Pages

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Interview: Deb Owen

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

This week our interviewee is Deb Owen, a spiritual director and coach who guides women in transition in their life to a deeper, more profound understanding of faith intersecting in real life, bringing about authentic transformation and authentic living. I've followed Deb around the blogosphere for four years now. I've looked to her for all sorts of advice and I participated in her very first ecourse, Creative Pathways. She is a wise and compassionate woman. Here is her interview.

Deb OwenWhat have you been wonderstruck by recently?

I am stunned by people's resilience and the ability to be not only transformed, but freed, in their life. Given that the majority of my life and vocation revolve around working with people seeking transformation for one reason or another, I constantly have this gnawing sense that the wonder and awe I feel when growth spurts occur will one day be gone. I continue to think that one day I will take it for granted and it won't have the same luster. But it doesn't. To see what is possible for people in their lives as new light fills their eyes, their hearts, their souls, as energy, vitality, and hope return, is a constant source of amazement for me. I am fortunate and grateful to be able to see the miracles I see in people's lives.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

The mornings, which is surprising. The majority of my life has been spent as a 'night person' dreading mornings. That's changed as I shifted the focus of my life and now my morning routine including coffee, prayer, and meditation have turned it into my favorite part of the day.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

I don't have a regular part of the day that seems tough. I do sometimes experience that mid-afternoon sluggishness but a quick walk with my dog tends to snap me right out of that. Prayer also works. Always.

What do you wish your were more conscious of?

I'd like to be more conscious of the power of the little things. I'm a person who tends to think big, so I'm attempting to become more aware of the little things from the impact of a smile to the smaller daily shifts that lead to big changes in our lives.

How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?

Every morning I pray, meditate and study. I also review my vision and goals every day. But 'my people' are integral to maintaining focus. I have a small group of people who know me intimately, as I know them, and we give each other license to share and to remind each other if we're getting off track.

Deb Owen blogs & VLOGS about spiritual power tools and practices in practical daily life at debjowen.com. She works with women one-on-one, and also leads a monthly group online called Grace Surfer. She is currently working on digitally downloadable programs, as well as a 6-week program that will debut in January. For updates on her upcoming projects, click to her website and sign up for the newsletter in the sidebar.

Where to find Deb:
Website: http://debjowen.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DebOwen
Twitter: @Deb_Owen

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Live, Dang It!

Memorial weekend just finished here in the States, culminating in Memorial Day, a day to remember the men and women who have died in our military.

This weekend traditionally marks the start of summer and usually involves barbecues or beach trips. For my family, it always means my stepson has a baseball tournament, my husband is coaching, and I am sweating in the stands marveling at their ability to do anything active in this heat. Add to that chasing around a toddler who isn't keen on sitting still to watch the game. We got some projects done around the house and finished the weekend with a cookout with friends.

There was a part of the long weekend, though, where I started to feel nervous about not having a post yesterday. Granted readers in the U.S. probably weren't online much anyway, but what about the rest of you?

Sunday night I realized that Monday was almost here and I hadn't yet scheduled a post. Reading and relaxing felt more important, more needed, in that moment, so I did that instead.

Monday morning arrived and spending time with my husband and children trumped writing. Initially I felt guilty, like I needed to get something posted, but then I let it go. My first rule of blogging is that it shouldn't feel stressful. My second rule is that it shouldn't get in the way of life.

Living life always has been and likely always will be my first priority. I love writing, but without experiencing life there is nothing to write about. So I went on about my weekend relaxing, spending time with my family, and visiting friends.

Last night I finished reading Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist, a beautiful book filled with stories about the hard stuff and good stuff in her life. In her final chapter, she writes this:
I can't take away the things that have happened to you or to me, but what we have, maybe as a reward for getting through all the other days, is today. Today is a gift. And if we have tomorrow, tomorrow will be a gift. It's rebellious, in a way, to choose joy, to choose to dance, to choose to love your life. It's much easier and much more common to be miserable. But I choose to do what I can do create hope, to celebrate life, and the act of celebrating connects me back to that life I love. We could just live our normal, day-to-day lives, saving all the good living up for someday, but I think today, just plain today, is worth it. ...when I wear my favorite shoes on a regular Tuesday, that regular Tuesday is better.

Memorial weekend is about honoring life. It's about doing things we love with people we love. It's about seeing, feeling, tasting, and celebrating. It's a chance to remember what life is all about. It's a time to reset ourselves.

