Let’s start 2019 by developing our sense of Awe. In Hebrew this word, Yirah, is often interpreted as “fear” but truly has a deeper meaning, incorporating a sense of reverence and wonderment. Awe is the experience of incomparable joy that comes when we are deeply connected to another person, or feel embraced by the mysteries of the universe, or overwhelmed by the beauty of the world around us. The Kabbalists consider the experience of awe to be a gateway to our deepest spiritual connection.
Imagine standing at the lip of the Grand Canyon, looking down into the past and being overwhelmed by the beauty, the sense of ancient times, as well as the fear of the vastness at your feet. This is awe, an experience that awakens spiritual consciousness within us, revealing a spiritual reality that we often fail to see. We watch a sunrise and only wonder about our daily schedule, or walk along an ocean shore and wonder what we should have for dinner.
However, once we take time to recognize and acknowledge awe in our lives, we become more adept at living in that spiritual space as we sip our tea, or hug a friend, drive our car, or perhaps wake and reflect on the miraculous human body. When we experience awe in our daily lives we are connected to the divine spiritual presence in the world.
Practice experience awe for this week and see how your perception shifts. Is the world more beautiful, more inspiring? Are you less fearful? Let me know what happens when awe fills your life.