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Motivation Mondays: AWE

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“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” Albert Einstein

Motivation Mondays: AWE - we encounter everyday epiphanies in nature and life...

Motivation Mondays: AWE – we encounter everyday epiphanies in nature and life…

Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe. Wayne Dyer

What comes to mind when you think of the word AWE? It can be described as a feeling of mixed emotions of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity, or might – Wiki and we experience some version of it in our interactions with nature, life and other people. Even with all the strife and discontent we see in the world today, there is still much to feel awed, inspired and encouraged by.

Recently, I was taking a walk on the Croton Aqueduct and had a moment of awe. It had rained a few days before, and the leaves on the trees shimmered in the light as lingering droplets of water reflected the sunlight like a beautiful chandelier. As I walked by some of my favorite and yes, massive trees, I wondered how long it took to grow to that height and how much strength were in those tree trunks and branches around me. One of the many features I love about that space is the magnificent trees that lean into each other creating an archway that shields us from the strong afternoon sun. A few minutes after I walked by one of the tallest,  and most powerful looking trees, I heard a crash behind me. A huge branch had snapped off one of the trees, impaling its jagged edges into the soft earth. The earth shook and all was quiet around me; even the chirping birds had been stilled by the sound of that falling branch.

In that moment, I was reminded of the power and presence those trees have in nature. They provide us with shade and offer sustenance to other life forms around them. When it is time to shed a branch or two and to re-calibrate what each tree needs to stay alive, an excision occurs. It is this ebb and flow of life in nature that creates a sense of awe because the timing is as perfect as the excision and it occurs across the hierarchy of all living things, across the divide of animate and inanimate things. It is the same awe we bring to the experience of watching a volcano erupt, a spaceship take flight, and the gift of life arrive at the birth of a baby in our family. We can bring that same spirit to the work we do and the new skills we learn that help us move ahead at our workplaces and at home. So, take some time to stop and show  appreciation for all around you that make your life, your commute, and your efforts easier. We are surrounded by helpers who act gracefully to help us accomplish our goals.

READ: Stories of Awe and Abundance  by Jose Hobday

A Story: The Holy Man
Word spread across the countryside about the wise Holy Man who lived in a small house atop the mountain. A man from the village decided to make the long and difficult journey to visit him. When he arrived at the house, he saw an old servant inside who greeting him at the door. “I would like to see the wise Holy Man,” he said to the servant. The servant smiled and led him inside. As they walked through the house, the man from the village looked eagerly around the house, anticipating his encounter with the Holy Man. Before he knew it, he had been led to the back door and escorted outside. He stopped and turned to the servant,
“But I want to see the Holy Man!”
“You already have,” said the old man. “Everyone you may meet in life, even if they appear plain and insignificant… see each of them as a wise Holy Man. If you do this, then whatever problem you brought here today will be solved.”

A Story: In Awe

The Prince of Wu took a boat to Monkey Mountain. As soon as the monkey’s saw him they all fled in panic and hid in the treetops. One monkey, however, remained, completely unconcerned, swinging from branch to branch—an extraordinary display!
The Prince shot an arrow at the monkey, but the monkey dexterously caught the arrow in mid-flight. At this the Prince ordered his attendants to make a concerted attack. In an instant the monkey was shot full of arrows and fell dead.
Then the King turned to his companion Yen Pu’i: “You see what happened?” he said. “This animal advertised his cleverness. He trusted in his own skill. He thought no one could touch him. Remember that! Do not rely on distinction and talent when you deal with men!”
When they returned home, Yen Pu’i became the disciple of a sage to get rid of everything that made him outstanding. He renounced every pleasure. He learned to hide every “distinction.” Soon no one in the Kingdom knew what to make of him. Thus they held him in awe. Source: The Way Of Chuang Tzu

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for August  and September 2016 are:

09/05 –   Labor Day,  International Day of Charity,  8 International Literacy Day,
09/12 –  15 Day of Democracy Day,  17 Constitution Day
09/19 –  21 International Day of Peace/ World Peace Day, World Rhino Day
09/26 – National Preparedness Month, National Childhood Cancer Awareness, National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, National School Success Month, National Childhood Obesity Awareness

10/03 –  2-4 Rosh Hashana,  6 German-American Day,
10/10 –  10  Columbus Day, World Mental Health Day, 11 International Day of the Girl,  12 Yom Kippur
10/17 –   16 World Food Day / FAO World Food Day
10/24 –  24 United Nations Day,  28 National Chocolate Day, 29 National Cat Day, 30 Diwali
10/31 —  31 Halloween


Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2016?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.




— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab

More Below!

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” John Milton

Motivation Mondays: AWE - we encounter everyday epiphanies in nature and life...

Motivation Mondays: AWE – we encounter everyday epiphanies in nature and life…

Motivation Mondays: AWE - we encounter everyday epiphanies in nature and life...