Now, it's Tuesday. Why not put your good shoes on and dance?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hula Hoop Girl

On Fridays I like to look back at what has held me wonderstruck during the week. This week it is hula hooping. Weird, I know.

In the past few months I've stumbled across a number of hula hoop dance videos. Did you know you could dance with a hula hoop? I did not. So, I've been mesmerized, wonderstruck even, by videos of women dancing gracefully and joyfully with what I thought was just an annoyingly difficult kid toy.

Take, for example, this woman... (then keep reading because there's more after the video)



Now I want to learn how to dance with a hula hoop. It looks like a really fun way to exercise, blow off steam, or just get creative. So when my husband asked what I wanted for my birthday earlier this month, I gave him a link to a "professional" hula hoop for beginning dancers, because apparently you aren't supposed to try this with a small kiddie version from a big box store.

Because I have an amazing husband, my stepson presented me with a card on my birthday that said he ordered me a hula hoop for my birthday and it was on its way. Incidentally, after ordering the hoop, they got an email thanking them for their order and letting them know it would take three weeks to get it out (that's before shipping).

We all wondered how a hula hoop gets shipped. I was picturing a large square box about one inch thick with the hoop slid snugly inside.

What I saw on my doorstep earlier this week was this:

hula hoop as shipped

Not very subtle, is it? I texted the picture to my husband who said, "What makes you think it's a hula hoop?"

I couldn't tear into it just then. I wanted to wait and let my husband see the painstakingly wrapped hoop.

Now, I should probably mention that while I danced for a few short years in high school and college, I think I've only hula hooped maybe twice in my entire life. And not well. What makes me think I can do anything nearly as impressive as the girl in the video is beyond me.

Still it seems amazingly fun to try and there's really nothing to lose.

So when my husband came home from work that day, I beamed as I showed him the package that potentially was, though we can't say for sure until we open it, a hula hoop. I was giddy. My husband looked at me jumping up and down and said, "you want to try it while it's still wrapped up, don't you?"

Well, really, wouldn't you?

Gliding the alleged hoop over my head and around my waist, I paused, realizing I have never successfully hula hooped. This is awkward.

Right there in my living room, I gave it a spin and moved my midsection in a front-back motion just like a woman showed in another video I had seen. Front, back, front, back, front, back. The hoop was spinning! It stayed around my waist just like it was supposed to. Victory!

"You're concentrating really hard, aren't you?" my husband said.

"Yeah, why?" I replied (while keeping the hoop spinning, thank you very much).

"Because your tongue is sticking out." He knows me so well. Well enough to know that when I concentrate I stick my tongue out. It looks very smart, I'm sure.

Anyhow, we unwrapped the paper and tape that spiraled all the way around. And wouldn't you know it, we uncovered a hula hoop. Shocking!

Now I'll have to watch a few how-to videos to see what kind of trouble I can get into. And to encourage frequent use, I've left my beautiful hoop leaning against my desk where I can see it and snatch it up easily.



If nothing else, I imagine smiling and laughing a lot while playing with my new toy. There's certainly something wonderstruck in that.

What were you wonderstruck by this week? Let me know in the comments or on my Facebook page.

Wishing you a wonderstruck weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Interview: SJ Driscoll

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

This week's interview is with writer and science editor, SJ Driscoll.

SJ DriscollWhat have you been wonderstruck by recently?

The enormous growth of international communication on the Internet, which in my opinion has revealed two things: people all over the globe are enormously creative, and most people, no matter where they live, need and want liberty.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

The morning. If I wake up early enough, I can daydream in bed for a few minutes, then have my cup of tea on the back steps, overlooking the woods, while I write a page or two.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

I work as a science editor and my job requires deep focus. By mid-afternoon it sometimes becomes hard to maintain that focus. It's a great help to run downstairs to get another cup of tea or step outside for a few minutes to check on my garden or watch the forest out back.

What do you wish you were more conscious of?

Time! I have a habit of shutting everything out while writing or working, to the point that I become unaware of time passing. Recently I've even tried using a quiet alarm every half hour to wake me out of my trance of concentration. Yet I'm constantly on deadline and have little problem being aware of that.

How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?

I'm fortunate because my life has been pared down. Most of what I do, where I live, who I'm with, is truly important to me. And I'm not big on watching TV, which helps!

