Amber Rae teaches us the power of choosing Wonder Over Worry
This is my friend Amber, who is a soulful creative through and through. She's a writer, a poet, an artist, and -- like me -- a recovering perfectionist (which she discusses in her powerful talk here.) The latest evolution of Amber's work has formed around this beautiful and insightful message: What if instead of letting worry rule our lives, we let wonder lead the way? What if we traded in the anxiety of trying to live up to some external sense of validation for the curiosity and wonder of our childlike selves? What if that is the key to designing a life truly aligned with who we really are. If you're asking yourself how wonder has the ability to positively impact your life, THIS is the video to watch.
"Ignite Your Childlike State of Wonder" by Jason Silva
When I need a good few minutes of empowering philosophical visual poetry, I head over to Jason Silva's work. His "Shots of Awe" YouTube channel is the perfect Wonder cocktail for my brain, with equal parts awe, curiosity and delight. This video in particular speaks to that "childlike state of wonder" that we can all benefit from, and it's the source of this issue's foundation quote.
"Put yourself in the way of beauty," Cheryl Strayed's mother told her. I read this book two years ago now but I love it still for that one line of advice alone (not just because of its recent resurgence thanks to the Gilmore Girls revival!) This memoir captures some of the themes we're exploring this month, especially the way that nature can inspire awe in us all and how getting quiet and curious with ourselves through wonder can lead us to truth and healing.
I first became aware of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's crowdsourced artistic endeavor "HITRECORD on TV" when it came to Netflix sometime last year, and I was immediately inspired by the collaborative and creative thread through every episode. This short film was in the very first episode and it's partially why I fell in love with the program. It captures perfectly the beauty and awe I find in the stars every time I look up at night. I think the sky -- whether in the clear of day or the brilliance of night -- is our quickest and easiest way to access wonder at any given time.
Okay, this "resource" might be a little silly, but I met Nathan Clark, owner of Wondermade marshmallows, a few years ago and I immediately thought of these delicious little treats when I thought of the word wonder. Nathan and his wife make delicious gourmet marshmallows and infuse them with love AND amazing flavors. Seeing him speak reminded me how, with a little love and passion, you can turn something ordinary into something magical.
Thoughts from our friend Liz Gilbert on "the Art of Living in a State of Uninterrupted Marvel" via BrainPickings
I know I mention Liz Gilbert and her gorgeous book Big Magic a ton, but it's only because within its pages are so many excellent topics at the intersection of creativity and personal growth. This article via BrainPickings plucks out one element that I find particularly relevant to this month's theme, which is actually a quote she shares early on in the book from the poet Jack Gilbert who says: "We must risk delight. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.” I love that this frames delight and wonder as an essential part of life, a way that we offer a counterpart to the often cruelness and struggle that is living in this world. (Illustration by Lisbeth Zwerger for a special edition of ‘Alice in Wonderland' via BrainPickings.)