One of the things I love most about this time of year is the wonder the season creates. There’s a sense of marvel and magic. I can’t help but smile when I see the big tree in Hufnagle Park all lit up as I walk to my car after an evening class. Does it remind anyone else of the tree in Who-ville? That tree to me symbolizes the wonder I had as a kid - driving around town looking at all the lights, unwrapping ornaments and hanging them just so, hearing the stories of St. Nicholas and Rudolph. It really is magical.
As adults, I think it’s easy to forget about our sense of wonder that we had as children even as we try to recreate it for our little ones, nieces and nephews, friends’ children, maybe even each other. I read recently that children are waiting to be delighted, while adults are waiting to be disappointed. Well...isn’t that just sad?
Why do you think that is? Why do we lose our sense of wonder? Of whimsy? Of marvel? Why do we become so cynical?
Today, I’m interested in how to get it back. How can we recreate wonder in our own lives even if we don’t believe in Santa Claus anymore? How can we find wonder tucked into moments throughout not only this season, but our entire year, too?
- Gratitude - You guys, a gratitude practice is powerful. Shifting our perspective to a place of gratefulness and appreciation literally does wonders for our spirit. You can be grateful for a crystal clear night that’s so cold it seems like the stars are burning brighter to keep their warmth. You can be grateful for how your fireplace makes your home oh so cozy. You can be grateful for your body, appreciating all that it can do for you on and off the mat, rather than what it can’t. Get into the habit of writing down or saying aloud what you’re grateful for. And, do it often.
- Giving - I love that the holidays encourage us to give, to spread love, to package up treats and walk them over to a neighbor we haven’t talked to all year. What if we did that more often? There are some incredibly thoughtful people in my life that seem to drop off soup at the right moment or bring flowers when they know a day has been difficult. And, those moments? They truly are wonder-FULL. Let’s be that someone to another all year long.
- Complete Presence - How often are we in one moment, but thinking of what happened an hour ago or what we need to get done for tomorrow? Uh huh. We’ve all been there. I love those conversations where I’m completely rooted in the present moment, finding laughter and genuine awe in another’s story. Get curious about the people and places around you. Listen. Really listen. Take time to get still and notice where you are right now.
- Remembering Childhood Joys - What are some of your most cherished memories? Did you stay up late every so often with a flashlight and a good book? Recreate it. Yes, adult you will love this, too. Did you completely lose yourself in a holiday movie and LOVE when it was complete with homemade popcorn? Set aside time to put away the phone, pull out the Whirly Pop, and load Netflix. Think about what brought you joy then. It probably will spark wonder now.
Yoga teaches me that wonder is in all the details. It’s in the continuous journey of our lives, but only if we choose to experience it, to see it, and to embrace it. What brings you delight today? How can you give the gift of wonder to another?
Happy Holidays to you, yoga dear.