A recent event for World Mental health Day turned out to be heart warming, fun, uplifting and hopeful with phrases such as ‘spiritual awakening’, ‘recovery from within’ and ‘looking towards what’s right’ uttered from the podium.
During the event I was struck by something.
The transformative power of where we look from
Many of us enjoy watching wildlife programmes on TV. There seems to be no end to the fascinating, weird and wonderful creatures on our planet. When a narrator invites us to look closely at these creatures through the lens of wide-eyed curiosity, we discover magic in the most unexpected places.
What if we approached human beings in the same way? What if we approached our own minds the same way? Celebrating diversity of being rather than holding judgements about what is lacking or wrong.
Wonder + curiosity = magic + beauty
When we open up to the wonder of humanity in all its guises, we find the world begins to transform. Different ways of being become not problematic or pathological but instead a source of awe and we begin to notice the unique ways each us serves the world.
- The neighbour who brings round surplus tomatoes.
- The young boy who sees unique patterns in numbers
- The mother of 8 who clothes and feeds her children on next to nothing
- The young carer who shops for her Dad
- The inpatient in a psychiatric unit who lends an ear to a fellow sufferer
- The woman with a life limiting illness who feeds and cares for her cat
- The delivery man who smiles as he delivers a parcel
- The man who makes a cup of tea for a colleague up against a deadline
- The child who day dreams weaving fantastic tales
- The community members who donate time, food, equipment and money to help those flooded by storms
These moments rarely make the news. They are happening all round you. The funny thing is: the more we notice the wonder of everyday moments, the more wonderful everyday moments we notice.
If we don’t ‘see’ or experience these things it is only because we have become temporarily beguiled by what’s wrong (with ourselves) and the world. We can’t see the magic and awe of others when our own wondrous nature is covered up with thoughts of lack, dysfunction, judgement and worries.
Being in this human theatre, you are animated by the divine.
Rather than wondering what that statement means or what the implications are for your life or how you don’t get it: what if you simply wonder at that fact. Is it true? What if it is?
Just as the close up movements of the tentacles of a jelly fish captured on film can hold us mesmerised as we are moved by something beautiful, mysterious and new, so too, within each of us, is magic and awe but for our thinking that tells us otherwise.
I’d love to hear your reflections. Please comment below or email me.
© Juliet Fay 2018
Photo: Jellyfish at Monterey Bay Aquarium by Paul Murk 2017