Yet Another Reason to Put Down Your Phone and Reclaim This

leaf face 2

When was the last time the shape of the clouds fascinated us more than what’s on our phones? Or we sat engrossed in the sunset without a single interruption?

Chances are, for most of us it’s been a while. As much as we might appreciate these things, the never-ending to-do lists and distractions of our lives tend to desensitize us to the little miracles around us – to the point where we might stop noticing them altogether.

As we get older, it’s natural to grow accustomed to the things that once enchanted us as kids because we’re no longer seeing them for the first time. Before I moved to Los Angeles, for example, I remember how incredible I thought it was that there were palm trees lining the streets here (I’m from Minnesota, after all).

But since living here, that initial fondness and excited wonder has long subsided.

plant leaf

On the one hand, it’s wonderful to be able to adapt to our surroundings and grow comfortable in our environments, but isn’t it tragic when we become dulled to their unique magic in the process? Whether it’s the newness of a palm tree or perhaps the glisten of bubbles in a warm bath, the scent of wild gardenias on a hot summer evening or the warmth of a hug from Mom… there are countless experiences in our lives that merit our awe and appreciation.

The world is full of beautiful, awe-inspiring life and cultivating a sense of wonder toward it is not just some feel-good exercise, but an attitude with profound benefits; it’s what inspires our imaginations and allows us to immerse ourselves in the present moment. Who wouldn’t want to experience the humbling and surprising admiration that true wonder brings?

… it’s wonderful to be able to adapt to our surroundings and grow comfortable in our environments, but isn’t it tragic when we become dulled to their unique magic in the process?

According to Albert Einstein, “He … who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead – his eyes are closed.”

Though our innate sense of wonder might have diminished since childhood, it is not difficult to restore. All we must do is seek to see the world through a fresh lens, as if for the first time. Each moment is unique and fleeting, never again to be created, so each time we look at something actually is the first (and last) time we will see it just as it is in that moment. That’s kind of amazing to think about, isn’t it?

orange lips

Once we internalize that, we’ll become more curious about the things we too often take for granted and start to see the miraculous even in the common. A glass of water is no longer just a glass of water; it’s part of a resource that is constant and could have passed through dinosaurs before us. The weather is not just “good” or “bad,” but a remarkable formation never again to be reproduced. The faces of our friends reflect not just their own stories but the stories of all their ancestors.

When we are open to it, each person and place we encounter contains their own unique charm. So the next time we feel bored and are tempted to open Instagram or Snapchat to kill time, let’s remember that the real captivating, miraculous stuff is already right here in front of us.

What was the last thing that filled you with a sense of wonder?

Images via Tanja Heffner

Amy is a writer and marketing professional based in Los Angeles. She is passionate about creating meaningful dialogue and empowering women through her writing, which has been featured on The Huffington Post, Grit & Virtue, and Milk & Honey Magazine, among other blogs and websites.

13 COMMENTS
  • Danae August 4, 2017

    THANK YOU – MERCI – GRAZIE! …for your voice and for making me remember…

  • Michelle Kay July 31, 2017

    I agree! I definitely feel like having children helps with this. At least, it helped for me. Just being there, watching them grow, discover and learn forces you to slow down and observe with them. It’s amazing.

  • Emily July 30, 2017

    This post is beautiful, so profound and inspiring. It made me want to pause my “busy” day to call my grandparents- something I never do- and it made my day because I took the time to appreciate it in that moment. So thank you.
    -Emily
    http://www.emilyseye.com

    • Anonymous July 30, 2017

      Aw I love that, Emily! I’m so glad this piece inspired you. 🙂

  • Leah July 22, 2017

    As a fellow transplanted Midwesterner (from WI, college in MN, now in DC), I find trips back to the Midwest to be the most grounding and refreshing. I don’t get cell service at my mother’s house. There is no light pollution. The stars are amazing and I wish I could capture them in a kaleidoscope so I can gaze at them whenever I am frustrated with the metro or the traffic or the people who’ve brushed off my simple “good morning” during the commute. In a place filled with literal and figurative noise, the simplicity and stillness of nature is soul-soothing.

    • Breamons August 7, 2017

      I live in DC as well! The lack of stars here makes it hard to remember that there is so much more beyond the city.

  • Melody July 21, 2017

    I think on this often. And yet I keep circling back to my handheld rectangle of fluorescent lit doom. But recently my husband and I actually watched the stars and clouds move in the sky. It evoked conversation about the future, dreams, laughs, desires of the heart. The internet is an amazing thing, but in most cases it drains my energy or steals my joy. The stars would never do such a thing. . Xoxo

  • Anna July 20, 2017

    A great post, I feel like losing our wonder has become way too common, it’s time we take it back!

  • Veronica July 20, 2017

    Just a beautiful reminder of how amazing the world is if we only look for it. Thank you.

  • Mary July 19, 2017

    Such a refreshing way of thinking of things, I needed this, thank you.

    Said Mary || LIFESTYLE BLOG
    https://www.saidmary.blogspot.com

  • Gemma July 19, 2017

    Beautiful post!

    Gemma
    http://www.fadedwindmills.com

  • Kaitlin July 19, 2017

    One thing that I always keep coming back to that fills me with a sense of wonder is nature. The trees swaying in the wind, animals and insects of all sorts running around, the way the light hits something just right outside, it all becomes very magical if you take the time to appreciate it.

  • I see your point, I definitely miss all the little details in my life when I’m engrossed in my phone. I honestly don’t remember the last time I was filled with a sense of wonder because I’m so attached to technology now! :/

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

POST A COMMENT