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Seeing Bigger Through Wonder

This article is part of our “Skills for Self-Love” series.

“There are two ways to live your life - one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.” –Alfred Einstein

Recognizing the miracles in the everyday begins with how we think, which creates our focus. Opening to seeing bigger is the next crucial step in developing resilient and reliable skills for self love. For the last couple of weeks, we have been focused on noticing the negative thinking patterns in our lives. By pausing in those moments and noticing the repetitive thoughts, perhaps by using the bracelet technique, you create a space where new kinds of thinking can emerge.

Replacing judgmental thinking about ourselves and the world around us with the intention of becoming curious about what we do not know and cannot yet see is how miracles begin to be witnessed. Instead, when fear and judgment rule the day, we interpret both inner and outer events through a defensive veil that limits what is possible. By deliberately meeting life events with questions, the space of possibility opens up.

We see bigger through inquiry. Asking yourself “What else could be going on here?” or “What don’t I know about this situation?” allows for wonder to replace judgement. This practice quickly reflects back to us the truth that in every situation there is more to uncover, more information to learn, more ways things can go than you might have judged at your first impression.

The great thing is that wonder is not really a new skill, it is one of the fundamental ways of knowing and exploring the world that was constantly at work in childhood. Everything is full of wonder for children because they haven’t yet learned to judge how things are. They don’t perceive or even create the end of something, they are just always in the midst of what is arising.

It isn’t so much learning to wonder as it is unlearning your sense of knowing and judging. This practice allows you to trust that something bigger is always capable of unfolding. I still remember one day, years ago now, when my son came home from a physics class lecture. He had shared an inspiring conversation with his teacher about how our universe and the perfect beauty of nature sustaining itself was a one-in-a-billion possibility. As we walked in the rain, he exclaimed how even the fact that water – the element that defines our existence – can just fall from the sky was a miracle.

Realizing just how many things in our life are a one-in-a-billion possibility, but work for us anyway, is literally the axis on which our worldview shifts. It was because my son was seeing through the eyes of wonder that something as ordinary as rainfall in Oregon could be a miracle too.

The truth is that this is the best kind of replacement thinking you can do as you give up negative self-talk. Not only because it brings you more fully into what is happening in the present moment, but also because the bigger the space we can hold reality within, the more becomes possible for us and the world.

Seeing bigger and knowing how much we don’t know about the life we are in brings us to the edge of the mystery of our amazing human existence. This very moment has so much promise just because it is here and we are here. So pay attention to what you are thinking and start asking more open questions that bring you to wondering what you don’t know and how things could be different from what you are thinking.

Put This Into Practice

Just for fun, try our new Wonder Vision Board Project (read more here) this weekend. Imagining and bringing your aspirations to life has power and magic in it. Enjoy!