[caption id="attachment_186" align="alignleft" width="137"]SJ Driscoll's QR Code SJ Driscoll's QR Code[/caption]

SJ Driscoll works as a science editor in Maryland but, thanks to the Internet and a great boss, she lives in the Texas Hill Country with her husband, Raphael. Her short stories have appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Interzone, Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and Daily Science Fiction. Currently she's preparing some of her stories for epublication and working on her fifth novel. Her brief memoir, New York Story, is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Website: sjdriscoll.com

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Movie Talk at Laird Sapir's Place

What have we here? A post on a Tuesday? How rebellious.

I just wanted to let you know that Laird Sapir is hosting me on her blog today for a little movie talk. What is my favorite bad movie of all time and why am I laughing right now just thinking about it? Hop on over to Laird's site to find out.

Also, if you haven't already, please consider "liking" my Facebook page at facebook.com/smhutchinswriter to keep the wonderstruck conversation going all week long.

Thank you! Wishing you a wonderstruck day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

What's Really Important

Have you taken time recently to think about that?  About what is really important to you?  To your family?  For your well-being?

During the day we get swept up in activity: work, housekeeping, errands, feeding our families, making sure homework gets done, and doctor’s appointments are kept.  Then there are the continuous phone calls, email, and text messages to be answered.

Now, you may be thinking I’m going to say something like, “Throw away your schedule and obligations!  Group hug!”  I’m not.  Well, not that first part anyway, because we all have obligations and responsibilities.  We do what we need to do to keep things afloat.

By all means, keep things afloat!

What I’m really asking you to do is look at your day to see if you acknowledged what is really important.

Did you smile at your spouse or partner this morning?  Or did you complain about it being morning already and rattle off a list of reminders?

Did you embrace your children and look them in the eye before sending them off to school?  Or did you shuttle them out the door with a cursory hug and nag about forgetting their coat?

Did you pitch in at work, tracking down answers to questions?  Or did you muddle through the day and reply, “not my job,” when someone asked how to make a photocopy?

Did you notice the colors of the sunset on your way home?  Or did you ride the bumper of the car in front of you cursing their inability to find the gas pedal?

Did you congratulate yourself for getting dinner on the table?  Or chastise yourself for not making it gourmet?

In this gotta-keep-up world, it’s easy to think we don’t have time for anything else.  However, focusing on what is really important doesn’t have to take a lot of time.  We can sprinkle it throughout our day.

Mostly, it's about connecting.  Connecting to our surroundings, to our loved ones, to acquaintances and passersby, to the moment.

It's knowing that every day is a gift, that we should do more than merely survive.

There is a saying I've seen on decorative plaques and online that sums it up best.  I like to keep it with me at all times.

If you planted hope today in any hopeless heart


If someone's burden was lighter because you did your part


If you caused a laugh that chased a tear away


If tonight your name is mentioned when someone kneels to pray


Then your day was well spent.



It's not about broad, sweeping changes.  It doesn't require you to rearrange your entire day (unless, of course, you feel compelled to do so).  Think small.

It can be as simple as making eye contact when someone is speaking to us, smiling when someone enters the room, or saying thank you.

Choose one moment of today to connect.  What or who is right in front of you?  What task are you doing?  Ask yourself, in that one moment, what is really important?  Tomorrow choose another moment, then another the day after, and so on.

How much better might you feel at the end of the day?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Restart. Repeat as necessary.

At any given moment you have the power to say this is not how the story is going to end.
It was an otherwise ordinary day. I was going about my routines, doing the things that needed to be done. I took a moment to share a link on Facebook and saw this from a friend in my news feed:
Happy for the option to restart my day...as often as I need to. :)

Wow.

This was a great reminder. (Thank you, Kristie!) How often do we get off to a bad start and everything goes downhill from there? Then, maybe even before lunch, we write the whole day off as crappy.

What if it didn’t need to be crappy for the whole rest of the day? What if we could hit a reset button?

The image above has been floating around the internet for some time now.  I can't find whom to properly credit, but the sentiment is so important.
At any given moment you have the power to say this is not how the story is going to end.

That's a powerful realization.

Sometimes we need to be brave enough to say, “You know what? This is NOT the day I’m going to have.” Even if we need to take it an hour at a time, or a minute at a time, that’s okay.

I think we should try this: Acknowledge that our day has been rough so far, because for whatever reason, it has been. Remind ourselves that what’s done is done. It’s over. You can’t change the past. Then, take a deep breath and say, “From this point forward, it is a new day” and treat it as such.

