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Small and In Awe




I feel like there’s a lot of emphasis on building better self-esteem and building ourselves up or even the phrase “take up space” implies a sense of large-ness.


As a counter thought - what happens when we feel small? When we recognize our tiny place in a much larger Universe? When we take a moment to notice the grandeur of the natural world and it’s perfection?


In a recent adventure with my dad, we took a helicopter ride from Las Vegas to land in the middle-ish of the Grand Canyon. While on the flight the pilot shared with us this fact, “There’s evidence in the sedimentary rocks that there have been 8 different oceans to cover the canyon over the course of time.”


Even typing this now I feel my brain exploding with expansion on the amount of time that MUST have passed in order for 8 different oceans to come and go.


Sidenote: I’ve recently become less concerned with the lifespan of our planet and more concerned about our next big ocean. As Dr. Ian Malcolm says, “Life finds a way.” (Jurassic Park)


I felt the same way when I sat in a BioChem class while earning my Biology degree. Our teacher was taking a slightly different approach to teaching the class that was more focused on comprehension and less concerned about the testing aspects. Fun Fact: I can draw DNA nucleotides - or least used to be able to! We were talking about how the life was created and I wasn’t really grasping the HOW. My teacher clarified by drawing out a timeline of life and showing how small human time was in comparison to the Universe. He said that as humans we can’t comprehend the factor of time that was involved for these changes/evolutions to occur. Our minds simply can’t fathom that time span because of how limited our time of existence is compared with the Universe.


Jason Silva (more than a few years ago) posted a video that stuck with me re: AWE.

I don’t remember exactly what he was saying, and pretty sure he had ingested some magic mushrooms BUT what I took away: Do MORE things that make you feel AWE!


Dictionary.com defines awe as: an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like


For me, my sense of awe is usually consecrated with tears. And I’m totally ok with that pattern of sense + body reaction.


Feeling small in this GRAND universe allows me to zoom out - which is one of my favorite perspectives. This reminder of my placement in the bigger pictures brings with a salve for my aching heart. My pattern is to try and micro-manage my life - who can relate?! If I can just control all the minutiae then surely….


NOPE! One of the most powerful realizations is that I actually have ZERO control over life and circumstance. The release comes when I surrender to the flow of the Universe, which we’ve already established is MUCH grander than even I can imagine - might as well flow (and ebb) with it.