3 Ways to Experience More Awe in Your LifeNone By Homaira Kabir
When you think of fear, what comes to mind? Is it that irrational and delusional overreaction that we all recognize and yet struggle with? Or is it something more magical, amazing, almost divine?
Fear has many expressions, and some languages have multiple words for it. In Hebrew for example, pachad is the fear of imagined things, the one that considers a first date to be a life-threatening event. But then there’s also yirah, the fear that descends on us when we’re about to touch something larger than ourselves.
Yirah doesn’t close us down the way pachad does. In fact, it opens us up, mentally, physically, even spiritually. We feel connected to something deeply authentic, whether it’s nature or humanity. We feel moved to do something. We feel awed.
This feeling is as fearful as it is amazing. Kirk Schneider, Ph.D., author of Rediscovery of Awe, says “Awe is the commingling of dread, veneration, and wonder.” It makes us feel we belong to a much greater intelligence. It reminds us of the insignificance of our worries amidst the mystery and sacredness around us. It motivates us to take altruistic action and leave something of ourselves behind in the world. If one thing is certain, it’s that awe keeps our egos in check.
This has positive effects on our emotions. In his book, Awe: The Delights and Dangers of Our Eleven