Building Life's Totem Pole With Wonder at the Base - a Perspective

The Perspectives Team
The Perspectives Team | Source

The Perspectives Team

If this is the first time you've dialed into this channel, Perspectives is a group of HP writers hand-picked by MickeySr. Each month we choose a different topic to which we offer our individual perspectives. The team consists of MickeySr ., Maria aka marcoujor, MartieCoetser, Docmo, Vickiw and myself. Each month we invite anyone who is interested to post as a guest for the upcoming theme. Unfortunately, this is the first month since our inception in September of 2012 that we don't have a guest writer, so we are flying solo or six-o or whatever.....

If you are interested in being a guest writer next month, please contact MickeySr. by the 1st of September. We post on the 15th of each month. Our September topic will be revealed to our guest writer at the time of request.

Follow this link to read the introduction: Perspectives: An Introduction.

The first lesson Christopher learned was how to breathe air.
The first lesson Christopher learned was how to breathe air. | Source
Nourishment is one of the first things a new mom and infant learn.  (I wasn't too keen on being interrupted for a photo op. This was always a bonding time for me and Christopher)
Nourishment is one of the first things a new mom and infant learn. (I wasn't too keen on being interrupted for a photo op. This was always a bonding time for me and Christopher) | Source

In the beginning

From the time we first enter this world, life is full of wonder. That is, after we re-learn how to breathe, which happens in a split second. Think about it. As soon as a baby emerges from the birth canal she has to discover – all on her own, mind you – how to breathe air rather than amniotic fluid. That in and of itself is a wondrous act. And a bit scary, too. Perhaps that’s why not a single person on earth remembers life in the womb or that first breath of air. In a split second, survival instinct is put into action and a new life begins. Breathing is the very first lesson learned in life. The foundation is now laid for a lifetime of wonder, exploring, learning and building character.

Life begins with wonder.

Everything a newborn sees, hears, smells and touches is brand new. Each moment is a moment of discovery and learning. Just imagine! Mama and baby both have to learn when nourishment is required and how to provide it, as it is one of the most vital requirements of survival.

What is that round thing coming at my face? I wonder what it wants? It’s coming closer! What do I do with it? Oh – ok. Hmm, this is pretty nice. Hey – when I go like this (smack smack smack) the thing releases warm sweet stuff and now my tummy feels better. And I hear Mommy’s heartbeat just like when I was in that other place. I feel so safe and warm. I like this!

The parents’ world is suddenly filled with wonder when a newborn arrives. Each specific cry must be identified in order for the parents to provide comfort for the needs signaled by the only form of communication at this stage - crying. Just watching a baby discover new things is awe-inspiring and fills the world with wonder and a new outlook on – or remembrance of - the simple pleasures in life.

A Note About My Son's Birth

Christopher was born on July 13, 1992 at Special Beginnings Birthing Center in Orlando, Florida. I delivered him naturally with the help of a midwife. I was not in a hospital setting, rather a Victorian style bedroom. My husband was present the entire time. As soon as I was able to walk on my own, we (all 3 of us) were released. We stopped off at the pediatrician's office so Christopher could get a clean bill of heath and have his birth certificate certified. When we arrived home, my precious son was a mere 10 hours old. My parents met us there. I have a photo of my dad holding Christoper as soon as we got home. He was in a complete state of wonder in holding his grandson, in my living room, at less than a half day old!

Welcome to the totem pole of life!
Welcome to the totem pole of life! | Source

Unconditional love - a true wonder of the world

As a child learns the basics in life – how to crawl and eventually how to walk, talk, feed and dress herself, how to read and ask questions – a deep and trusting love grows. It’s an unconditional love between parents and child that rivals no other. The bond between parents and their children is one of the most precious wonders of the world. It is special and unique. Love is an awesome feeling, but the love between a parent and child has a special warmth and everlasting bond that cannot be duplicated.

The warmth and security of the love a child feels allows his or her imagination to expand, explore and seek answers. Wonder is the force that sets the wheels of learning in motion. Children love to learn – they are sponges for knowledge. From learning comes a sense of pride. Remember when your children first mastered the ABCs or learned to count from one to ten? They were so proud! And so were you. Children become thirsty for more knowledge with each skill they master and each hurdle they overcome.

How, when and why does the sense of wonder, the thirst for knowledge and the pride in achieving new goals fall off the totem pole of life?

Your dreams are at the top of your totem pole.  Will you dream, strive and achieve?  Or will you cut your totem pole of life off at the knees?
Your dreams are at the top of your totem pole. Will you dream, strive and achieve? Or will you cut your totem pole of life off at the knees? | Source

What happens to the wonder in our lives?

At some point in a person’s life, the sense of wonder, the yearning for more knowledge, the sense of pride in oneself and the need to work towards their innermost dreams seems to fade or fall to the wayside altogether. Why? What happened to the wonder? What happened to moving forward and meeting new challenges? Are these yearnings reserved for the young? No, they are not! So, what happens?

Age and ‘stuff’ happens.

Oh, we still wonder. I wonder if I can afford to send my kids to college. I wonder how I’m going to pay the mortgage this month. I wonder if my boss will give me a raise (I really want that Lexus!) I wonder if so-and-so still thinks I’m pretty?

Our wonder, that at one time, led to learning, bettering ourselves and reaching for our dreams gets re-directed (and sometimes misguided) towards stress, burdens, financial gain, living to work instead of working to live and the myriad of social and status traps that leech onto us as we travel into adulthood and take on responsibility.

