Have you recently had the chance to watch a small child experience the world?
Everything is new, exciting and met with such pure wonder and joy, you can’t help but stop and watch. It fills your heart and at the same time, makes you long for that incredible feeling in your life.
It’s rare as an adult that we get to witness - let alone experience - those moments of wonder. Often it’s only through the eyes of an innocent child that we remember how great life can be!
We might even exclaim - “Oh, to be that young again.” And of course, anyone who hears us can’t help but agree.
Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we forget what it’s like to experience life with pure wonder.
Maybe it’s during our teenage years where we embark on skeptical rebellion. Or it’s in our early adulthood, when the responsibilities begin to pile on and taking the time to actually marvel at something new feels wasteful.
Whenever it happens, wonder becomes like a long-lost friend that you once used to be a trusty companion but is now gone - only to be revisited in photographs and old home movies.
And instead of figuring out how we can reclaim that feeling in our lives, most of us learn to settle for less.
In fact, a good number of my clients when they first begin working with me believe that wonder is something they can never recapture - that it’s a little like dating. It’s there in the beginning of a relationship, but goes away when things get a little more comfortable.
That is . . . .until they learn that wonder is something you can cultivate and tap into as a way of life.
Not sure you’re ready to believe that?
The reality is that wonder is not something that is lost or only reserved for the very young.
Wonder is a tool you can use to help you connect back to yourself, to have a beautiful life and to have what you really want!
Take Sadie for example. Sadie was going through a divorce that left her simply going through the motions. After a two-year court battle that left her drained, Sadie felt like she was barely holding her head above water.
She had a busy job as a marketing executive and two children ages 5 and 3. Her days were mostly spent trying to keep up with work and maintaining a brave face for her small children - until she could collapse on her bed at night after she put them to sleep.
She was depressed, anxious and couldn’t help but wonder if this was all her life was ever going to be.
Nothing seemed very interesting except getting to that moment where she could be alone, pour a glass of wine and turn on the TV to tune out.
The concept of “wonder” had stopped being something she thought she could ever claim again except through the eyes of her 3 and 5 year old daughters. In fact, even witnessing their wonder made her start to cry because she believed that like her - her daughters would one day stop seeing the world through that beautiful lens and be left with nothing but skepticism.
Life seemed pretty dark.
That is until one day she decided that she couldn’t stand being cooped up in her office during lunch for another day when she decided to go for a walk.
She wandered to the local bookstore and figured she would pick up a new book for her girls. As she strolled through the aisles, she came across several books about wonder and happiness - one stood out for her. It was called, 365 Days of Wonder. She picked it up and began to leaf through it - and while she enjoyed the message in the book - it suddenly hit Sadie that she was approaching her life a little backwards.
You see - kids don’t wait for wonder to hit them or show up - they actively look through a lens of wonder and find the beauty, the new, the fabulousness in whatever they’re seeing.
It got her thinking that if she wanted to have a little joy and wonder that it might be time to grab it herself.
It was as if a lightbulb suddenly went off and she realized that just like everything else, it was all in your perspective.
Just like gratitude or passion or joy - wonder is something that can be cultivated. All it takes is simply shifting your perspective and being willing to look at life through a new set of eyes.
It means being willing to suspend what you know about the world, a situation or even another person and looking at it with complete innocence.
And while you may not be able to go through every minute of every day doing that, consciously taking a few minutes to bring wonder to a situation can help you feel differently - almost in an instant.
For Sadie, she started to incorporate a ‘wonder’ routine into her lunch hour. She would purposefully get out of the office during that time and start to explore and really remain present to what she saw.
For one, it helped uplift her mood - but it also helped her see how important it was to use this practice in putting herself first and reclaiming a better life
Prior to her divorce, she had always done the things her spouse liked. Using wonder as her guide, she began to explore new things - foods, places, friends, clothes, activities to see what it was that she really liked. And she even started to bring her daughters with her on these adventures to help teach them the importance of this exercise.
It started to become an almost daily hunt that really helped her dig out of her hole.
While you don’t have to be going through a divorce or even a painful time, wonder can be a new tool in your arsenal that can help you put yourself first and explore who you really are.
So, if you feel like wonder is something that’s been lost in your life, I’d like you to try a little experiment. All you have to do is spend some time each day to adopt an attitude of wonder.
Promise yourself that you’ll look through life with fresh eyes and then explore beyond your normal horizons - it doesn’t matter if its five minutes or five hours. Simply commit to see things differently and stay in the moment to feel all the extraordinary feelings that come with being present to something new.
Make it playful and fun and see how much you can begin to stretch your comfort zone and experience new things. Soon, you’ll be recapturing the wonder you thought you had lost for good AND begin to do something that puts yourself first.
Want to learn more about how you can cultivate your sense of wonder? Join me for a discussion with author, Joy Resor, on Thursday, May 23, 2019 on my Hay House Radio Show: Jump Start Your Life where we’ll talk about ways to discover how wonder has the power to truly improve your life.