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Are you living life on your terms?

When was the last time you felt jaw-dropping awe?

It happened to me this week. There I was, just bebopping along my normal evening stroll, when BOOM. The most glorious sky I’d ever seen. Hot pink and purple on one side, bright blue on the other, separated by a thick tuft of white clouds. The left side of the clouds looked like they’d been dipped in gold. How was it even possible, this sky? I came to my senses, realizing I was standing smack in the middle of the trail. People walking around me, slightly annoyed, and completely unaware of the glory dripping from the sky right above their heads. How could they not notice? “I’ve NEVER seen a sky like this before,” I said to myself. “Never.” You see, Rachel. Jaw-dropping things are happening around us all the time. Most of us are too rushed, too focused, too annoyed, to notice them. And isn’t that a golden-dipped shame? I hope you take a moment this week to look up at the sky and feel a sense of awe. It's a beautiful thing, not only for your eyes, but for your creativity and joy. Jen

Here are five things making me feel more creative this week:

1. Awe, of course. I'm easily awed (which I chalk up to also being extremely forgetful.) But according to recent studies, my forgetfulness could be boosting some big mental benefits: “Feelings of awe can have a truly profound influence on the mind – enhancing our memory and creativity as well as inspiring us to act more altruistically to the people around us." Awe: The 'little earthquake' that could free your mind 2. Frolicking with alpacas. I got to hug a baby alpaca this weekend. 10/10 recommend. I also got to learn a lot about these particular animals, like how they're closely related to camels, and how they don't have hooves! They have two toes with super long toenails and a soft pad underneath – like the pad on a dog's foot. Isn't that neat? 3. A new mantra. Inspired by last week's podcast guest, Tarla Makaeff, I came up with a mantra: "I am living my most creative and vibrant life.” You're welcome to take it and try it for yourself, repeating every day. 4. Wandering. We did some fun wandering this weekend, hitting local spots we'd never noticed when driving by in a car. Since moving to an urban city, I've also been fascinated by civic architecture, the “wanderability” of a city, and how the structure of a city influences how people interact with one another: “When we choose to walk--or even wander--through areas that are more Phoenix than Paris, we make the statement: people should be here. …it is within our power to create a better city simply by being present. Head outside and walk around a bit. See for yourself.” – Between Walking and Wandering, Power in Presence 4. Learning something new. My podcast editor (and husband) dove in and learned to create an Instagram Reel using interview footage from the podcast. We had fun collaborating on it, and I was impressed with his willingness to dive in and try a new thing!

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