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 throughout the month, and helps me be more present in my conversations, meetings, and readings. For November 2023 my quote was “Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”  

Fall is my season. The crisp air. The wind gusts. The colorful leaves. They all re-fill my soul. My feet feel more rooted to the ground. I feel more present in my body. I seem to notice more details in the world around me. It’s all more vivid. It feels like a cross between the sensation Superman feels when he gets recharged by the sun after exposure to Kryptonite and the shift in Dorothy when she enters the technicolor world of Oz. As I soaked all this up in November here are the quotes, lyrics, and phrases that that caught my attention along the way:

  • One can only share what she has in plenty
  • I’m not afraid, I was born to do this
  • Be a voice not a echo
  • Life will always find ways for you to thrive
  • Her tears were the most healing waters of them all
  • Wisdom keepers in the shape of trees
  • The sand assures us change is inevitable
  • Nature is always present; it is us who are not
  • Drop our roots deep to rise high
  • Wait in faith for just a moment
  • She used her heart as a compass
  • It broke me and I asked my soul to lead
  • Hope is a practical way of life
  • Soul whispers
  • Seeing people with generous eyes
  • Hold on to the sense of possibility
  • Decide to rise
  • Soul rest
  • Freedom is not a state, it’s an act
  • Don’t you want to be alive before you die?
  • The impossible just takes a little longer
  • Ittibi oksifoshi’ ihoo chohmi! (Fight like a hatchet woman)
  • The body tells us what we need
  • Grief is love with nowhere to go
  • Relationships travel at the speed of vulnerability
  • Kaddish (holy; separate from the every day)

As a self-proclaimed communications geek I love words. Words can be so simple and yet make a huge impact. They can inspire, comfort, clarify, hurt, empower, and confuse. Words impact our whole being – head, heart, and body. We feel them and carry them with us. Words matter.

One of my favorite words is wonder, so much so that it was my word this year (some folks set a goal or intention, I pick a word to embrace). I wanted more wonder. More wide-eye child-like experiences. More connection to something beyond my reality. More time to literally wonder, think, and just be. More of what definitions use to describe wonder:  feeling of surprise mingled with admiration; caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable; something extraordinary.

In my heightened fall state, I realized that my life was indeed saturated in wonder… especially in the “extra-ordinary” moments.

Wonder wedged its way in as I stood and watched the orange sun push away the evening darkness.

Wonder erupted on a call with a group of professional women I chat with monthly through genuine conversations, heart-felt support, and big laughs.

Wonder delivered itself through a thoughtful piece of mail marked “DO NOT OPEN UNTIL THANKSGIVING!”

Wonder chimed in as I got my groove on and danced to a favorite tune as I made lunch in the middle of a hectic work day

Wonder came as I sat in my church’s tiny white chapel in silence before the service and the morning sun poured in on me through the window.

Wonder sparkled as I drove at 6am in the dark to make an appointment and holiday lights lit my way.

Wonder smacked me upside the head when a friend looked me in the eye and asked, “How are you taking care of yourself?”

Wonder got a voice when I chose to donate to a nonprofit that supports Native America women who experience violence at significantly higher rates than other Americans, as part of my annual “thank you” to my work team.

Wonder moved into my morning with a friend as we shared, vented, and laughed walking around the neighborhood.

Wonder appeared when a high school bestie brought her dad, daughter, and granddaughter over at 8:30pm to sing Happy Birthday to my mom and dole out hugs.

Wonder clicked its way in with a text of thanks from a former coworker.

Wonder came together as I finished knitting a baby blanked for a friend’s first child.

Wonder grew as I listened to a Rabbi explain Jewish prayer to a room full of captivated Presbyterians.

Wonder smelled of home when I made my grandmother’s family’s stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving.

Wonder fell as I watched the orange leaves continuously float in the breeze one morning, and dad commented, “look, it’s like orange snow.”

Actually, wonder was always there… I just took the time to notice it and soak it all in.

November 2023 Quote: Always Be on the Lookout for the Presence of Wonder

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