Climate Changes, Community, Culture, Letting Go, Love, Mindfulness

Totally awesome redefined

I’m a girl who grew up in the totally awesome eighties, so it’s taken time for me to integrate the word awesome into my system with an emphasis on awe. But as I am awakening more to the magic in my life and in the world around me, I’m finding it necessary to rethink, “awesome.”

I processed this realization as I watched a trailer of an upcoming film in which astronauts describe what many of them say was the life-changing experience of viewing Earth from space.  Shuttle/ISS Astronaut Nicole Stott (who looks more or less my generation) says, “Awe is one of those words that you have a better understanding of once you see [what the planet looks like.]  I felt like using the word awesome was totally appropriate.”

(OVERVIEW from Planetary Collective on Vimeo.)

Listening to the interviews with the astronauts, combined with commentary from philosophers, made me think that a trip to space would be a suitable prerequisite for all youth entering adulthood. What if, instead of going to college or the military, human beings first shot up to space, gazed out at our collectiveness on this planet, and wrote a poem or a song? What if they curated a photo exhibit or painted a picture or choreographed a dance or just simply wept with understanding and wrote an essay called, “What I did on my summer vacation in space?”

Astronaut Edgar Mitchell may have been the most impacted by his experience viewing our civilization from above. Back on Earth, he later formed a non-profit institute that researches meditation, consciousness, and human potential. Mitchell says in the film trailer:

“That’s a powerful experience, to see Earth rise over the surface [of the Moon].   But instead of being an intellectual experience, it was a personal feeling… accompanied by a sense of joy and ecstasy, which caused me to say ‘What is this?’ It was only after I came back that I did the research and found that the term in ancient Sanskrit was Samadhi.”

I highly recommend watching this powerful trailer and then letting me know what was awe-inspiring for you today. For me, it was a dream I had last night that came true a little today; it was a work opportunity that appeared at the perfect time; it was a song I hadn’t heard in 18 years but appropriately so since it only suited me today.

Some say there was a shift in consciousness that took place in 1968 once humans got a glimpse of the planet from space. And that this shift is ongoing today.

“This view of the Earth from space — the whole earth perspective — is the true symbol of this age and i believe what will happen is there is going to be a greater interest in communicating this idea because, after all, it’s key to our survival. We have to start acting as one species with one destiny. We are not going to survive if we don’t.”  — Frank White, author, The Overview Effect



17 thoughts on “Totally awesome redefined”

  1. Viewing our civilization from above has to be awesome…but so much beyond that, of course. I’d think it would make us feel mighty insignificant.


  2. “We have to start acting as one species with one destiny. We are not going to survive if we don’t.” This is a wonderful quote but do you think that humanity moves in this direction? On what continent?
    I think that only LOVING GOD can save us!


    1. It depends on if by “humanity” you mean, majority. I think many of us are indeed moving in this direction. Question is, can we reach a tipping point before we destroy ourselves?


  3. I do think there’s a difference between awesome and awe-inspiring. Cronuts are awesome. The view of civilization from space is awe-inspiring.


  4. Funny, I have found myself in a few situations over the past year or two that would have been perfectly summed up by “awesome” but each time, because of the connotations from childhood, I have remained speechless rather than use that word. It would be nice to return to it its original meaning 🙂
    As far as awesome or awe-inspiring moments, I’ve had a frustrating day. But yesterday evening, I had some brilliant blog-related exchanges – and a football-inspired post – that had me smiling all the way into my dreams. I think those would qualify.


  5. We toss around the word “awesome” so often that the word has lost its original meaning. Looking at Earth from outer space must be awesome in the true sense of the word.


    1. Yes and no. At the same time, it makes me feel as if my daily life is trite and as if it’s magical … 🙂 it’s the philosopher and the scientist in me battling it out once again


  6. I had an awesome experience last night. I was giving a book talk at the library, and my father stood up and started talking about me. He choked up and couldn’t go on…….until he told a joke. It was an incredible moment. I’m glad so many people got to witness it.


  7. The word awesome has sort of lost it’s meaning. I like the word awe better. This kind of reminds me of that Mad Men (Man on the Moon) episode which was awesome.


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