I look up every chance I get. First thing in the morning. On my run. On my way to work. In between classes. Out for a bike ride. From the skylight in my office. On the front porch before I go to sleep.
Connected to Something Bigger
The sky connects us to something much bigger than ourselves. Challenges seem small in comparison to the vastness of the sky. Solutions seem plausible. Answers come more easily.
The stars heighten our awareness, expand our field of possibilities, and relax our mind. In their presence, we embrace the profound and surrender it all. When we look up, we become fully present. In the moment. Completely mindful. Nowhere else to be but one with the sky above.
Peace of Mind
The celestial bodies provide a sense of comfort, peace of mind, and well-being. No matter what happens, the sun will rise, the stars will shine, and the moon will glow.
Blazing sunsets, radiant full moons, and shimmering constellations are all reassuring reminders that we are in this life together. We are united. We share the same magnificent celestial view. No matter what happens, we share equal access to the divine, all-powerful universe. We are one. We are never alone.
From Me to We
Recent research at the University of California confirms that a “me to we” transformation takes place when exposed to nature. The study found that inducing a sense of awe (e.g., star gazing; looking at the ocean) in participants shifted their focus from personal needs (small self) to greater concern for society at large (altruistic behaviour).
“Inducing a sense of awe in people can promote altruistic, helpful and positive social behavior, according to research. Awe is that sense of wonder we feel in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world. People commonly experience awe in nature, but also in response to religion, art and even music. When experiencing awe, you may not, egocentrically speaking, feel like you’re at the centre of the world anymore. By diminishing the emphasis on the individual self, awe may encourage people to forgo strict self-interest to improve the welfare of others.” Source: Science Daily
“The sun, the moon, and the stars are there to guide us.” Dennis Banks
I am starstruck every time I look up. I am in awe. The sun, the moon, and the stars are the true celebrities in our universe. Always shining. Always inspiring. Always showing us the way.
Such truth in this! Nature reminds me to slow down and breath. Thank you Andrea, great post!
My pleasure Yamina! Thanks for the feedback. I am slowing down, looking UP & taking a long deep breath with you. 🍃💚
Aww so good to hear!! 🙂
Nice write-up. What a great way to gain perspective each day – perspective for the moment. I like to look up, smile, and then breathe in.
I like how you describe your 3 moments to awakening:
-> Look up -> Smile -> Breathe it all in ..
So simple. Yet so profound. And I bet it provides endless inspiration for your poetry. Our beautiful sky. 🌌
We like the “me to we” thought. It is a very powerful way of looking at moving from selfish to selfless. So much truth in what you describe as it helping us connect to something much bigger then ourselves. Thank you Andrea for setting a good thought base for us to build on today.
Thanks Tom & Audrey! Wishing you both a day filled with with sunshine & a night full of stars. ⭐️ 💫
I find your articles very insightful and in tune. I do my best to promote holistic tools for wellness and personal well being. Your writing is very helpful. The element that stuck out for me was the line “I look up every chance I get.” Those lines attracted me, because although you speak literally about looking up at the sky, I found it to be a beautiful metaphor for moving forward in difficult times. Things get dark but no one should let themselves be consumed by the negativity. Even in the most difficult of times and when you have no idea how you’re going to move forward, look up and keep your head up. If you feel lost, surrender your troubles. Have faith things will turn out okay. For me personally, I surrender them to God when I cannot find a way and things always turn around once I surrender. My other favorite line is “No matter what happens, the sun will rise, the stars will shine, and the moon will glow.” Beautiful way to nudge people out of the egotistic perspective when things are seem to be going downhill. Gentle way of saying “The world doesn’t stop for you.”
Thank you for sharing my post on your website & for your ideas about this article. You have an expansive & uplifting way of writing. Something that I always look forward to reading. You make a concerted effort to shift yourself & your readers out of our ME me me egocentrism to a connected “all is one” WE viewpoint. Shine on Danni! Shine on. ⭐️💫
Thank you for your encouragement. 🙂
Beautiful post and reminders Andrea. Nature, the sky, and stars often bring me awe, nourishment, and peace when I can shift from me to we!
Thanks so much Brad! Your blog exemplifies the Me -> We phenomenon of nature. And for that, I am grateful. 🌹
Thank you for the kind encouragement Andrea. Together we rise. 🙂
Totally agree Andrea. I notice a lot of articles appearing these days about the psychological benefits of spending time in nature. Is this something you prescribe or at least recommend in your work?
Yes, for sure! When I practiced as a psychologist I recommended time in nature as a doorway to mindfulness. For myself & my clients. Self-care is essential for therapists as a antidote to vicarious trauma & compassion fatigue.
I also continue to assign “stress relief homework” to my psychology students at the college. And we all benefit.
Relaxed Professors ↔️ Relaxed Students. 🌲 ☀️
Wonderful post doc! I’ve always believed that nature is a great motivator and a great healer. It reassures the presence of goodness and godliness in life. The serenity of night sky truly leaves us in awe. I used to connect with the night sky a lot before my marriage but with kids, I had completely forgotten about this habit. Thanks for the reminder. I’m headed to the terrace right away 🙂
How wonderful!! I hope the time on your terrace was restorative. And that you make it (once again) a nightly soul recharge habit. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you!
It seems to simple to look up and yet it’s so profound and powerful and we don’t do it nearly enough, or at least I don’t! Great post 🙂
Yes! So easy to forget how close we are to greatness.
So take this note as your daily “nudge” to look UP. 🌌💙
Looking up is such a comfort. One of my favorite verses assures, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” – Luke 21:28 KJV. How beautiful He is up there! ❤
Thank you for sharing Gail. So beautiful.
