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Radical Wonder

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By: Elaine Fraser

Awareness of the divine begins with wonder – Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

I sit in a café and watch a little girl play with her toys. ‘Wow!’  Her voice is filled with wonder. She’s focused, she’s smiling, and her eyes are filled with amazement.

When was the last time you felt like that? Children have a well-developed sense of wonder. They think everything is amazing. They think everything is wow!

During seven months of travel last year, I had some wow moments. I stood on top of mountains in Norway. I ‘wowed’ over glaciers, sculptures, paintings, and exquisite food. I climbed Kilimanjaro and watched the sun rise below me.

But, when I’m in the groove of routine and ordinariness, it’s easy to overlook wonder.

When I treat life casually, wonder is diminished

I want to live in radical wonder. I want to be filled with the sublime wonder of living. I never want to become so jaded or cynical or bored that I’m not amazed anymore.

I want to live a life where to be spiritual is to be amazed. I want to live a life where I believe in the wonder of the divine.

Where does this sense of wonder come from?

Perhaps it’s gratitude, perhaps it’s in following our creativity, perhaps it’s in intentionally following our curiosity. Perhaps it’s remembering to look closer, to take time, to be mindful.

Moments of wonder are right in front of me every day. Radical wonder is a whole other level. Radical wonder means treating everyday things with a sense of adventure, delight, and freshness.

Every school holidays I’d tell my kids, ‘We’re going on an adventure.’ It might be to a local waterfall, or a drive up the coast, or a surprise visit to a friend, but I’d call it an adventure. Sometimes they’d look at me as if I was crazy, but I’d say, ‘Wow!’ at everything even remotely interesting.

Then they’d start to ‘wow!’ along with me. I tried to teach my children that the ordinary, the beautiful, the profound, are all opportunities for radical wonder.

Article supplied with thanks to Elaine Fraser.

About the Author: Elaine Fraser is from Perth WA and is a teacher, mentor and author.

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