If you need some more ideas on how to restart your day, try this post from Kyndra Steinmann: Ten Ways to Restart a Bad Day (Turning Things Around).  I particularly like #3:
Refocus: Ask yourself “Is what I’m doing central to my purpose or can it wait for a better day?”

Maybe the day will improve. Maybe it won’t. Maybe things will continue their swirly descent down the toilet. And then we start again... acknowledge, breathe, restart. And again. And again.

We can restart as many times as we need. That is a magical thing.

How do you pull yourself out of a rough day? Do you muddle through until it’s over? Do you restart your day?

If you haven't already, "Like" my Facebook page to keep up with this blog and other musings from me: facebook.com/smhutchinswriter

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Interview: Carrie Daws

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

This week our interviewee is Christian author Carrie Daws.  Her debut novel, Crossing Values, was released in January 2012 and is available both in bookstores and online. It’s sequel, Ryan’s Crossing will be out this summer!

Carrie DawsWhat have you been wonderstruck by recently?

Living in a military community can be tough as people come and go with new assignments. Working in a church office can be just as tough as we often see people in the low points of their lives. Recently, when word came through that a soldier of our church had been killed on duty, the church family and military community united and renewed my hope in the hearts of people. Dinners for two weeks were organized and still people wanted to know what else could be done. I watched as people volunteered to provide paper products, toilet paper, breakfast foods – all kinds of items to try to help prevent the family from having to think about grocery shopping for the first two weeks.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

My favorite time of day is coming home. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone ten minutes or five hours, one of my dogs is patiently waiting in the window watching for me to come back. And when I open the door, all three dogs come running to greet me.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

I’m homeschooling our three children, and our second child hates school. Generally, he knows he must accomplish a certain amount before he can move on to what he wants to do, but frequently we have the battle over how much effort is acceptable. I’m constantly battling myself as much as him over what he’s capable of versus what’s truly important. I remind myself that one of the reasons I homeschool is to build relationships with my children – and while I will stand my ground to a point, the relationship with my son is more important than him achieving a high grade average.

What do you wish you were more conscious of?

People. Occasionally I will sit back and watch people. It’s interesting, sometimes funny and sometimes enlightening. Most of the time, though, I wonder: What in her life made her walk with slumped shoulders? Does he realize he walks around with a frown? What caused that limp? So much pain walking around me and usually I’m clueless to it.

How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?

I’ve been keeping a lot of things on a calendar I carry with me everywhere for a while now, but realized I was still missing some things. I found a neat idea in a book about keeping a daily calendar and a To Do list together on one page. This helps keep me focused on the things I need to accomplish. With this combination, I’ve realized two very important things: 1) I can more easily close it and walk away from my computer well before bedtime because I see before me proof of how much I’ve accomplished, and 2) I more easily and regularly schedule time for myself and time with my family.

About Carrie:

After almost ten years in the military, Carrie’s husband medically retired from the US Air Force. They now live in central North Carolina with their three children where she stays busy homeschooling, working in her church’s office, and volunteering within its military ministry.

Website: http://CarrieDaws.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/CarrieDaws
Twitter: @CarrieDaws

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy? I'm Too Tired to be Happy

In the interest of mutual learning, I think it’s time we moms tell it like it really is. I haven’t been as happy as I thought I would since having the baby. There, I said it.

What with yesterday being Mother’s Day and all, I thought we should jump right in to the big stuff.

It’s sort of a universal assumption that women will feel complete when they have children and that stay-at-home moms, in particular, should be happy to be home all day with their little ones.

I have been home with my baby since he was born over a year ago. My husband and I had planned and saved money so I could do so. I was really looking forward to it.

I envisioned floating around feeding and changing a baby, cleaning my house, puttering around, cooking real dinners, writing books, playing peek-a-boo and smiling all the time.

Are you laughing? You must be a mom.

So as you might imagine, it’s pretty much been nothing like this. I was sorely ill-prepared for the near constant attention babies require, making all that housework, cooking, and puttering really difficult.

There hasn’t been a day since he was born that I haven’t felt tired. Not a little tired like “oh, if I just sit for a minute, I’ll be fine.” I mean dog tired. The kind of tired where I’ve done jumping jacks just to keep my eyes from closing.

Don’t even think about asking me what I do all day. It makes me punchy. I’m not sure I could tell you, anyway. Though I know I am constantly busy, the hours blur together into even blurrier days until I realize a whole week has gone by and I didn’t wash my husband’s and stepson’s baseball uniforms. Even I want to say, “Really? In a whole week, you couldn’t find the time...?”

