your good feeling.

Interestingly, it also improves cognitive function. And as we get older, we certainly want to consider anything that can improve our businesses and our relationships. We want to be able to think clearly and say the right things, do the right things. So cognitive function is an important aspect of what awe can do for you.

When was the last time you felt awe?

So how do we invite awe into our day? –And it should be a daily experience not something that happened years ago. Dr Keltner speaks of “everyday awe.” You can nurture feelings of awe simply by seeking out new experiences. You know that’s going to initiate awe because when something is new there’s a sense of wonder about it: “Wow, there’s so much to know about this and I can’t wait to find out more!” You’re excited at the prospect of unearthing the mysteries of this new thing.

I just had that experience with a new training course that I’m doing to help me with publishing my next book which I’m working on. (I’m very excited about it and I’ll tell you more as we go along.) I have this sense of “Wow, this is going to be fantastic! Look at all this wonderful help that I didn’t know existed before that’s available to me.”

That’s just one example. Being in nature is awesome. Taking a walk is one of my favorite activities and I encourage you to do it too. I just had a gaggle of wild turkeys marching up and down the street in front of my house yesterday. I see the deer in the woods all the time. If I go to our private beach entrance at the top of the cliff, people congregate there and every night we see a whole deer family cross the road right in front of us. They don’t mind that we’re there at all. We’re sharing our space together with them. Awesome!

The other night I was writing on my computer and I had the door open because it was a beautiful evening. Suddenly I heard the other-worldly sound of the loons. They make an eerie sound, a mournful call that shifts me into a different state of consciousness. Indescribably awesome!

So nature gives us a beautiful opportunity for developing our ‘awe-bility’!

Henry Miller said, “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”  And I couldn’t agree with him more because that happens to me all the time. I will stop whatever I’m doing and just look at something. I’m looking at my aloe plant on the shelf here and it just fills me with awe at how the plant produces a healing gel in its leaves. Amazing!

The Benefits of Awe

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When you are having an experience of awe, you are in the present. This is why your stress disappears. It’s because you’re not thinking about the past. You’re not ruminating and getting all caught up with past garbage, and you’re not concerned about what’s going to happen next. You’re in this sublime moment just experiencing the joy of what it is you’re seeing or feeling.

That’s why you want to nurture your awe-bility, the place where you can feel peaceful and joyful and connected with nature and other people.  

So to wrap up our discussion of the power of awe in our lives, let me reiterate:

We want to inspire ourselves to experience it every day. Dr Keltner suggests taking an ‘awe walk’. So you’re not just taking a walk, you’re consciously determining that you want to experience the beauty and awe of nature. BTW, the name of his book is Awe: The new science of everyday wonder and how it can transform your life

Awe releases your stress. And that’s what I’m all about. I want you to be able to release your stress so that you can have better health, better relationships and more success in your business and personal life of course!

Exciting news! Starting Sept 11, at 7pm I’ll be leading a FREE 4 week class, ‘Unpacking the Traits of a Spiritually Conscious Person’

We are body, mind and spirit. Those are the three elements of our nature. I hope we are taking care of our bodies: sleeping, exercising, eating right, all that kind of good stuff. And we’re taking care of our mental attitude by meditating and thinking good thoughts; taking back the power of decision in our minds.

But that spirituality part, perhaps we don’t spend as much time nurturing that part of us maybe because we haven’t got a clue as to how. And so that’s what I want to talk about on Monday evenings at 7:00 on Zoom.

Let’s learn the traits of a spiritual person so we have a direction to take in our journey to peace of mind.


Peace and Love Always,

MarciaGrace

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