The 10 Days of Awe and Wonder challenge invites us to spend 10 days becoming aware of the world around us, and seeing things in a new way.
In a mini-movement kicked off at CONNECT23 on the Gold Coast, many in the Christian Media & Arts community have joined in the ’10 Days of Awe and Wonder’ challenge.
The challenge, based around a Jewish practice called ’10 Days of Awe’, was thrown to the audience at CONNECT23 in a message delivered by brand strategist Sam Valich.
Writing about the challenge in a post on Linkedin, Sam asks, “When was the last time you experienced everyday awe?”
“September 15th is the beginning of the ten most holy days in the Jewish calendar”, she writes. “These days are called the Ten Days of Awe. The Jewish community spend their time being outward-focused in a way that builds their sense of wonder.
“To experience the benefits of everyday awe, I would like to encourage you to join the @CMAA CONNECT23 community and take part in the Ten Days of Awe.”
How to Access Awe and Wonder
In her post, Sam writes about some of the many ways we can access everyday awe - by keeping our eyes open for the following:
- Moral beauty - virtue, character and ability that is marked by the purity and goodness of people’s kindness, courage, strength, or overcoming.
- Connection: When we are buzzing with a shared collective experience of a tribe or oceanic “we” we experience the awe of collective effervescence that creates a deep feeling of meaning. When this deep connection - touch, a feeling of being embraced by a warm presence - we experience spiritual awe. This leads us to inspiring clues about our deep origin and the awareness of being seen.
- Nature: Creation is not a silent bystander - it speaks. Connecting with nature and feeling the interconnectedness of all living things creates wild awe.
- Music: Musical awe opens the mind to the sublime - love, suffering, justice, power, community and patterns in life are illuminated.
- Visual art, Design: We can locate ourselves within a cultural system through visual art, films, photography, patterns of light, the cell under a microscope and the way people interact because of urban design.
Research on the Power of Wonder
Sam’s keynote message on the value of wonder, was based around the research of Professor Dascher Keltner.
“Keltner defines wonder as the mental state of openness, questioning, curiosity and embracing mystery arising out of experiences of awe - the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your current experience,” she writes.
“Psychologists have recently turned their attention to this emotion and have found that awe-inspiring experiences may be worth more than the occasional burst of euphoria.
“Experiencing everyday awe has proven to be a powerful tool in overcoming many contemporary challenges from issues of personal well-being to solving collective problems at a national or even global scale. It leads to increased insight, imagination and creativity and inclines us to trust and build a shared identity. It also puts the stresses of life in a larger context, empowering our attention and our ability to discern.
“Awe is an antidote to our overheated and over-stressed times.”
How to Join the Challenge
To benefit from the power of awe and wonder yourself, why begin a 10-day challenge, following these three simple steps:
1. Become more mindful and open to stories and experiences that spark your wonder.
2. Take note of how moments of everyday awe make you feel
3. Simply enjoy this experience for yourself, or post what you experience using the following two hashtags: #tendaysofaweandwonder, and #tendaysofawe