I had a multitude of awe-filled moments while my husband and I were in South Dakota.
I could argue that the excitement we carried with us on that trip conjured those moments into being, but then I’d be discrediting South Dakota’s crisp air and magnificent land forms (man-made and God-made alike) that had my husband and I pausing to soak in the views, proclaiming over and over again how amazing the area was, and trying to capture the beauty on camera.
We are planning on returning to the Midwest some day for more of these moments, and I’ll be packed and camera-ready when we do, but I don’t want to have to wait. I want more of those wonder-filled moments now – in my mundane day-to-day life, and in the chaotic seasons too.
A single word has the power to bring about change within us and around us, and also to create those awe-filled moments I desire.
Every year since 2017, I have picked a guiding word to serve as a reminder of something I want to achieve or become, or some character trait I want to polish or refine in the new year. And every year I am surprised by how the simple act of choosing a word and focusing on that word throughout the year creates change in my life—and within me.
This year’s word was “abundance.” Abundance as I desired it was not about having a large amount of material things, but rather a large quantity of inner peace. So much inner peace, in fact, that even in life’s toughest storms I would still feel at ease.
That’s the kind of peace I went searching for. And that’s the kind of peace I found.
I have a feeling that I can and will find awe-filled moments too, if I’m willing to go looking for them and if I’m available to receive them when they show up.
My quest for abundant inner peace required a lot of mental and emotional work on my part, i.e. a deep self-awareness of my beliefs and fears and how those beliefs and fears were holding me back from all that I desired. My quest for awe-filled moments will include looking at the stories I’m telling myself and the beliefs I have around what I desire and how things “should” be.
How I define awe.
There is a spiritual thread to my version of awe, tied to my belief that we are part of something greater, that there is more than just what we are seeing, and that our lives have purpose and meaning. While I truly believe these things, I still want undeniable proof.
I felt such certainty when each of my babies were placed on my chest. I’ve felt that certainty in church pews, and in sunrises and sunsets. I’ve found it when hiking near waterfalls, and when animals unexpectedly appeared during difficult life moments.
But so often I rationalize and reason away these signs as chance happenings because of some fear, belief, or story I have around being the kind of person who believes in that woo woo stuff.
I’m choosing awe as my word for 2023, and I’m searching for moments that mix faith and fun, grace and adventure, and hope and a healthy dose of intuition too. I don’t want to rationalize my experiences away, or overthink the how or when or why. I just want to experience and receive more of the wonder that exists around me.
My Abundance blog series on the Grace & Grit Blog will become: Searching for Awe-Filled Moments beginning January 1st. I hope you’ll follow along as I share a multitude of awe-filled moments, and uncover and share the fears, beliefs, and stories holding me back – holding all of us back – from experiencing these profound moments in our day-to-day lives.
Have you ever chosen a word to guide your year? I challenge you to choose one for 2023, and to share your word with me. Let’s see what shows up, what we learn, and who we become when we allow a word to guide us into a whole new realm of possibility.
Have you missed a post in the Abundance Series? Here are the posts thus far: