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035: Awe and Open Awareness: Micro-flow

May 27, 2021

I’m your host and flow state coach Dr. Josh Smith and welcome to the High Flow Lifestyle show, where I take a unique approach to personal growth for entrepreneurs and self-employed business owners. These quick little shots will help you consistently lead a high flow lifestyle and live life to the fullest.  

Have you been forgetting about the importance of awe in your daily life?  

By definition, Awe is “A feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.” 

Awe usually naturally happens, but I am encouraging you to create situations where you put yourself in circumstances where awe may happen more regularly. Awe can also only happen if we are in the right state of mind of openness, exploration, and positivity.  

When we feel awe, we are sort of ‘struck’ by something, amazed by its beauty, sheer size, vast expansive depth, or complexity.  

Recently my family and I were exploring Cabo Rojo, the furthest southwest corner of Puerto Rico. Cabo Rojo (Red Cape in English) gets its name from both the reddish color of the Las Salinas, or salt-flats, and the reddish tint that characterizes the seaside cliffs along its southern coast. Legend has it that the name was given by Christopher Columbus 

The southern coast of Puerto Rico seemed to be noticeably hotter than what we were used to in other areas, and although there was a breeze it didn’t seem to really cool you off. We made our way through a very rough dirt road through the salt-flats where we parked our car at the end of the road. Then there was a bit of a walk up to a famous lighthouse atop the cliffs. As I like to do, I had researched the area and was getting excited for this new experience. My son Hawk on the other hand was more concerned with the heat, putting him in an all too familiar grumpy mood. As we worked our way up to the lighthouse, we began to see it on top of the hill. It was somewhat modern or at least restored with fresh paint, but the more importantly, the view unfolds as you get to the top. You’re atop these beautiful cliffs, with no guard rails mind you, but all you can see in almost every direction is the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea.  

It really is an awe-inspiring scene, which fills you with fear and wonder. Fear comes in the form of the possibly of falling off one of these cliffs, and how mother nature may have other plans for you if you were caught stranded out on that ocean in a storm.   

Awe happens when we accept that our surroundings are more powerful than ourselves. The limitless horizons of Cabo Rojo inspire wonder and serve as a reminder of how deep and powerful things are outside of ourselves.  

In the beginning though, my son wasn’t really able to put himself in an open and accepting mindset though because he was more focused on the heat that was bothering him. Little by little though, walking hand-in-hand with me along the cliffs, the beauty, and a little fear too, brought him into the present moment and he was able to forget about the previous negative loop that was playing in his head.  

As we headed down the hillside toward a beautiful crescent white sanded beach all our cares in the world disintegrated, all 4 of us were in the moment taking in the novelty of this new place we have never experienced before.  

Awe intensifies your Ikigai, or your life purpose. I don’t mean this in terms of having big goals, I’m not really about that, but more about appreciating the moment and letting that guide you toward a purpose or passion.   

I also believe that awe is a form of micro-flow and can lead to insight. For some of our deeper flow activities, there is usually a challenge/skill balance where we are pushing ourselves a little bit beyond our comfort zone, and Awe is often less active. But enough other flow triggers are present to lead us to micro-flow foster deeper insight. Insight can happen in the blink of an eye and being in a state of awe puts us in a state of open awareness.  

I want you to put yourself in potentially awe-inspiring situations. To lead a high flow lifestyle we need to break up the routine of daily life, awe is a great way to get out of your own head and spark some insight.  

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