Cultivate Inspiration & Awe

Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.

The emotional experience of inspiration and awe is beyond compare. It has the power to enhance everything around you in so many ways. It turns the ordinary into extraordinary, and it makes life more colorful and tastier by filling it with micro moments of pure joy and happiness. Such an emotional experience relies on your aptitude to find, recognize, enjoy, and marvel at beauty in all its shapes and forms. Let that beauty touch you and move you at the very core of your being. Now THAT, my friend, is happiness in its purest and most enduring form.

Given all the benefits associated with experiencing an awe-inspired life such as increased life satisfaction, better health, joy and contentment, it seems that taking the time to cultivate inspiration and awe in your life should be regarded as a priority.

Simple Ways to Cultivate it!
Take awe walks in nature.

Walking in nature will give you plenty of opportunities to experience awe. Research shows that nature excursions give us a chance to expand, quite considerably, our frame of reference and connect with things much greater than us.

For example, in one study conducted at the University of California at Berkeley, Paul Piff (Paul Piff et al. 2015) asked a random sample of participants to stare for one minute at towering eucalyptus trees while another group stared at a tall building. The results of the study showed that those who stared at the trees felt more awe and were more likely to help a person in need, showed greater ethical decision-making and reported less superiority to others. So, go out there and don’t hesitate to look at the natural beauty of a mountain, a lake, the ocean, wild animals, a sunset, or a moonrise. They will all fill you with awe if you just let them.

Keep an awe journal.

If you want to keep your awe-filled experiences alive and vivid in your mind, try keeping an awe journal. Recording your awe-inspiring experiences and writing about how they made you feel and what they’ve taught you about yourself and the world around you can be very powerful and soul transforming. Make sure to write about your experiences in great detail so when you read about them again you feel like you’re experiencing those awe-filled moments all over again and with pretty much the same intensity. Don’t hesitate to include photos and objects that will add visual stimuli to your writings. After a while, you might be surprised to realize that the more you record your awe-inspiring moments, the more they will bring you a sense of well-being and inner peace, and the more eager you will become to go out there and experience new ones. Welcoming awe into your life will feed your spirit and your soul in ways you may not even fathom.

Watch awe-inspiring movies and videos.

If for some reason you are not able to go for walks in nature, there are other ways for you to have awe-inspiring experiences right in the comfort of your home. Nowadays, the internet offers many options such as YouTube or Netflix where you can find movies, videos and documentaries capable of inspiring you and uplifting you.

  • One of the videos presented in the Awe Video Practice will astonish you with its majestic shots from Yosemite National Park.
  • National Geographic will also provide you with awe-filled experiences on YouTube or on the National Geographic Channel.
  • Look up lists of “Best Nature Documentaries” on Netflix. You will find plenty of them that will nourish your cravings for natural beauty.
  • Finally, if you really want to have your mind blown away by beauty in its purest form, check out the work of a French photographer named Yann Arthus-Bertrand renowned for his breathtaking videos made in different regions of the world. With Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s videos, you’re in for a unique experience that will stay with you, always. Check out: