Noticing Nature to Inspire Awe and Wonder

Over the past few days, we having been sharing activities to inspire awe and wonder, the emotion explored in Chapter 12 of Onward. If you are interested in exploring the other activities, find them linked here in yesterday’s post.

Today we share an activity Noticing Nature from The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. This activity uses photography as a reflective way to experience awe in nature. The breakdown of the activity is as follows:

  1. Be mindful of the natural elements and objects around you on a daily basis (e.g., trees, clouds, leaves, the moon, moving water, animals, etc.), and notice how these make you feel and what emotions they evoke. Take a moment to allow yourself to truly experience the nature around you.
  2. When you encounter a natural object, element, or scene that evokes a strong emotion in you, that moves you in some way, take a photo of it. If possible, upload the photo to your computer, or even to a blog if you have one. Along with the photo, jot down a brief description of what prompted you to take it and how this nature scene made you feel, in a few words or a few sentences.
  3. You can take as many photos as you like, but try to take at least 10 photos over the course of two weeks. Be mindful of how the nature you encounter makes you feel on a daily basis, but space the photos out on different days.
  4. Remember: What is key is your experience with what you are photographing—how nature makes you feel. Don’t worry too much about the quality of the photos or how creative they are.

Love how this activity deepens your mindfulness practice as well, of being in the present moment and connecting to the feelings that arise in you.

Try it out and share some of your pictures and descriptions with us on social media. Remember to tag us @brightmorningtm and use the #OnwardTheBook so we can build community.