Emily Gaines Demsky on 100 Days of Inviting Wonder

Emily Gaines Demsky also known as @shiningegg is someone whom I have followed online from the early Internet Flickr days! I did not know her well, but enjoyed following along on her journey and forays into painting when I'd follow along reading her blog while sitting in my cubicle and probably feeling a little jealous! (I wasn't ready to revisit my own art path at the time). We've gotten to know each other on Instagram and I enjoy her writings and point of view. She recently wrote a beautiful post on the completion of her 100 Day Project titled "100 Days of Inviting Wonder". I asked if I could share it here with you. Thank you Emily for being awesome and sharing your heart! -MH

Day 100/100 Days of Inviting Wonder

The last day.

When I started thinking about this project at the end of March, it was cold and grey and I couldn't imagine what mid-July might possibly look like.  This was one of the harder winters I can remember, and it's wasn't the weather.  The world felt (feels) broken.  I felt broken.  I could not find my way to the light, which I knew it was there. It was as though I was striking a match over and over, into the wind, the match blew out each time.

Wonder.  I have come to understand her as a way of being in the world, as a practice, as a way of seeing.

I spent the last 100 days exploring, practicing, finding my way through, inviting wonder into my life - and inviting my life into wonder.

I have watched the sunset and blown bubbles and walked barefoot in the grass and held a baby and splashed in puddles and read and read and talked to people and read some more.  I have hula hooped and watched the clouds and burned incense, and some days it has been hard to muster the energy to do any of it, but I kept on.  And in the last week, the strangest thing began to happen.

First, I noticed that I was unconsciously doing the things I had been consciously doing as part of the project.  The lightening bugs (Day 60) came out at dusk each evening, and I stopped to marvel!  I have been painting with my left hand since Day 3, and at this point I'm not sure I can go back.  Yoga (Day 10), three times a week.  Get lost in a repetitive task (Day 25), go for a walk in the woods (Day 29), burn incense (Day 59), look up (Day 66), splash in puddles (Day 49). Here they were, all these bits of being that together make up a life.  Wonder was walking with me.

And then Wonder began to find me.

I’m not sure what I thought, exactly, at the outset, but I think what occurred is beyond what i imagined.  I think I set out to shift my perspective, and I certainly did that, but suddenly Wonder was everywhere.  In a conversation on the radio, in the title of a book on a table at Paper Source (Day 93), in quotes texted to me by my brother, in casual conversation.  It was as though (and don’t let me lose you here) I had opened a channel.  I invited wonder - truly invited her - and she came to greet me.

And I’m not finished.  Today is the last day of my 100 Days but I’m determined to continue First and foremost, I am committed to living a life filled with Wonder, for to me that is at the core of a life well lived.  I am also increasingly committed to finding a way to share this way with others.  My perspective may have shifted, but the world still feels broken and so many of us are searching for a beacon.  I believe that Wonder is the way.  

This project lives on.

P.S. Do you have ideas?  Please share them!  Thoughts about wonder, questions, suggestions - I’m all ears.  Contact Emily here or comment below.