20 ways to cultivate wonder

Written February 21, 2022 by Julie Niall
Last updated February 21, 2022
  1. Take time to notice: the stars or moon at night. the flower in your garden. a child playing. the vibrant color of the pomegranate. the comforting taste and aroma of your morning drink. a loved one's smile... Make sure you leave some space in your days to be filled with wonder and awe.
  2. In our busy lives, we sometimes take a lot for granted. Reflect on some of the blessings you have received in your life.
  3. Appreciate your own gifts you have brought to others and other achievements you have made. Recognize and honor what you have had to overcome or what hardship you have had to endure.
  4. Explore and develop your artistic side. Music, painting, storytelling, woodworking, flower-arranging, cooking, writing, dancing, photography, handwork or....thousands of other possibilities.
  5. Life is a buffet of wonder and joy. Buy yourself fresh-cut flowers. Try new interesting foods. Play music you find beautiful or calming. Attend a play or ballet or opera. Join a CSA where you can go pick fresh vegetables or flowers. Read poetry. Read poetry to a loved one. Visit a museum or art gallery or farm. Most local libraries now offer amazing, free opportunities for learning and all kinds of interests.
  6. Pay attention to the gifts or talents or love that other people bring to your life. Say thank you.
  7. Be quiet and still.
  8. Let go of the to-do list for awhile and be spontaneous.
  9. Go on nature walks. If you find yourself daydreaming you can intentionally count up to 10 things in nature that you observe. Perhaps, find a special rock or interesting piece of wood and display it in your home.
  10. Keep things simple and enjoy the ordinary pleasures in life. Take a cue from children. They can sit for hours looking at an ant hill or watching a squirrel or examining a spider web. We don't need to whisk them off to a safari or even to the zoo when they are two years old. Let them discover wonder all around them. We can do the same. It might take some practice. Plan a day of simple pleasures and simply observe the little awe-inspiring things in life.
  11. Travel or visit an exciting place - it might be a new country or just a fun, new cafe.
  12. Take a course or learn something new. Get excited and enthusiastic about new ideas, skills and your own enrichment. Whether it is a dance class, fly-fishing, starting a blog, or listening to a great talk on-line, you will find delight and may reduce your stress.
  13. Bring some goodness to a loved one, your family, and the community around you. Feel the connection you have to others in this world.
  14. Look up from your screens more, and focus on the people and the world around you.
  15. Start a garden. Help things to bloom.
  16. Read folk tales, children's story books, literature or poetry.
  17. Start rituals and create meaningful holiday celebrations that bring joy and connection to yourself and/or loved ones.
  18. Explore what is meaningful and sacred, soulful, religious or spiritual to you. Cultivate reverence in your life.
  19. Stay curious.
  20. Just as one might keep a gratitude journal, you may wish to keep a journal of awe and wonder. A painting by Georgia O'Keefe in Sante Fe, the Rodin museum in Paris, an exhibit of Monet paintings, a gorgeous sunset at Lake Huron, Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island, a child playing her instrument, a gorgeous ballet performance of Alice in Wonderland, your partner reaching for your hand when you are grieving, the solar eclipse, giving birth, a son's inventions, a friend's courage, the sacrifice and selflessness of a parent, the integrity and resiliency of many who have been oppressed or marginalized, morning glory flowers, a robin's egg, peonies and roses, a neighbor's thoughtful gesture, 5 baby foals in a field, a humming bird, a love letter, an amazing novel...
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