Sunday, March 5, 2017

moments of awe

one of the things i like most about walking is that i feel so connected to the city
when i first moved to la i was not working and i occupied most of my time in exploring the city, i learnt a lot from this, like how to move around or where to find the things i was interested in.
now i don't have time to explore except for the weekends but now i don't wander as much as i would like.
instead i relish in the small walks i take daily while commuting or when i go places after work. but even though they are small, they still have a big impact on my life: they make it better. the other day i was talking about this with ryan and he mentioned he had read an article in planning magazine that he thought i would like because it was about the same subject. i am not a planner, i am simply a person who uses public spaces so i don't know much about it, but i do know how having an interaction with the city makes a difference in my life.
the article was titled: planning for cities of awe, the first sentence read as follows: "how many times during the course of a day a week do you find yourself speechless, unable to express what you are seeing, so affected by and immerse in feelings of wonder and fascination that you not notice the passage of time? perhaps you were startled by streaks of lightning, caught a glimpse of a stunning vista..."
things you see while walking are more probably far more interesting than the things you can see while riding your car. or better yet, you can actually appreciate it them, stop and take it all in if you are walking than if you are moving so fast. kind of like the phrase "stop and smell the roses" you can only do this if you actually see the roses and there are no roses on the freeway.
there are many amazing memories of things i have seen while walking around the city that i would have otherwise missed if i had not decided to walk. so many moments of awe that have amazed me and made me a happier person. in the article they also mentioned that the researchers of the stanford school of management have shown that people exposed to an awe experience are more likely to feel a greater availability of time... moments of awe help slow us down and put us in the moment. this is likely to result in positive health benefits.
i truly believe that walking can make so much difference in someone's life, not only in physical health benefits but as this article made me learn, also psychological health.

a few weekends ago we went on a pasadena exploration, after we tried the most amazing just float therapy, we went off to walk around the cal tech campus to make time until dinner. just that morning i had said to ryan that i really wanted to watch the documentary 13th but it was unlikely as we don't have reliable internet nor netflix. so we were just walking around and enjoying the nice cold day when we stopped to read this little clipping board they had for general announcements and advertising and to my surprise we saw this ad for a screening and discussion of 13th film (!!!) they were also offering dinner (i was hungry by then lol) so it was the perfect timing, we could have not planned better.
it was such an amazing day, we got to do so much and had the opportunity of watching the film as well hearing what younger people thought about it (we did pretend to be students but i mean, i don't think they would have mind if they knew we weren't :) and all this time that has passed i still think of how amazing that opportunity was to us. something that because of us walking and happening to see it were able to take part of. moments of awe are out there just waiting to happen, we have to keep walking and have our eyes open so when we see those roses we are ready to take a good smell
this is a picture of a beautiful info board at the room where they had the screening at cal tech

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