“Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe.” ~Wayne Dyer
Spring is the time of year in Arizona where I spend a lot of time in nature and it always brings me to a state of awe. I am inspired by the beauty of nature from the blooming cactus, to the wildflowers, to the gorgeous sunsets. I can tell that many others are in awe of nature’s beauty when I see the social media sites full of pictures of spring in full bloom.
In addition to being in awe of nature, I am in awe of people and their love and compassion. I am in awe of the people who give selflessly to improve the lives of others. I am also in awe of the creativity and imagination of people. I go to art shows and galleries and I am in awe of what the artists create and how they use color, composition and values to evoke emotions in me. I go to Broadway plays and am in awe of the actors who sing, the choreographers who invent routines and dance movements and the set designers who use their creativity to bring the scene to life. There are so many people to be in awe of and appreciate everyday in life.
One of my favorite answers to the question, “How are you?” is from a Chopra Center staff member who would always respond “Awe full – full of Awe.” It would be wonderful if everyday we could all say we were “full of awe.” I think we should all follow Wayne Dyer’s daily advice of spending five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything around us. Our life is full of so many miracles and we just need to slow down, be aware, and take time to notice and appreciate everything and everyone.
Who or what brings you the greatest sense of awe?
Who or what inspires you?
“The best indicator of your level of consciousness is how you deal with life's challenges when they come. Through those challenges, an already unconscious person tends to become more deeply unconscious, and a conscious person more intensely conscious. You can use a challenge to awaken you, or you can allow it to pull you into even deeper sleep. The dream of ordinary unconsciousness then turns into a nightmare.” ~Eckhart Tolle
The dreaded E64 error appeared on my dryer after a few minutes of drying the first load of wash. Okay, I didn’t know it was dreaded until I looked the error code up on the Internet and learned that it probably means that the heating element is dead. So, now I have one load of wet clothes in the dryer and one load in the washer that has already started.
Now, I get to decide how to respond. I could bemoan the fact that appliances don’t last like they used to since this dryer is only 4 years old or I could laugh. I chose to laugh. This is what it is. I looked on the bright side, the washer was working so I could continue to do the rest of the loads of laundry and I could dry the clothes outside in the Arizona sun. It brought back childhood memories of using clothespins to dry every load of laundry on the clothesline and how the clothes smelled and felt. I decided gratitude is in order. I am fortunate to live in a location where it is going to be 88 degrees in March where many other places are cold and dreary. I am grateful to have a computer and the Internet and be able to know the issue and can make a decision of what to do next. I am grateful to have been practicing “witnessing awareness” for years, so I know that I am responsible for making the decision about how to respond to daily challenges. And finally, I didn’t have an idea for this week’s blog post and voilà– the Universe provided me the inspiration for what to write.
In the big scheme of things, this is a little bump in the road and it will be resolved in the near future. Sometimes though, it is the little things that frustrate us the most. But, I look at Eckhart Tolle’s quote above and am reminded of how different people react to challenging situations. Many people are not conscious and blame others and fall victim to the “poor me” syndrome. And this will only continue to cycle into a bigger nightmare for them. I have learned that the big challenges in my life, like my mother’s suicide and my father’s sexual abuse of me, have been challenges that awakened me and brought wonderful things to my life like art and meditation. So, when little things like a broken dryer arise, I choose to respond with gratitude for sunshine, indoor plumbing, the Internet and all of other conveniences in my life.
Are you conscious or unconscious as you deal with life’s daily challenges?
How can you become more intensely conscious in your life?
Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
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