Transitions are hard. I remember when I was growing up, my family moved around a lot. I was changing cities, schools, houses, and friends every few years. And it’s not an easy thing to do. As I got older, it became increasingly difficult to cope with change. So understandably, I was apprehensive at the thought of entering yet another transition period. But I have found that, despite all the recent and upcoming changes in my life, I’m doing really well. And I think it’s because I’ve re-discovered wonder.
Wonder. This unassuming little word has childlikeness built into its very essence. It means amazement, admiration, awe, and it causes one to marvel. It carries a visceral sense of incredulity, palpability, and inspiration within its depths. It feels like vulnerability and tastes like adventure. It is risky because it exposes our soul but it is the precursor to unearthing treasure. I’m finding more and more that it is the perfect antidote to anxiety, the secret to thriving in the midst of life change and paradigm shifts.
When I think back to all the moves my family made when I was younger, I distinctly remember that change, though difficult, wasn’t something I always dreaded. In my younger years, I enjoyed it and even looked forward to it. It was like another new adventure. And it was because I was still a child and ignorant to all the details and planning involved in facilitating a move. But despite the practical considerations, I believe there’s a valuable lesson here. As we get older, we take on life and carry on our shoulders the burdens that come with being an adult, perhaps even with pride or an air of resentment. And transition no longer means a new adventure, and instead starts to mean a whole host of logistical and practical problems to solve. Our sense of wonder is lost in the pragmatics.
But, over the past couple of months, I’ve rediscovered a few ways in my everyday life to cultivate this peculiar thing called wonder. And I want to share these with you. They are actually really simple and they’re all about getting in touch with your inner child. So think about it with me:
When was the last time you spun around in circles just to make yourself feel the rush brought on by dizziness?
Or left the windows rolled down while driving on the highway and let the wind play with your hair lifting and tossing each lock?
Or laid on the grass, stared at the sky, and tried to pick out cloud shapes (or constellations)?
Or found a lake or river or creek, kicked off your shoes and let the waves splash over your toes?
Or stared up into a tree and allowed yourself to get swept up in its majesty?
Or danced around your room in your underclothes like a child?
Or sang at the top of your lungs?
Or laughed so hard that your sides hurt?
Or felt truly satisfied with your life?
When was the last time you were filled with wonder?
If it has been a while, maybe it’s time to hit pause on whatever you’re doing instead, and rediscover a little wonder in your life.
What are you guys think? Have you been able to hold on to the sense of wonder you had as a child? What kinds of things do you do to cultivate a sense of wonder in your life today? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Grace and peace.