Rapt awe

Yesterday, in my (much needed) yoga class, our instructor read a quote from Albert Einstein that I hadn’t heard before:

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

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Although I’m sure Albert meant for his quote to inspire others to explore the heavens and take on grandiose projects to better mankind (i.e. something for geniuses to worry about – mark that N/A for me), our yoga instructor issued a challenge for each of us.

She said, “Every day, find something, anything, and take a moment to stand in rapt awe.”

Um, excuse me?

How could that be possible on a daily basis? Everyday life, for me anyway, consists of early-morning alarms, coffee, dishes, work, trips to the grocery store, maybe some exercise if I’m lucky, cooking dinner, wine, and more dishes.

Is it just me, or does none of that sound particularly glamorous, much less rapturous?

Just as I was about to dismiss the instructor as delusional, she went on. I’m paraphrasing, because we were in Warrior 3 and I was mostly concentrated on not falling over, but she said something like this:

If you’re like most of us, whose daily lives are not what we would think of as profound or rapture-worthy, remember the miracle that is your body. Consider the thousands of tiny miracles happening in your body right now, at this moment, to hold you in this pose. Stand in rapt awe of your body’s ability, of your body’s strength.

And then she let us go into child’s pose and I was so happy I could cry, but I also couldn’t believe how much I needed to hear that. Life is rapture-worthy. Getting out of bed in the morning is extraordinary. All these things we think of as mundane and tedious and tiresome are actually remarkable.

I get caught up in the daily grind, the minutiae of moving from one day to the next, without stopping to appreciate that each day is special and precious and profound in its own way. So now I have a new goal – to find something incredible about each and every day.

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A beautiful sunrise is a pretty good place to start.

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3 thoughts on “Rapt awe

  1. Trent Lewin

    Life is rapture-worthy… amen. How lucky are we to be here and be able to communicate like this? To hear music and do decent things? I think it’s all a miracle. It boggles the mind to know that we exist – I feel very grateful for it, and a little ashamed when I forget to be grateful.

    Reply
    1. Erin E. Post author

      I am not naturally a positive person. It takes a real effort for me to look at the good in life rather than all the things that are wrong. This is absurd, but I feel like I need to set a daily calendar reminder – 15 minutes, Time to be Grateful, every morning at 9:45.

      Reply

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