Step into Your Joy, Wonder, and Awe
It is a new year and all the hype about new goals, better habits and planning rewards is an exciting time. . . and it can also seem a bit overwhelming. Let’s be really honest with ourselves. This exaggeration of the need to be “better” can sometimes get in the way of being grateful for what we have and who we are in the present moment.
Let me tell you, I am a dreamer and I love, love, LOVE, to imagine a vast amount of possibilities for my future. Thinking up and feeling into what could be is a beautiful space to be in. It sparks our imagination and allows our mind to look for the tools we need to help us create what we desire. The new year is all about new beginnings, and it is therefore magical in creating space — a blank canvas of possibilities if we let it be inspiring rather than overwhelming!
An easy way for me to do this is by looking at the concepts that yoga or certain guided meditations teach. Often there is this pull from one side of wisdom saying, “Be in the present," and then on the other, “Imagine all that you are willing to manifest.” Both are very important concepts. Still, it is easy to get caught up in the massive amounts of information around those two ideologies when there is actually an easier and more abundant way to be present–and still create a life you love!
The answer is simple: step into your joy, wonder and awe.
I know, trust me, it sounds elementary, but there is research to show that these three, simple emotions are the keys to the fountain of youth! Let me elaborate.
Let’s start with the emotion, joy. What do you think about when you see or hear the word joy? What would your definition of joy be? Now, think about how you would explain your particular definition of joy to a friend. When you explain or talk about any emotion, your body does this amazing thing and remembers where inside you that emotion has been expressed in the past and where that ability is stored.
Now this can get very complex explaining how this works, but follow these next steps and watch your joy expand!
First, do the exercise of pretending you are describing joy to a friend. Then pause, close your eyes, and take in a deep breath.
Notice where inside your body joy resides. It takes practice, but generally for me it is inside my core - my solar plexus. It feels like I am about to indulge in a gigantic belly laugh, out loud, and so powerful that it could erupt and shake my whole body as this bright, scintillating emotion washes over me.
Because our bodies are so amazing and can recognize where this emotion is possible inside, we can amplify that emotion with our thoughts. Think about where you would like more joy in your life. Dream as big as you possibly can. Now place your hand upon the spot where the majority of your joy resides inside you (as mentioned for me it is my belly - where is it for you?), and take another deep breath.
Close your eyes, notice your hand on your body so you are present and then imagine all those places in your life that you would like more joy as if it is already happening. See it in your mind’s eye. Feel it expand in your body. Let it be a part of who you are naturally and what you are choosing to create!
If you actually took the time to follow these steps, you just brought your joy physically into your life, and opened the door for more joy to reside inside you–and to expand to where you want it outside of yourself and in your home, business, relationships, or whatever you envisioned.
Now keep it up.
It doesn't have to be complicated. If you want joy in your life, then simply make the choice. No matter what hard things are happening in your life and in the life of others around you, you can still have joy! Let go of the attachments as to what that has to look like and allow it to flow through your body, into your mind and your life.
Now we move into wonder and awe. As far as these two emotions go, wonder and awe is where you get to learn to dance with your inner child. If that seems too weird, too woo or fru-fru for you, simply ask yourself: “As a kid, what were the things that I would explore that brought me so much curiosity and joy?”
If that is too difficult to imagine, simply imagine a kid you know and love. Think about the joy that curiosity brings them. The entire world is a child's playground, constantly discovering and being eager to learn and grow! I know if you bring that wonder into your world, adventure starts to spark. I’ve seen it and experienced it personally! The next thing you know, you're on a bus to Bali, or talking to a stranger with a background that has always intrigued you.
Masters from ancient to modern day talk about the importance of being child-like. There is a powerful and vitally important reason for this. Awe and wonder are so powerful, they are the fountain of youth for creatives, writers and leaders, because instead of allowing ourselves to be stagnant, we approach things with curiosity! The gift of wonder and awe expands our minds and hearts like the children around us do. It fills the world with color!.
Franz Kafka said, “Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”
The combination of joy, wonder and awe is a formula that can be a tool for you to use going into the new year. It doesn’t cost you a thing, but the rewards are endless–a fountain of creativity! Allow yourself to become more childlike. Make new discoveries, research something that makes your blood move with excitement, and find the play in your work. My friends, when we choose to be in a space of joy, wonder, and awe, the possibilities for our lives as creatives are wide open.
So, I invite you to ask yourself, for this year, where do I get to bring in more joy, awe and wonder? Even the question has great power. Go for it!