Creating the Life You Want Through a Sense of Wonder
Wonder is an essential experience of life. It is often associated with the innocence of childhood or the early stages of first love. It is, however, an ageless quality of individuals that is a nourishing self-containment of love and aliveness. It is for all ages and all stages of life. In our culture of science knowledge and evidence-based rationale, we are often lost to the creative power of wonder. We limit our thinking to that which we know and most often act out of fear based on a restricted framework. And to the extent that we respond in fear, we create more fear.
Wonder is a belief in what can be possible. It is an imagining and a seeing, and a process of expression of the senses when one is benefited from an image, a miracle, a thought that is so wonder-full that all one can do is express wonder in the face of it. When we see something that we wonder at, that we go into wonder of, we are actually lifting our frequency and imagining something we did not believe possible. Wonder is an invitation to think and move beyond the construct of our confined reality. When we dismiss wonder and possibility it keeps intact a frame of reference and belief that we have already been with. When we encounter wonder, we have a new experience of identity as we put ourselves into relationship with that which we wonder at, because our imagination and the parts of us that were restricted, can now relax to appeal and embrace a new paradigm, a new possibility of what our reality can hold.
When we engage in wonder, we break ourselves out of old paradigms, out of old belief systems, and open ourselves up to endless possibilities that lead to permanent change. Too often I see clients that are either lamenting what they don’t have, or didn’t do, or what they perceive they weren’t able to do in the past that is limiting their current reality, and/or they are worrying about the future and imagining worst case scenarios or outcomes. It is a major shift in thinking from that which we don’t have or don’t want, to that which we do have and do want. And it is that shift in thinking that makes all the difference. What we focus our thoughts and energies on gets amplified and manifested. Our thoughts create our reality. When our thinking is restricted, our reality is restricted. We see that which we want or choose to see. If we expect negative things to happen, we focus attention on the negative and are blind to the possibilities and opportunities around us. That’s not to say that we can prevent negative things from happening with our thoughts, but we can certainly lessen them, or at the very least when circumstantial tragedy or discomfort occurs, shift the way we respond to it.
Time and time again, I have witnessed transformative reality of clients to be more in alignment with their desires when they shift their thinking and focus on what they want, rather than what they don’t want. When they are more open to possibilities and wonder, they are more open to seeing opportunities around them which they were previously blind to, and so building capacity to create what they want, and calling to them more creative opportunities. A sense of wonder nourishes love and aliveness, which helps move us to action for positive change. When we intend to be different, we cannot be different without undergoing change. In the words of Aldous Huxley, “Consciousness is only possible through change; change is only possible through movement”. It is fearful thoughts that will hold us in place and keep us from moving to create what we want. And as we move and experience possibilities and allow wonder, our paradigm shifts to be more expansive, and we realize most often that our fears were an illusion all along.
In what ways can you foster a sense of wonder? Allow yourself to be present, in the moment, with a work of art, a piece of music, an act of kindness or mercy, a miracle, an encounter with the Divine, or spiritual connectedness, that inspires, that shifts your consciousness beyond your present reality. Allow yourself to be awe-induced. Allow yourself to daydream, to imagine, to ponder the possibility of your wildest dreams becoming a reality, to ponder the possibility of something beyond any of our current reality, something that seems to defy those laws that we believe to be so. Consider the advances in technology, transportation, and communication today that only 100 years ago would have seemed impossible. What “impossible” ideas today might become a reality 100 years from now? Where would you like to be a year from now, 5 years from now, 10 years from now? Wonder at the possibility of that becoming a reality.
Shari Derksen, MA, is a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists and specializes in the areas of relationship issues and intimacy, as well as many others. For more information on Shari, her work, or other articles she’s written for Living Well click here to link to her full bio page.