May 21st, 2014 by Jan

When was the last time you had a jaw dropping experience?

I’m talking about the total “oh my gawd,” wonder of surprise and awe.

I am listening to a book right now about making a good TED talk. I’ve always thought it would be a good practice to develop a 15 – 18 minute talk about something interesting that I know and you don’t. I may or may not ever do this — but I might.

I love TED talks and today I thought about how most good talks, stimulate the brain to participate and learn and the super good talks, have “jaw dropping” moments in them.

Like when Bill Gates let loose a jar full of mosquitoes on the crowd, or when Jill Bolte Taylor showed everyone a real brain, or when Marian Bantjes shared what she could do with a piece of regular household aluminium foil.

People sat with their mouths open — their jaws dropped!

The beauty of a morning sunrise in New Mexico drops my jaw. The first time I saw Sam move my jaw dropped. Ken has a way of surprising me, leaving me standing with my mouth open and wordless. Last night I openly enjoyed Tamsin’s vocabulary and Peter’s surprise gift to take a portrait photo of me. Each day I enjoy the beauty of NASA’s photo of the day from space. Jaw dropping indeed.

Not that long ago, I had a fun and genuine jaw drop. I was in Massachusetts sitting in the living room of Dorian and Nini’s new house. Dorian gave me a beautiful big box all wrapped in celebratory birthday paper. It took a while to unwrap the box, even though I am a super good paper ripper on principle.

When I finally opened the box I knew I was being watched — but that wasn’t important. I know that giving has its own rewards, so  I continued down through the tissue paper. Then I saw them! The most beautiful lime green cowboy boots in the world! I can honestly say my jaw dropped in pure delight and surprise.

I’d like to call out more of those moments in life. They are easy to give and wonderful to experience. I am grateful that it doesn’t take all that much for me to be awed.

In my birthday list I wrote that the search for meaningful work is over rated. I think I believe that now more and more as I find awe in simple ways.

Jaw dropping moments are everywhere. I’d like to acknowledge them more often.

P.S. In the end the boots didn’t fit me, but that just proved the point of — it really is the thought that counts!

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