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Maya Angelou on Wonder

Curiosity, wonder, awe, gratitude - these are just some of the emotions that this Maya Angelou quote elicits for me. How many times have I woken up and just gone through the motions of a morning or even a whole day without stopping to appreciate the beauty and opportunities unfolding right in front of me?

I took this image during an annual family beach vacation. This particular year, my teenage niece decided she wanted to see the sun rise every morning. She doesn't have the best history of hearing her alarm in the morning so no one took her seriously at first which only seemed to motivate her more. Several of us saw her determination and eventually offered to share in the adventure by each taking a different morning to join her (and make sure she woke up). 

Sitting there in the calm, peaceful light, it was hard to imagine that in just a few hours the space would be filled with families, blankets, chairs, noise, bright sun, and new adventures for families to share. My niece described how that morning's clouds and colors differed from the other days earlier in the week. Because she had greeted each day with the same wonder and appreciation Angelou captures, she could sense subtleties that would have escaped me.

Although I haven't gotten into the practice of being up to see the sun rise every morning since, I do try to remind myself to stop, breath, and appreciate how today is beautiful and unique in its own way. What beauty will I see around me? What interesting, new person will I meet? What new learning opportunity will push me to think in a different way? What can I create to share with others?

Needless to say, it's not always easy and some days I do better than others. What practices help you to approach each day with wonder and curiosity?

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