I’ve been mulling over the importance of wonder in a busy world.
“I’m really busy” is a common reply to the question – “How are you?” We measure our value and success from our full calendars, email inboxes, and number of social data notifications. Noise fills our world and fills our minds. We can be tempted to fill every unfilled space in time by reading the latest tweets and posts, or flicking through other apps. Being apart from the security of our devices, can be disconcerting. What might we feel, hear or encounter if we sat alone in the moments we find ourselves waiting?
Our time is pressured. We may admit to being overwhelmed, but the noise offers security. Being inconvenienced is an offence, that loudly interrupts the hum of frantic to do lists and information overload. We lust after information and security of feeling neatly tucked into a full diary. The hum, the twitch to grab our device can create walls between us and stop us from being present.
By filling the spaces, we disconnect from each other, and ourselves. Life is endangered of being lived edited and filtered through our devices. This constant self-publishing and entertaining can steal the moments from us. We become strangers to our own emotions in the noise. Our friends and followers might be impressed with our carefully curated lives, but perhaps this might come at the cost of finding wonder. Check out this short video by Charlene deGuzman and Miles Crawford. via: www.artthesystem.com
A few years ago I was in a high-pressure job, working late hours, and directing a choir in my spare time. I found I had little down time or energy to invest in the people I cared so much about, or to be fully present in the moment. As much as I enjoyed all I was doing, I was also exhausted by it all. Doing a lot, even a lot of really good things, can strip us of the energy to fully engage with each other and the things that really matter to us. It took me realising that although I was doing a lot of things I loved, or that gave me a sense of importance I had got out of balance. With a coach I started to understand the imbalance. As an ambitious extrovert I had charged on and overbalanced giving out. I had forgotten the moments of solitude and the deep pools of reflection that stimulate creativity, energy and connection. I’d lost the art of wonder.
Over the last couple of years I’ve recaptured creative balance and re-learnt the rhythms of inspiration and connection. I’ve created a list of small things I love to do, and build a few of them into each week. Some of the ways I build in rhythms of inspiration and reflection are to:
- sit in a local coffee brew bar with a book, journal and a cup of smooth black single origin coffee goodness
- take off on adventure in the hills or to the beach with friends
- run or walk in a local park with eyes wide open to the beauty of creation around me.
For me solitude isn’t always about being alone and figuring out the 7 things I need to do to be more successful in 2014. Nor is solitude the absence of people. Solitude is to walk away from the noise and the social media twitch to re-acquaint my senses with wide-eyed wonder. How do you cultivate a sense of wonder?