Class two in the Creative Hero University Gen. Eds. is now in session! The subject is Wonder - what it is, how to cultivate it, and what it can do for a creative life. Wonder is. . .
Wonder involves surprise, delight, joy, and amazement. It is state of openness to the unexpected and delightful. Like Gratitude, Wonder requires that you remain engaged in the world around you. Rather than passing through life with blinders on your senses, you learn to spend you days engaged, focused, and intent on finding reasons for delight in every situation. Wonder calls you to pay attention to your surroundings, no matter how familiar or mundane they may be.
As Gratitude was a defiance against pain and negativity, Wonder is defiance against boredom and jadedness. Day-to-day life is filled with mundane, routine activities, the required tasks whose regularity grinds like sandpaper on our creative hearts. The constant friction can leave us hardened, forming calluses that slow inspiration’s flow. Wonder acts like a protective coating between our creativity and the doldrums of life, allowing us to remain open to inspiration amid the friction of everyday life. Where most see only boredom, those who cultivate Wonder find joyful surprises in the average things of life.
What does Wonder look like in action? Find a child, and observe how they live. Children have an innate capability for Wonder because the world is new to them; each day is an opportunity to discover new things, learn new skills, and dream up new ideas. The world is fresh! From daisies to dance parties, life holds an endless array of surprises and joys. Children participate in these joys with abandon, unconcerned with the opinions of others or the pressures what they “should” be doing. Public opinion takes a backseat to merriment, and productivity must bow to discovery.
Though this perspective can seem impossible for tired, world-worn adults, the concept is essential for cultivating Wonder. A childlike perspective enables Wonder to become a natural function of creative living. When we throw off jaded self-consciousness, we allow our God-given creativity space to explore, discover, and enjoy the world around us. We don’t have to wish for better views, because we’ve reset our vision to see with Wonder. Boredom gives way to excitement as possibilities, once so invisible to us, are revealed at every turn. Life is fresh again!
Practice the Child’s Perspective
Choose three situations that you encounter every day (the more familiar, the better). Challenge yourself to view these known experiences with a child’s perspective, approaching them as if their brand new. What do you discover? What thoughts, ideas, or responses does it trigger? Does the situation seem new or different from this perspective? How so?
Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in the South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative outlets; when she isn’t making art or writing, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!