Motivation Mondays: AWE – we encounter everyday epiphanies in nature and life…

Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me. Immanuel Kant
Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder. Thomas Aquinas

Do you stop to consider the many ways life presents awe-inspiring moments for you on a daily basis? Yesterday was the start of Rosh Hashanah, a two-day celebration of the Jewish New Year, and the first in a series of High Holy Days that signify the start of the sowing season that will lead growth and an eventual harvest. It reminded me of the seasons of life that each and every one of us go through. Each new year, we begin with ideas, plans and wishes of all the things we hope to accomplish by year end. We sow seeds of hope through our actions, and if we stay focused and treat the opportunities that come our way with gratitude and reverence, we find the inner strength to get things done and even experience a few surprises along the way.  While we might not always feel inspired by what we do, it is important to take some time off to walk and look at the world around us. When was the last time you looked at the trees, buildings on your street? When was the last time you made eye contact with a stranger and wished them well with greetings for a productive day? If we never allow our minds and hearts a chance to take in the beauty and even the simplicity of nature around us, we won’t have time to access that place of wonder within.

Does life have to be in perfect sync for us to appreciate its beauty? Of course not. We make a choice every day to tune in and tune out certain areas of our lives. When challenges come knocking on our door, we allow it to sweep us right into a dark hole while forgetting that our creative impulses can help provide solutions to situations … However, those impulses need to be nurtured, stoked like coals in a fireplace and fed a diet of gratitude and trust. If we never allow ourselves time for reflection and wonderment, we shut a crucial door to our own growth.  Just before a major thunderstorm, our family cat gets skittish and starts running around the room in search of an “ideal” hiding place. He darts here and there, tiring of each spot and seeking refuge in yet another corner of our home. After some time, he settles into an ideal corner from which he quickly bolts once the thundering starts. I find the behavior quite amusing and yet, there is much to learn from it.  An ideal setting and moment is what we make of our space at any time. I can look outside my picture windows into my yard and see the changing face of the fall season as a much needed shift or just see it as an accumulation of debris. I can choose to be at peace with where I am as the thundering and lightening do their awesome dance or I can be rattled and unsettled by it. Life is very much like that and no one is spared the upheaval. What we must remember to do is to find those transcendent moments of awe and gratitude and trust that all is well… that all will be well.

READ: Awakening to Awe: Personal Stories of Profound Transformation by Kirk J. Schneider
The Book of Awesome & The Happiness Equation by Neil Parischa (check out his website too).

A Story: Bull’s Eye
There was once a general of war who had spent his entire life fighting in campaigns for many kings. Now at the end of his career, he became tired of fighting. He had spent a lifetime perfecting his skill in all the arts of war and his skill was famous, but he was weary and had but one wish: to spend the rest of his days studying archery, the one art of war he had not mastered.
The general did not want to learn archery in order to be a better fighter, but rather to study and reflect. He had heard of Master archers, living in distant monasteries, who spend a lifetime doing nothing else but perfecting their skill. Their life appealed to him, and so he retired from fighting and began to search for the Master archers.
After a long journey the general found a monastery where the monks were devoted to archery. He entered the monastery and begged to join them and pass the remainder of his days on this earth studying archery.
For 10 years that is what he did. Then, when he had perfected his skill as an archer, the abbot of the monastery came to the general and said, “It is time to leave.” The general was shocked and he protested, saying that his life in the world outside the monastery was over. His only desire was to remain within the monastery walls and continue to meditate on the bow, the arrow, the target.
The general argued and pleaded with the abbot, but the abbot was resolute. He insisted that the general must leave. To advance his skill, it was necessary for the general to go out into the world and teach what he had learned.
And so he left the monastery. Once outside, the general had nowhere to go; he decided to return to the village of his birth. It was a long journey over many lands, but finally he neared the village. As he walked through the surrounding forest he noticed a bull’s-eye on a tree, with an arrow in the exact center. The general was surprised by this and even more so when he noticed more trees with bull’s-eyes and arrows in the center. Soon he came to the farmlands and there saw many barns and homes with bull’s-eyes and arrows dead center. He became agitated and walked quickly into the village center. There, on every wall of every building was a bull’s-eye with an arrow right in the center.
The peace he had gained from his years of monastic life was gone. He was indignant to find that after 10 years of study and reflection there lived an archer more skilled that he. Quickly, he approached the elders of the town and demanded that the archer responsible for this perfection meet him at the edge of town by the mill, in one hour.
The general waited by the mill, but as the hour approached no one came. There was, however, a young girl playing by the river. The girl noticed him and came over.
“Are you waiting for someone?” she asked, looking up at the general.
“Go away,” he said, irritated.
“No, no,” said the girl, “you look like you’re waiting for someone and I was told to come and meet someone here.”
The general looked disbelievingly at the little girl and said, “I’m waiting for the Master archer responsible for the hundreds of perfect shots I have seen.”
“Well, that’s me then,” said the girl.
The general, feeling more indignant still, looked skeptically at the
girl. Finally, he said, “If you are telling the truth, then explain to me how you can get a perfect shot every single time you shoot your arrow.”
“That’s easy,” said the girl, brightening. “I take my arrow and I draw it back very tight in the bow. Then I point it very, very straight and let it go. Wherever it lands I draw a bull’s-eye.”


Have an awe-inspired week ahead!


Any Zen Antics stories via


Positive Motivation Tip: The world is as we see it … see the awe around you and share your gratitude.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
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PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS:All Photos –  Awe via Wikipedia, and/or Awe, Awesome Fall foliage, via Pixabay

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet










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