Seriously, where is the time going and why am I always so tired?

Of course, I love the baby, so let’s not get crazy thinking I’m a horrible mom (and really, isn’t that what we’re all afraid of being?).

I love that I am around when he learns something new. I love seeing his little brain at work. Those are some of my favorite moments.

I’m also glad I don’t have to try to balance full-time work and home because that sounds like way too much for me at the moment.

Here I am trying to figure out how other moms look somewhat refreshed, how they managed to get a haircut, and how they magically know when it’s time to switch to sippy cups or teach a new trick. (Your kid says “mama” and “dada” and “car?” Wow. Mine says “uh-oh.” But he is darn good at it!)

So, happiness? Honestly, not so much these days. Certainly not as much as I had anticipated.

Last year I had a goal of happiness. It was my word of the year. I tried to force happiness on myself like forcing size 3 shoes on a size 4.5 foot. (This mom thing is a continual learning process.) I mean, the pursuit of happiness is our constitutional right, for goodness sake!

I realized, though, that forcing happiness wasn’t working. It actually made me feel worse because it felt like I was being fake. People would ask how I was doing... “Great!” “Isn’t it the best?” they’d say. “Amazing!” I’d say.

Sure, I’m happy sometimes. Occasionally, I’m even ecstatic. A lot of the time I’m just freakin’ tired and foggy. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m unhappy, it just means I’m tired and foggy.

You know what, though? Even when I’m tired and foggy, I’ve found I can still be wonderstruck. And wonderstruck moments contribute to my overall happiness. Who knew?

As you know, that’s my current project. I’ve ditched pursuing happiness in favor of pursuing wonderstruckness. Maybe happiness will settle into place when I’m not chasing it so hard.

What do you think? Does pursuing happiness work for you? If you're a mom, do you feel as put together as you appear?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

In honor of moms everywhere, I'm slipping in an extra post.

Mothers come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are biological, some are stepmothers, some are adoptive mothers, some are mother-like figures for children's friends, and some are a combination of these.

Mothers hug and heal.  They bend down and lift up.  They teach and they listen.  They know when to hold tight and when to let go.

As a mama and stepmama myself, I understand how hard it is.  You don't always know what you're doing, yet there's pressure to appear that you have everything under control.  So, you do your best and hope your children are better for it.

In the book The Middle Place, Kelly Corrigan explored the dichotomy of being a parent while also still being your parent's kid.  After publishing that book she created a video with Borders (so sad they are gone!) sharing a story about her own mother.  I watch it every year and every year it makes me laugh and tear up at the same time.  Today, I'm sharing it with you.  If you followed my old blog, you've likely seen this. It is still my favorite mom story.

To mothers of all kinds, Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Colors of Spring

pink Gerber daisy
Did you catch any wonderstruck moments this week?  I did.

A lot of mine centered around vibrant colors outdoors.  From the blue jay that landed on my deck railing every day to the bright orange mohawk stripe on a woodpecker.  From the deep green taking over the forest behind my house to the saturated pink of a daisy.

Seriously, look at that daisy. I don't think I've ever seen such a rich, unblemished, solidly pink bloom.

Nature is one of my favorite places to look for small wonders.  If I am truly noticing my surroundings, I can usually find at least one thing worthy of awe.

Spring delivers all sorts of beauty to awake us from the dullness of winter: blue skies, flowers in bloom, plentiful green, fresh produce, warm sunshine, and cleansing rain. And like I said, this week it was color.  

Gorgeous colors turned up everywhere, even in the sangria I served for mom's book club.  (As in my book club with other moms, not my mom's book club.  You know...)

In fact, I was also wonderstruck by the turnout for book club. It was my month to host and I live a bit out of the way compared to the other moms in the group, yet it was the biggest turnout I've seen. (Thank you, mamas!)

Getting together with these amazing women to laugh, share, talk about mom stuff, and discuss books? It's one of my favorite ways to spend an evening. I come out replenished.

What about you? Where did you find wonder this week?

Share your wonderstruck moments in the comments, on my Facebook page, or on Twitter with hashtag #LiveWonderstruck.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Interview: Shay Fabbro

Each Wednesday I will post a Wonderstruck Interview.  Hearing other people's stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

For our very first interview I am delighted to have Dr. Shay Fabbro, author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

By the complexity and complete miracle that is the human body! On top of being a writer, I also teach biology classes (basic biology, anatomy, pharmacology, biotechnology, neurodegenerative diseases). The more I learn, the more I am in awe of our creation!

