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is meant to invite and inspire you to maximize the joy in
The current word used by youngsters and hipsters to describe something that is really cool is “sick.” Not me. It is just too much of a stretch to associate “sick” with something that invokes joy or wonder! Sick rhymes with ick and when I hear either of those words, I do not get a rush of excitement or a jolt of joy. But when I hear someone say, “that was awesome!” my eyes and ears perk up. I want to know or see or hear what they are talking about. Of course, your idea of what is awesome may be different from mine but isn’t the experience of feeling or being awestruck universally delightful? And if joy is a natural byproduct of being delighted, it behooves us to figure out and pursue what evokes awe, doesn’t it?
How do you know when you are awestruck? When something temporarily takes your breath away because it is so beautiful, creative, inspiring or unbelievable? When your jaw literally drops? When you don’t even realize you are saying, “oh my goodness!” or “Wow?” When you want to see or experience something over and over again? The common denominators seem to be wonder, amazement, and a sense of magic.
You can curse certain aspects of the Internet age but what I love about technology is that it has the capacity to spread awe, virally. When someone sends you a link to a video on YouTube or Vimeo, or when I offer my monthly Prompts for Joy (see below), an opportunity to be awestruck may await you. I am no official observer of trends in the social media but I have noticed that Facebook, for example, is an awesome (!) vehicle for sharing good news, heartwarming tales, exquisite photographs, and inspiring videos. So if you are still trying to figure out what is awesome to you, perhaps you could take note of your patterns of computer use! Which videos do you watch a second or third time? Which photos do you find yourself wanting to share with others? What types or categories stand out? Here is an incomplete list of potential sources of awe: people, places, things, inventions, extraordinary feats or achievements, animals, sports highlights, magnificent entertainment or art, etc. What else? Please feel free to add to this list! But even more important, I invite you to take a more active approach to accessing or doing what inspires awe in you because joy will no doubt be more present if you do.
Invite Awe In
I can think of no better summation of this call to bring more awe, and joy, into our lives than a few lines in a fabulous poem called “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver:
When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world
into my arms.
May your arms and heart hold lots of awe.
Be the Source
If something you do, create, or say evokes awe in others, the joy multiplies. You get to see looks of wonder, or jaws drop, when you do what you do. To hear others say “Wow!” (or some equivalent) can bring a delicious dose of joy. Those witnessing you get to be awestruck, and hit “Share” on Facebook (or some equivalent). So let that joy multiply! Is there some gift that you are reluctant to share with others? Take it out of hiding! You never know what delight may unfold from this courageous act, and that would be awesome!
for June 2013
Consider setting an intention to bring more awe into your life. Identify one or two things that are guaranteed awe-inducers, and pursue them with passion.
Your June 2013 Prompts for Joy
Click here for a guaranteed “Wow!” that is worth taking 8 minutes to watch!
Click here to see a 2 year-old with an amazing talent. More “Wow” for you.
Thanks to Facebook friends Joan Mazza and Peyton Taylor for sharing these!
Do a Daily Dance: Bring on the Joy!
The #1 video on the D.D.D. playlist for this month will appeal to you if you are either a fan of ABBA or cats! (Thanks so much, Patrice Catanio!)
Sunsets are often awesome. This one took place in Seaside, CA.
By no means
do I have joy “figured out.” Please do not assume
that I do! I write Out On a Limb as much as a meditation for
myself in the ongoing pursuit of joy, as for you. I think this
pursuit is a lifelong journey and that the full experience
of joy is, at best, episodic. May we all have more episodes!
Martha Clark Scala, MFT · 721 Colorado Ave., Suite 201, Palo Alto, CA 94303 ·