One more reason to look UP tonight.⭐️💫
I have a hawk that frequents my backyard. The majesty of watching the hawk swoop through the air always puts me in a state of awe.
How incredible Bernadette! And so apropos. The symbolic meaning a Hawk is to teach us higher awareness. Literally & metaphorically. How cool is that! 🙌
Even when being looked down on, I try and always look up!
So perfectly said! Your optimism & hope is everything.
Reblogged this on Anonymous People and commented:
Dr. Andrea Dinardo is a college professor, psychology blogger, and former school psychologist helping students and educators thrive under pressure.
Thank you for sharing this post with your readers!
One more way that we move from Me -> We.🌏💙
Nice post! I like looking up at night and at the moon and stars. I’m always looking for the shadow of the bunny on the moon. 🌕⭐️✨
“I’m always looking for the shadow of the bunny on the moon.” Love that! So much fun. Thank you for being such a beautiful light Nicolle. Your playful energy helps shift the world’s mindset from Me -> We.⭐️💫
Thanks very much for the kind words, Dr. Andrea! ❤✨
Why we feel like we do when we look to the heavens or sky?
We’re looking home.
So beautiful. 🙌
My son recently experienced being in the solar eclipse zone of total eclipse. He describes his reaction and that of fellow watchers as a deep spiritual experience. An experience that brought people together in a shared two minutes of awe and connection to something much larger than self.
Experiencing a complete solar eclipse for 2 minutes is the most profound example of the Me -> We phenomenon. How incredible Jerry. Thank you for sharing your son’s experience with his fellow observers. Wow! I can only imagine.
Lovely! I remember while in France looking up at the sky and seeing it look like something else. It was the most amazing view I think I’ve ever seen and has always stuck with me. I agree that nature calms us and so perhaps it’s no wonder many live under stress when glued to technology rather than even taking the smallest of bre… *places down phone and heads outside* better start practicing what I preach! Great post. I look forward to more. 💚
Just reading the word France transports me to another world! I can just imagine how incredible the sky was that night.
Hoping the night sky was equally mesmerizing last night at 9:04pm when you typed your comment above. Hee hee..
You had me at **places down phone and heads outside**
Totally agree. The ocean does it for me!
No wonder you picked the ocean Dr. Kathy! Florida is such a beautiful place to live. I’m imagining the vastness of the ocean as I type this. The image alone shifts me to a higher place.
Hoping you have a chance to enjoy a relaxing walk along the coast this weekend. And perhaps make a small wish for both of us. For another great school year & year of positivity.🌊📚
Too funny that I actually attended a birthday/beach party yesterday! Wishing you much success this academic year Dr. D!
For you too Dr. G!! 📚🎉
Another wonderful and inspirational post, Dr. Dinardo!I’ve also believe looking up is beneficial to our lives for so many reasons. (Check out my thoughts at https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/look-up/ when you get a moment.) I’m never disappointed when I remember to look up. And I’m never disappointed when I stop by Thriving Under Pressure! 😃
Thank you so much KJ! 😊
For sharing your post & for your encouraging feedback!
I love this – thank you for sharing!
Thank you! May this post be your nudge to look up tonight.
There is nothing more powerfully grounding than looking up to the beauty of a colorful sky. I may even give it a try on this rainy day! Thank you for this important reminder ♥
I love this post! I used to always spend just 5 or 10 minutes on my deck before bed, in silence, gratitude, and wonder. I need to get back to that! I also always think of Paulo Coehlo admonishing us to “lift your gaze” in his book The Valkyries. It makes such a difference! Thanks for the reminder!!
“Lift your gaze.” Such a great quote / mantra for life.
Thank you also for sharing the reference to his book. I just listened to Oprah’s new soul series podcast interviewing Paulo Coehlo. He is so humble & funny! Such a treat to listen to someone so successful and yet so relatable. He definitely lifts his gaze.
I will think of you tonight as you return to your soul nourishing habit of sitting on your deck before bedtime. (I will do the same!) The Heavens await! 🌌💙
This was beautiful. Thank you. That’s all I can say. Beautiful x
What more could I ask for?
Your kindness means alot.
Thank you Catherine! 💙
So true it’s my journey toward all decisions, breaking out of what is what you see to what are the possibilities beyond all normalcies to limitless creativity.
I love how you think Kerri!
Blue sky all the way. 💙
Thank you and likewise..love it.
Good insight (or upsight). This reminds me of step 2 of the 12 steps: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Nature connects me to that power.
How perfect! Thank you for sharing JoAnna. You brought my post to an even higher place. So grateful. 🙂
My pleasure! 🙂 Thanks for the reminder to look up!
You are so welcome! In the eyes of the sky – we will always be equal. No matter where we are in the world. One more reason to love the sky. 🌎 💙
Looking up and seeing ourselves as part of something bigger, given the vastness of the sky, is such a powerful concept ❤ Very helpful!
Lovely post. I have learnt to look up more, but also doing quite a lot of looking in, which needs to be balanced with looking out. Great to read another blog with similar themes to my own! M x
Thanks Mike! It’s always wonderful to meet a kindred spirit on WordPress. Wishing you a star filled night! From Canada to UK and back again!
Beautiful song. Thank you for taking the time to share. Sending you good vibes from Canada! The sky is yours, ours, and everyone’s to share. One more reason to love looking up.
This is so beautiful. Your post gives hope and makes your readers feel so elevated.
Smiling big time as I read your comment. Wonderful knowing this post made you feel the way I did (do). Full of hope. 🌸
I love this! Such a good reminder!!
Thank you! LOOKING UP with you!
Every chance I get 😀 #connected