What part of your day are you grateful for?

Oh gosh, most parts actually. I usually try to find things to be thankful for even in the midst of the worst stress or frustration.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

I can’t honestly think of one particular time of day that is most tough. I guess I would have to say the time of day when it’s time to do the house chores ;)

What do you wish you were more conscious of?

What other people may be going through. I think I am pretty good at this, but it’s something I am trying to improve on. It’s so easy to get angry and frustrated with others rather than being patient with them. Maybe a driver cut you off because they are rushing their sick child to the doctor. Or maybe a sales person was rude to you because their husband/wife just filed for divorce. Rather than taking things so personally, we should try to see the world through someone elses eyes.

How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?

It’s difficult because so many things ARE important to me: my family, husband, church and all things associated with what I do there, teaching, my pets, my writing, reading, etc. I have to make sure to divide up my time each day and try not to neglect things that need done and to show those I love that I am truly with them and thinking of them.

Dr. Shay Fabbro currently lives in Grand Junction with her husband, Rich, and their two cats. Dr. Shay Fabbro is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She is currently working in the final book, Resigned Fate, in the Portals of Destiny trilogy. After this is complete, she will begin work on the final book in the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series.

Learn more about Shay at her website: shayfabbro.com

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bring on the Wonder

What if adults kept their sense of wonder from childhood?  What if we could add a little magic to our day right now, right we where are?  I'm giving it a try.

Welcome to Live Wonderstruck, a project I’ve been quietly working on since mid-winter. Launching now in spring, the day after my birthday, feels magical.

Last week as I prepared to launch this site, I realized that in all of the writing I’ve done so far, I’d yet to write the first post, the beginning. And even now, I’m humbled (ok, scared) that the right words feel out of grasp. Sometimes the things that are closest to our hearts are the hardest to express to others.

Here’s what you should know. This blog isn’t about me. It isn’t a chronicle of my life. It isn’t me-as-expert teaching you-as-student.

It’s about us. All of us. It’s about the shift in consciousness, or lack thereof, I see everywhere I go in others and in myself.

We’re distracted. We’re rushed. We’re so busy moving from one scheduled task to another, scrambling to check off a much too long to do list, all while checking our smart phones to see what we’re missing. Yet, really what we are missing is the point.

I’m as guilty as anyone else in this. It hit me one day as I looked at my iPhone wondering what I could do next since I’d already checked my email, caught up on Pinterest, and stopped by Facebook. I set my phone down with a shrug.

Meanwhile my one-year-old stood next to me, face lit up, swaying to Brad Paisley’s song “Old Alabama.” I had caught my son in a moment of pure joy. He looked at me with wide eyes and mouth agape as if to say, “Can you believe this song just came on? How wonderful! Let’s dance!” (Okay, that language is way too stuffy for a little boy, but you get the point.)

A few minutes later he bumbled his way over to a plastic cookie jar and marveled over how he could put the plastic cookies in the jar and take them out, and put them in, and take them out.

He was wonderstruck. At everything.

That’s how this project came to be. Because I need a reminder to be present so I, too, can be wonderstruck by what is around me. I’m betting I’m not the only one who could use a nudge.

You, too?

That’s why we’re here. With this site, my goal is to encourage all of us to live consciously, to see and seek wonder right where we are, to find the extraordinary in our ordinary daily encounters.

We are not robots. We are not computers. We do not need to live on autopilot. We simply need to live. What better way to do that than with a goal to Live Wonderstruck.

It won’t be an overnight shift. It will be an ongoing journey. This site is your place to find inspiration.

To start, I will be posting here on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  I will share what I learn as I endeavor to live wonderstruck. In addition, some amazing souls have also graciously agreed to share their stories through interviews, which I will post weekly. Other people’s stories help us see things from a different perspective and perhaps give us something new to apply in our own lives.

Like I said, this isn’t about me. I want to hear from you, too. Please share your stories, your tips for staying grounded, your challenges, your questions, your sources of inspiration. You can do so in the comments, on my Facebook page, on Twitter with hashtag #LiveWonderstruck, or email them to me at smhutchinswriter at gmail dot com. I look forward to our conversations.

For today, I’ll end with this question: What distracts you from living wonderstruck?

Blessings to you for a wonderstruck day.  See you in the comments.