Seeing With Fresh Eyes: Putting the Awe Back in Awesome

Manua Kea, Hawaii. Photograph Sean Goebel. Source: The Guardian

Awesome is one of those words that has been so overused it doesn't really mean anything anymore. A nicety that empties the spirit out of awe.

Most of us have experienced moments of expansive wonderment, feeling awe in the presence of great natural beauty or inspiring human endeavour. Awe, both thrilling and sometimes confronting, propels us towards a much needed state of flourishing.

Understanding comes from awe as a 'lived encounter'.

Now the work of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, led by Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology and founding director of the university's Greater Good Science Center, is supporting the transformative effects of awe in daily life. The extraordinary can always be found in the ordinary as so it is with awe. Being more `present' in our daily lives allows for more awe.

As Keltner points out, the research shows that daily experiences of awe have beneficial effects on well-being and foster a willingness to be kinder and more collaborative. A boon for both individuals and society.

So… time to make space for your daily dose of awe and put the awe back in awesome!

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.