I am participating in Gwen Bell’s #Reverb10 blogging challenge. the Prompt for day 4 is: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)
When I saw this prompt, I went all cynical. I wrote, first, “Well, I would love to write about this today but I have to go write about miracles.” Then, I came back.
Cultivating wonder is what I do for a living. Which makes it, you know, my day job – and, every so often, I lift my head from my work and realize, “I am getting bored with miracles.”
It happens to everyone. The daily grind. Same thing, over and over.
And that sucks.
But when it happens with miracles.
It double sucks.
‘Breakthrough Burnout’ is a peculiar malady, specific to mystics and psychics and healers and intuitives who juggle white light for a living. The symptoms: Ennui in the face of the miraculous, frustration and overwhelm with the sheer number of angel feathers and pennies from heaven they are asked to store; and a general ho-hum with the notion that there is a Divine intelligence that loves and engages us.
When I catch myself in this place, I laugh first (in public places, in full view of ‘normal’ people. Which does not help.)
Then, How is this even possible? I ask, speaking to the Presence that is always there. How can a person be jaded, ‘over it,’ bored with miracles?
The Universe/Angels/Fairies/Gods/Divine/All That Is seem to find this amusing, too.
I can feel them kinda chuckling, in a familiar, we’re in this together sort of way.
And then They up the stakes.
- They set my car on fire.
- They send wild technicolor dreams that wake me gasping and amazed
- They double my income, overnight
- They make me finally, really fall (profoundly and deeply) in love with my husband after 26 years of marriage – and they do this while I am writing a memoir about the heart (and planning, as I used to do, to leave him when I got my first royalty check)
Shit like that.
They do it to get my attention – to re-generate wonder – to take me out of auto-pilot.
They show me what to do:
- Put down the miracle story for a while
- Walk, talk, touch things
- They make me remember: I have a body
- They flash pictures of nature and encourage me to re-engage with the physical, material world (preferably in a way that does not involve shopping, since shopping only presents more miracles.)
In this universe of reversals and mirrors, to cultivate wonder, I must do the mundane.
- I wash the dishes, feeling the slimy smooth lather of the dish soap on my hands
- I fold the laundry, burying my face in a towel, inhaling the out of the dryer fresh scent
- I take out the trash, whole-body shivering in the December chill – and loving that
- I go and talk to my husband about his work – and actually listen
- I call my mother – and pulse heartbeats of love to her
- I visit my dad at the nursing home – and hold his twisted old hand
- I do not write in my journal. I do not pray. I do not meditate.
- I go to yoga and stay in my body the whole 75 minutes – a TRUE wonder for me.
- I pluck the dry leaves from the geranium, the hydrangea, the African violet
And after all of this, and more, I feel the whisper of wonder return. Then, and only then, do I return to the miraculous wonder of my day job. Refreshed by the wonders of the world.