For the last few years, I’ve regularly interrupted my move from one place to another to stop and take a few pictures.
The origin of the habit was to interrupt myself while hurrying from one place to the other. I had decided that it’s fine to rush and that I could interrupt that move when I felt like it.
Taking pictures was a good reason to interrupt my move and a moment in the day I learned to enjoy. Enough to keep that habit independently from the weather. Doing it regularly had the interesting side effect of becoming used to look around and see if there is something nice I’d like to photograph.
As the New York Times wrote today, it’s a practice I can embed in a micro-adventure, that is adventures filled with micro-awe. I also learned that taking pictures as I do is called ‘savoring’ and a way to learn gratitude.
While I find myself slightly confused by the necessity to invent words and verbs for something that seems to be a simple habit it is also making me aware of the ongoing and growing work done studying emotions. It is work that is done to make emotions more accessible. It also creates a movement leading us away from rushing from one excitement to the other or seeking the next bigger excitement. It reminds us of the sense of pleasure if not awe that is available to us every day.
Awe is an emotion that reminds us that there is something larger and more consequential than ourselves. Awe can also be described as combining an experience of vastness with both pleasure and a fear of the unknown.
But, finding it in our homes, in the neighborhood or a nearby garden also teaches us, that awe is something that is within us. It is up to us to experience and open up for it.
It can’t be generated, but it can be experienced.
So maybe it’s also worth it to look at the people surrounding us, those we are working with, and take a fresh look.
The word for this is an old one, it’s acknowledging.