“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” E.B. White
Seeing something wondrous—a baby’s toothless sweet smile, a soaring hawk circling silently in a blue sky, the full moon floating on a dark velvet curtain of night—evokes a sense of awe and reverence that reminds us that the world is a vast place with magical elements that influence and shape our human stories. Our capacity to be inspired by something greater than ourselves is a spiritual gift that suits any stage of life and elevates any work, whether done for pay or as a volunteer. Young or old, wonder is a blend of amazement mixed with joy. As such, it is food for the soul and fuel for our life purpose.
As a life coach, the awareness of wonder is a quality I encourage. It can be evoked by asking simple questions, such as, “What have you seen today that made you realize how precious life is?” and “What fills you with gratitude today?” and “What gives you hope?” Telling true “miracle stories” is a powerful way to evoke awe and inspire courage, commitment, and a heightened belief that we are not alone on this human journey and that anything is possible.
As a celebrant, I find that wonder has a place in every ceremony and ritual I perform. In the end, life itself is a wonder that is unimaginable without the awareness of death; I often remind clients that life and death are but two sides of the same coin. In the celebrations of life that I officiate, life stories of the deceased bring a sense of wonder to the congregation. It is the stories that inspire us all to strive for a life of meaning and purpose as we reflect on the life of the person being remembered. In the wedding ceremonies I perform, telling the love story of the bride and groom reminds us all of how magical and mysterious love is, and how often destiny plays a role in how couples meet one another and fall in love.
As a writer, my own wonder is among the strongest emotions I draw from when telling a story, along with hope, inspiration, and passion. I think that Socrates had it right when we wrote, “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” Wonder touches something deep inside of me that makes my heart sing and evokes a new view of the world, while the resulting passion inflames my writing because I believe so strongly in what I am saying on the page. I find that the more wonder I notice, the more I attract like-minded people and the most perfect circumstances that generate a state of “flow” and happy encounters. From this heart-centered place, I have learned to trust the process. It’s both joyful and empowering!
May your sense of wonder grow deep and healthy roots in your spirit, mind, and body. May you be blessed with its grace, renewed by its gauzy hopes and dreams, and may you play joyfully in its ever-present field of possibilities. In the wondrous poem, Desiderata, by Max Ehrman (1952), he reminds each of us that, “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” Indeed.