What jaw-dropping moments have you had this year?

Our blackout lasted for three (obviously stressful) days. We left the dark house each morning and returned late at night to sleep. When I pulled into our driveway one night, I got out of the car and looked up at the sky. I was in awe. The stars were peppered across the sky—more than I’d ever seen before. It was an exquisite display in our heavens—jaw-dropping, for sure.

Many of us have had moments like this. For me, it was seeing Machu Picchu, viewing the three mastiffs in Patagonia, visiting the Terracotta soldiers in China, seeing the Eiffel Tower lit at night from a boat on the Seine, and standing on Omaha Beach on June 9, 2019.

I want to create more “awe” moments in my life. For me, the best way to do that is by spending time with children—especially young children. Everything is new to them. Watching their amazement at practically everything, their love of touch, and their curiosity about how things work. Answering their never-ending “why” questions. I get pulled into their tiny universe and vicariously experience their “awe” moments as if they’re mine.

It’s Thanksgiving here in the United States—a day to stop and spend time with people we love and to express gratitude for all the good things in our lives. That is more important now than ever. We live in a complex, often dangerous world. Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate what we have and to recognize those “awe” moments.

In fact, instead of just asking each person at my Thanksgiving table what they’re grateful for, I also plan to ask about their “awe” moments. I’ll watch for the sparkle in their eyes and the excitement in their descriptions.

I never thought about what “awe” means and how it affects our behavior until I read this post by  Stephen Handel: “The Psychology of Awe: Why You Should Seek More Mind-Bending Experiences.” He explains how we can create more “awe” experiences in our lives. It’s an easy read and perhaps the key to an “awesome” holiday season.

What are some of your “awe” moments? I’d love to hear.

Happy Thanksgiving,