2020, you've been a year. You've taught us many lessons. You've reminded us of the fragility of human life, perhaps even that of human awareness and the psyche. You've led us through some of the scariest times, and some of the most honest of times. If hindsight really is 2020, then we've most certainly learned a lot, haven't we!
One of the greatest lessons, though, is that life really is beautiful. It's like that epic quote by Lester Burnham that closes out the 1999 film American Beauty --
I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me, but it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain, and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.
As we close out this year to remember, I find myself thinking deeply about what kind of intentions I want to bring into the next, 2021, and I find myself meditating on this mantra:
I choose to see the world with awe.
Awe, science suggests, can make you happier, healthier, more humble, and more connected to the people around you. According to a study co-authored by UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner, it has a direct influence on life expectancy.
In a 2016 interview with Dacher for Daily Good, he said, "What we know is that awe really happens when you transcend the human scale, big or small, and when you're around things that challenge your current knowledge structures. You go, 'Oh, I didn't imagine trees could be so big, or a baby could be so funny, or this person could be so generous, or music could sound like that.'"
It's with this inspiration, I'm inspired to challenge you....
Welcome to 2020WONDERFUL.
How will you find beauty in everyday life? How will you experience childlike wonder even when hardships are underway? Let's worry less, laugh more. Let's get giddy with excitement to greet the day. Let's find pleasure in the mundane, and gratitude for the lessons, especially the hard ones. Let's pay it forward and let's allow feelings of awe, gratitude and compassion to permeate our beings and overflow into everyone we meet..
Starting on Friday, Jan. 1, we will "meet" in the Yoga Wake Up Facebook community group to share our awe, inspire eachother, and practice wonder daily. I'm really excited to connect with you! If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to reach out to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go forth, and be AWESOME.