60(ish) Seconds: Experience Awe

Go outside and experience wonder and awe: Bridget McClarty explains why.

Mountains, moon and ocean with crashing waves, at night

Imagine: the Grand Canyon at dawn, the Milky Way across the night sky, powerful waves crashing against a rocky shore.

Natural beauty and sweeping landscapes like these inspire awe, with the vastness allowing one to feel small and insignificant.

Awe-inspiring experiences in nature facilitate well-being, providing presence in the moment, stress-relief and increased life satisfaction.

Experiencing this feeling in nature has a positive effect on us: the diminished sense of self allows us to shift our focus from ourselves to the world around us, increasing our desire to help others.


Join Bridget McClarty’s Capilano Universe virtual lecture “What does it mean to have a meaningful or spiritual connection with nature?” on April 8.

Capilano Universe

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented mental health challenges. For those suffering from isolation, awe can increase one’s sense of connection to the self, to others, and to the world, creating a renewed sense of purpose.

So, go outside, and experience wonder and awe. As Mary Oliver once said, “You too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.”