Today's topic is See and today's post is from Brett Lubarsky, Director, Jewish Teen Initiative of Greater Boston.
We far too often live by our alerts, to-do lists, notifications, scheduled events and reminders. Driven to accomplish, succeed and experience, it is not uncommon that we find ourselves over-scheduled and tired. (Almost) every day, my practice has been to try to carve out time for wonder. While some days are more successful than others, it stretches me to focus on those things which I do not typically notice. It may be a sunset, reflection, or even a certain location. Whether on a walk or drive, it amazes me how much I discover as new - even when I have traveled that route countless times before. There is so much we don’t often see because we’re too focused on our destination.
Abraham Joshua Heschel teaches that, “Our goal should be to live in radical amazement. ...get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life causally. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”
Over the past few years, significant amounts of research have been conducted around the impacts that happiness and positivity have on our brains and lives. Positive psychology is a growing field, and the concept of flourishing raises some significant questions about how we go about our daily lives and find meaning in who we are and what we do. The science behind awe and wonder is quite fascinating. Life during COVID-19 has, in many cases, slowed things down...or at least has altered our concepts of and interactions with time. Routines are different. Priorities shift. Perhaps this has been an opportunity for us to see things differently than we did before. In preparing for the new year, how can we exercise our spiritual muscles in new and different ways? Can we shift the ways in which we perceive things? Where can we find new meaning and amazement in our lives? Maybe it’s been there...and we just haven’t been able to see it.
JEdSTEM aims to develop engaged, curious, and innovative Jewish minds for the modern world.