How to Rediscover Awe in Everyday Life

In Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Emily, a young girl who has died and looks back at her life, asks, “Does anybody realize how wonderful life really is while they live it?”  How often do we allow ourselves to slow down, to notice and treasure the small, seemingly ordinary moments? Inspired by a friend who wrote a “New Pledge of Allegiance,” I created my own commitment to awe in the form of a personal manifesto, and here’s how you can, too:

Include in your manifesto—this can be a journal of dreams, random thoughts, or memories–ideas that you would like to commit to.  Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help produce content for your manifesto:

  • What inspires awe in me?
  • What, in life, is important to me?
  • What have I stopped noticing?

Let the answers to these questions form statements that inspire you. Turn them into declarations of commitment, such as, “I commit to noticing and appreciating the people I love.”  Make them short and easy to remember. If your manifesto becomes too long or too complicated, it grows harder to  hold in your awareness throughout a day. Keep in mind that, for the manifesto to be effective, it must focus on your desire to express what your innate goodness would have you do in the world.

~Post by Edward Viljoen, author of Ordinary Goodness.

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