Flickering Moments, Meditation and the Emotion of Awe

I was walking home from my hairdresser the other day when I noticed these flowers on the wall of pink buds and luscious green. Our neighbors’ hedge is blooming in the middle of January – not a big deal on this island. I pointed my telephone camera at the flower but my hand wasn’t steady from a brisk walk and the wind however cold and slow on the ground was sending the petals into a gentlest of motions. So the camera kept refocusing again and again trying to capture the details. Naturally, I wanted little anthers and stamens to be seen as I saw them with my naked eye. It took us  –  my camera, the wind, and the light – a while to get it almost as in real life.

Like the camera’s lenses in those conditions, our mind is having hard time to be present. It takes focus and some coordinated effort like steady body, peaceful moment, certain lighting and dedication. These are also perfect ingredients for meditation: a peaceful environment, pacified body, focus on a single thing, to begin with. Later, much later, sometimes, all that wouldn’t matter and you would be able to meditate even in the public transport and find peace amid the chaos of a busy city.  With practice, unless of course…

You’ll stumble upon such unprecedented moment of awe that will take you out of yourself that it will be impossible to forget it for a long time. I had such moment on the same day. I continued my walk westwards and the huge golden disk of the sun was setting right into my eyes. I had to either look down or gaze up… The sky was a bewildering explosion of gold and bronze, and it was in motion, too. The low gold-rimmed cumulus Huskies were racing gently but speedily along with the same north wind, while the other layer up above (alto-cumulus – just looked it up) white as the freshest snow was perfectly still. The blue in between and beyond was just stunning!

My photographic and literary attempts, of course, don’t convey on the slightest the impression I had during that moment. But my brain like every human brain has this unique ability to capture and store and go back to any moment it wishes to, meditate on it. Also that’s how anchoring works in NLP (Nero-linguistic programming). In my case when the associated emotion was so strong, I possibly won’t even need to create a physical anchor in the body, just go back again and again to that moment. Not remembering it, but recalling the whole state, smile silly. Right now, while writing, I tried to go back, and actually automatically made a physical anchor anyway, rubbing my ribs out of blue (I guess, anchoring now is a strong habit created by my coaching training), but back to the awe.

Scientist proved that the emotion of awe is the most powerful healer of all the emotions, ranking high above joy and happiness. It’s because this is the emotion that exists outside of our personal context and experience, it’s a window into the present moment and eternity at the same time, it’s the absence of time. The more we experience those moments the more we are alive and capable of living fully. Once experienced, it could be recreated. Also that is why we all need recreation to stumble upon those moments and recreate them later on again and again.

Capturing the present moment and experiencing the emotion of awe accidentally through nature and recalling it again and again and practicing it during meditation are all perfect gifts of conscience to everyone of us absolutely free of charge. Practical implications of such ability of our brain are vast: it pacifies our busy mind making it more capable to deal with life’s practicalities instead of worrying and running amok, it heals and it makes life worth living…

‘Spring is in the air’ almost



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I help women get in touch with their true selves, live authentic, happy lives and succeed on their own terms.

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