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Lions Roar : September 2019
walk into a series of awe-inspiring moments, filled with delightful surprises. HowtoDoIt To get started, turn off your cellphone. Cellphones (and other gadgets) can be distracting and draw your attention away from what’s happening around you. Even better, don’t bring your phone with you at all so that you won’t be tempted to check it. During your walk, try to approach what you see with fresh eyes, imagining that you’re seeing it for the first time. Then follow these steps: 1. Take a deep breath in. Count to six as you inhale and six as you exhale. Feel the air move through your nasal passages, and hear the sound of your breath. Come back to this breath throughout the walk. SOMETIMES IT CAN FEEL like we’re at the center of our own universe, fixated on our personal concerns without much regard for other people. Experiencing awe can jolt us out of this self-focused mindset, stirring feelings of wonder and inspiration by reminding us that we’re a part of something larger than ourselves. Researchers define awe as a response to things we perceive as vast and that transcend the way we understand the world. Research suggests that experienc- ing awe not only enhances happiness and physical health but also reduces feelings of entitlement and increases generosity. Experiencing awe may seem like something that requires travel to distant lands, but there are many opportunities closer to home—we just need to seek them out and notice them. This practice is designed to help you turn an ordinary GREATER GOOD Take an Awesome Walk Six simple steps can turn an ordinary walk into a daily dose of life-giving awe. LUKASZSZMIGIEL 2. As you start to walk, feel your feet on the ground and listen to the surrounding sounds. 3. Shift your awareness now so that you are open to what is around you, to things that are vast, unexpected, things that sur- prise and delight. 4. Take another deep breath in. Again, count to six as you inhale and six as you exhale. 5. Let your attention be open in explo- ration for what inspires awe in you. Is it a wide landscape? The small patterns of light and shadow? Let your attention move from the vast to the small. 6. Continue your walk, and every so often, bring your attention back to your breath. Count to six as you inhale and six as you exhale. Notice—really notice—the “Greater Good” is a collaboration between Lion’s Roar and the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. You will find more than fifty science-based practices for a meaningful life at ggia.berkeley.edu. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2019 25