Wednesday, September 28, 2016

filled with wonder // 7 ways to restore your sense of wonder

I think that as we grow older, it is easy to lose our sense of wonder and to become disillusioned with the world.  We change; we see more things, good and bad, and find the things we once were inspired by to be ordinary.  I often go through a day, only focusing on the things I need to get done (and how much I don't want to do them) and then bury myself in Netflix and social media.  I'm not going to lie; I can be pretty cynical sometimes.  I feel like this past year I've found I have more questions than answers, more doubts than beliefs, and probably a ton more fear than love.  That's one of the dangers of growing up, you experience frightening things and you put up walls to protect yourself, but at the same time, you shut out a lot of people and things and experiences.  As someone who is still trying to figure everything out, here are a few things I've found that really restore a sense of wonder and faith in humanity.



1) Think good thoughts: Sometimes I let the littlest annoying moment in my day affect the rest of a perfectly good day.  Have you ever had a morning where you woke up late for school, and you burned your espresso because you were stressed, and then you snapped at your sister for something that was mostly your own fault.  And then, even though your teacher let you off easy on a late assignment, and there was ice cream for lunch, and someone complimented your outfit, and the sky looked gorgeous, it was a perfectly horrible day?  I'm pretty sure everyone has had a day like this, but I think the amount of days I've ruined for myself this way is inexcusable.   And really, the power of a good thought is very strong!
Roald Dahl:
2) Be Genuine: I don't just mean telling people that they look bad in yellow, or blurting out whatever you think.  I mean telling other people, and yourself, the truth about who you are.  There is nothing more damaging to a friendship than trying to be someone you're not to fit in, and then having your 'friends' figure out who you really are, and shunning you for it.  Believe me, it happened to me once before when I was about ten.  The thing I didn't realize at the time was, I wasn't just deceiving others, I was deceiving myself.  I made myself think that I wanted to be like them, to have their mannerisms and airs.  Honestly, now that I look back, it makes me laugh to think what a pretentious peacock I was trying to be.  If I hadn't been lying to myself I would've seen that that wasn't me, that wasn't who I wanted to be; I just wanted to be accepted.  You may wonder what being genuine has to do with regaining a sense of wonder.  It has a lot to do with it.  Do you remember when you were three and you weren't scared to express yourself as you really were?  Do you remember knowing that someday you would do the impossible?  By trying to be someone else, you diminish the possibilities within yourself. I think that in order to fully enjoy the world, you need to see it through your own eyes, by being genuine.  
You are unique and wonderfully made! Anything that tells you otherwise is a lie. You are created in the image of God Himself and there are parts of Him that can be seen in you and only you. When we discover who we really are and live it out we show people the truth about God. When we live genuine as children of God people take notice and want to be around us. You dont need a special anointing or to be called a pastor or evangelist to minister to people. Your life lived authentically will ministe:
3) Do something nice for someone else... and then forget you ever did it: Nothing takes the joy out of giving of yourself as much as a sense of waiting for something in return.  When we think of it in a sense of something for something, we don't really think of all the amazing things we receive as gifts, but rather as our due payment.  It's especially sad since what we receive out of life in return (in my personal experience) is so much more.  Which leads me to my next resolution.

Because: | Here's Some Uplifting Graffiti If You're Already Having A Bad Day:

4) Say 'Thank You': I think that part of losing our sense of wonder happens when we start to take everything for granted.  That verse about counting your blessings isn't cheesy, it's pretty legit when you actually try it. Someone told me once that when you thank God for all of your blessings, he increases them. Maybe it's true, but one thing I know for sure is, the more you are thankful for, the more blessings you realize you have. Maybe you say thank you out of politeness because it's been instilled in you from a very young age, but when was the last time you said it genuinely?    I dare you to say a genuine thank you everyday to someone, whether it be your mom, or the lady who opened the door for you at the store, or God, or anybody.  Just mean it.  


Gratitude Chalk Art and a Free Printable Version:

5) Say 'I Love You': I know I don't say this enough.  Just like 'thank you' it's sort of become a way to end a phone call.  Do you ever have those moments when you look at your Mom and think, 'Wow, everything she's done for me is unbelievable'? Or do you ever have a conversation with a friend or partner where they're so supportive and helpful? Or maybe you just randomly want to give your sibling a hug.  Don't pass up these opportunities to say I love you.  I think that sometimes, just like other blessings in our lives, we take the people we love for granted.  Life is short and it's better to risk being vulnerable than to risk not saying all the things you wanted to say.  Vulnerability is hard, but it makes life all the more wonderful.


"Cuando abrazo a otras personas, el cielo es claro; pero cuando te abrazo a ti, salen las estrellas.":

6)Do something that scares you: When we're little, there are all kinds of scary rites of passage that we have to do to make it in life.  Like riding our bicycles without training wheels for the first time, or talking to strangers, or even just difficult things like learning to dress ourselves or make a PB and J sandwich. I think the fact that little kids are always trying something for the first time gives them a sense of awe that we often forget when we get old and wise in the ways of the world. A lot of times we make the decision to stop taking risks because we no longer have to to survive.  The sad thing is, it can lead to a sense of lost wonder.  If we continue to ask questions and push our limits and learn new things, I believe that sense of wonder will continue to grow.  You know, I don't think it's a coincidence that the verb to wonder can mean the desire to know more as well as to marvel at something amazing.


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7) Take a walk, read a book, bake some cookies, jump in puddles...:
And last but not least, slow down and do something old that you haven't done in a while.  Dance in the rain. (It's okay if the neighbor's laugh, they're missing out.) Try making your mother's oatmeal cookie recipe or read your favorite picture book from when you were a kid.  It's surprising, what a sense of wonder, nostalgia can bring back.  You'll probably wonder why you stopped doing those things...


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If you've made it all the way through this post, phew, I applaud you. (-; This is actually a post I started working on ages ago, but pushed to the back burner because I felt uncertain about it.  I wouldn't say I'm suddenly confident, but I feel like this is something close to my heart and I just wanted to share it with you guys.

Stay wonder-ful!

xoxo
   Lizzy

What's something that never fails to fill you with wonder?

8 comments:

  1. Hi Elizabeth, this was a a very inspirational post :) I got goosebumps! Thank you, and keep up the good work.

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm so glad my post had that effect. (-:

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  2. I LOVE these ideas. Basically how to turn ordinary life into the extraordinary! Learning to appreciate, embrace, even create those lil special moments that become the most cherished memories down the lane... now that's a skill. Great post!

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    1. Thanks a ton Susanna! I'm glad you liked it. And yes, it's a goal I am always working towards. (-:

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  3. Lovely, lovely post and words. Can't wait to put some of these tips into action.

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    1. Thank you, Skye. You and me too! And I really think that your blog and your photography really capture a state of wonder, so you're doing awesome. (-;

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Please share your thoughts with me! I LOVE to connect with my readers, and I promise I don't bite.

xoxo Lizzy

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