My friend Nyssa thoughtfully sent me this article that is speaking my language. Give it a read when you have a moment, but the basic loud and clear message is that Walks (and Talks) with a side of active view gazing are good for your well being. Who knew? Well me and probably you, but still nice to see it in writing.
The article calls them Awe Walks and cites a study that correlates actively being in awe with hope and a more positive outlook in humans. The article encourages veering off your normal path and taking new routes to expand your opportunities for more awe worthy encounters whether it be a fall tree that has just turned orange or a rock with a pile of turtles on it.
Funny, on the walk and talks I call these moments of active view gazing: enforced gazing. Mid walk I will interrupt a group of women engrossed in no doubt illuminating conversation and make them stop, look and listen. Enforced gazing. These moments are often the best and most mezmerizing and memorable part of the walk. Perhaps in the future I will borrow the language from this article as it is a little softer? Or perhaps not. 🙂
I think this mindset of actively seeking awe is a worthy one no matter where you are. Think about that next time you go anywhere. Keep your phone in your pocket and be present. Here in NYC I am often stopped in my tracks by simple things such as really well turned out tree box perfectly presented with greenery and in the spring flowers. I am of course in awe of every dog that crosses my path. And making a baby smile in an elevator with only eye contact? I am in awe of that too.
Lately I am in awe of all of the super creative outdoor restaurant set ups. On my evening walk with the dogs I love to be in awe of the bundled patrons tucked into their private outdoor eating zones. enjoying their dining experience as it was completely normal to eat outside in 24 degree weather. I am in awe of our lovely mailman Lou who will drop what he is doing to say hello to Florence, our puppy, and Paolo the owner of Luna Rossa who will sprint out of his restaurant and grab Florence in his arms for a complete and total mutual love fest. And I am in awe of each and every acre of the 843 acres that comprise Central Park. I could go on but you get the idea. What are you in awe of as you go about your day?
Life in a perpetual state of awe. Not a bad way to conduct your days.
Go forth and be in awe.