As I set up my calendar for the month, I select a quote I’ve found that speaks to me. I write it in my planner and leave space below it to capture phrases I hear or read that speak to me and relate to the quote. I found this practice centers me for the month, and helps me be more present in my conversations, meetings, and readings. For October 2021, the quote was “Leave a few cracks in your knowledge so wonder can breathe.”
This quote found me after I made wonder a priority. You see, in the masterclass I’m in we had an exercise to identify an emotion we’d like more of in our life. After much list making of words and discernment, I chose wonder. For me wonder represents a curiosity, a child-like delight, a sense of magic. I equate it a bit to the Lost Boys – the older we get the less wonder we have. Our experience, preconceived notions, and habits take over. While the adult lens might make things more efficient, it can dull the senses.
Some of the phrases I collected over the 31 days of October include:
- Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
- Explore habits of the mind
- I still believe in the light and what it makes of us
- Act in your possibility
- Generous authority
- I knew there was a way but I didn’t know the way
- The great turnaround
- I see you; I am here
- The difference between fact and thought
- We don’t see the world as it is but rather as we are
- What stories are you writing and rewriting in your head because of false beliefs?
- Humor and awe
- The gift of boredom is a luxury
- Close the gap between our intent and our impact
- I can only learn if I avail myself to others
- Make purpose your bouncer
- Wake up to your life
Wonder helped me get more comfortable with not having the answer. Wondered helped me be more open to possibility. Wonder caused me to ask better questions. Wonder had me invite new people to the conversation. Wonder enabled me to take time in meetings to connect more with attendees. Wonder helped me be more playful.
In addition to seeking wonder as a state, I also used the word as a prompt. Rather than take an action on auto pilot or make an assumption based on history, I paused and asked “I wonder if…?” This simple question opened up my thinking, enabled me put down baggage that blocked my view, let me step toward more fun, reduce my worry. Each time I stepped into a space of wonder I was rewarded.
And as if to thank me for focusing on wonder, my month ended with a day of wonderment. My 50th birthday that was filled with a surprise visit of seven out-of-town friends. I ignored my watch for the day. I sang out loud to Prince. I ordered all the pizza and ate all the cake. I didn’t monitor my emotions – from tears to crying laughter. I fully listened without worrying about a response. I danced on a stripper pole in the party van. I made a wonderful wish.
I appreciate the permission this quote gave me to embrace my imagination and step into a state of playful wonder… and hope you take time to wonder what this quote means to you.