Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
I’m having trouble coming up with an answer to this one. I don’t think I had a perspective change that was prompted by a friend. Oh well, I can skip this one. I’ll go back to another one I missed but really wanted to do:
December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
I cultivated a sense of wonder by practicing “beginner’s mind.” This is one of my favorite takeaways from a mindfulness course I took: approach everything as if it’s the first time.
The first time you tasted chocolate.
The first time you saw a sunset.
The first time you drove a car.
The first time you brushed your teeth.
When you do this, you are paying attention to what is happening in the moment. You become engaged in the NOW, and the past and future can’t bother you.
Yes, him again (what can I say? He’s a fantastic life coach!)
I had a great model for this in my nephew; everyday things became extraordinary as I watched through his eyes.
Simple things, like flipping a switch and having light flood the room; falling leaves; clouds; trains.
Usually, being stuck at a train crossing is incredibly annoying. Who has time to just sit and watch car after car go by for what seems like an hour (but is usually only a few minutes)? Well, my nephew does. He not only has the time, he considers it a special treat to see a real, live train. Now, when I get stuck, I picture my nephew and wish he was there to see it. I don’t get as excited about it as he does, but I don’t find it as frustrating, either.
I love seeing the world through my nephew’s eyes, and the more time I spend with him, the more I find to wonder at.
Traveling also evokes a sense of wonder for me. From camping to luxury cruises, there is always something new and different to marvel at.
Last spring I got to tour the vatican, and as a cradle Catholic that was a big deal. But even as a person of any belief, there was plenty to take your breath away. There’s just such a special feeling when looking at a sculpture like the Pieta or gazing at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, knowing that Michelangelo painted it; I love that connection to a person from a time long past.
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Writing this has reminded me to cultivate wonder in my life. There is an endless array of things to wonder at, and I want to miss as few as possible.