The thing is, we all get sucked into it at some point in time – often without even realizing it’s happened. We think we’re doing just fine. Bill collectors aren’t knocking at the door, the credit card payments are up to date, there’s food on the table. Life is hunky dory right? Maybe and maybe not.

When was the last time you took a vacation? Do you have money left over at the end of the month or are you just getting by? Do you even have enough money to pay the bills or do you rely on credit cards to supplement what your income doesn’t cover?

What are your dreams? Remember them? You know, the ones you had when you were a kid and didn’t have the burdens you have today. Dreams are sparked by wonder – the positive aspects of wonder. Have you let them fall to the wayside because you’ve been too busy climbing the corporate ladder? Have you forgotten to build your totem pole of life? You’re not finished until you reach your personal dream, located at the top of your totem pole. Have you cut it off at the knees?

If you are still breathing, there is time to breathe life back into your totem pole.


Where are you on the totem pole of life?

Are you striving for your dreams or have you given up?

  • I didn't realize I'd given up, but now I see I've not reclaimed my dreams. You've inspired me to pick up where I left off.
  • I'm almost there!
  • Dreams? Isn't that something you do in your sleep?
  • I've never been inspired. I need other people to tell me what to do and how to live my life.
  • I'd forgotten all about them, Bravewarrior. You've given me something to think about.
See results without voting

Don't let wonder turn into regret

Yes, we all have to sacrifice when we become parents. We put our dreams on hold in order to concentrate on teaching our children and supporting them in a way to allow them to become the adults they dream of being. Their wonder of everything around them is the foundation of their totem pole of life. We offer the tools to help them build that totem pole and to aid them in the journey they set for themselves through their own dreams. Once your job is done, you are free to pick up where you left off.

It is vital that you do so. Pick up where you left off. Dream, strive and achieve. Don’t let wonder turn into regret.

I wonder if I would have made it as a writer? I wonder when I lost confidence in myself? I wonder what would have become of me had I reached for my dreams? I wonder if I’ll end my life on this earth regretting that I didn’t give myself a chance?


Reach inside to that child that still dwells within you. Sure, you’ve gotten older, but you haven’t lost the foundation that began building itself the day you were born. Wonder is where it all started. Take that wonder and turn it into curiosity, fascination, and hunger for knowledge. Turn it into the fuel needed to achieve your dreams.

Re-learn how to breathe and begin a new life.

Peace,

Bravewarrior



Shauna L Bowling

Refining, Defining or Rhyming

All Rights Reserved



What a wonderful song composed and sung by a young girl who is still full of wonder

The rest of the team

Please take the time to visit the Perspectives of the rest of the team. It's always interesting to see how our mindsets reach opposite poles or, as most often happens, how great minds think alike!

MickeySr: http://mickeysr.hubpages.com/hub/Wonder-Maintaining-A-Sense-Of-Wonder-In-Our-Lives

Maria: http://marcoujor.hubpages.com/hub/A-World-of-Wonder-Perspectives

Martie: http://martiecoetser.hubpages.com/hub/Wonder-The-Wonder-of-Being-Alive-Perspective

© 2013 Shauna L Bowling

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Comments 48 comments

MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 3 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

Shauna ~ "What happens to the wonder in our lives?"

As in, why do we lose the sense of wonder we had as kids . . ? . . sometimes it gets almost spooky how 'along the same lines' you and I can get.


Vickiw 3 years ago

I enjoyed your musings on Wonder, Shauna! You are so right about people forgetting to maintain that sense, as life happens, with all it's challenges. We forget to focus all the many things that are truly wonderful, and to keep that positive energy. Very motivational and I so loved seeing those photos of you and your son.


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

bravewarrior, you never cease to amaze me! Everything you say here is right on the mark for the majority of people I know, including me. I have sputtered and restarted several times, but now I think that dream is possible--and it's just around the next corner.

I loved this! Your style and writing are inspiring. Don't let anybody ever tell you that you are anything less than AWESOME ;) Pearl

Voted Up++++ and shared


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mickey, I could tell by the link you sent the team that you and I were on the same wavelength. Now that I've read (listened to) your hub, we are pretty much spot on!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, Vicki. When I chose the topic I wasn't sure where I'd go with it. I kept coming back to the sheer sense of wonder, curiosity and trust children have. Then something happens - they grow up! Wonder is either lost, set aside or takes a superficial turn. We can learn from children. After all, we were all that fascinated with life at one point in time!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Pearl, you are too kind. I can only speak from the heart and from looking at myself when I write my Perspectives articles. I'm guilty of letting the wonder fall to the wayside too. I had it then I let it go then I had it again then..... Time to pick myself up by the bootstraps and get that sense of wonder kicked into high gear.

I think you're pretty awesome, too!!


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

Awww, thanks!

Pearl


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Sha.....So clever and amazing, this could only have been written by you. I thoroughly absorbed every word, thought and "memory" you have so sweetly, presented to your readers.. I smiled, cried and even "wondered," as I experienced the creation of your Totem Pole....so strong and authentic.

Yes, dear Sha, never fear, the child in me is ever active....keeping my "dreams" alive, awake and asleep....for without dreams, our heart will cease to beat.

May the sun always shine brightly and the stars sparkle as diamonds, upon our Totem Poles of Life. ...Thank you for this awesome message, Sha...UP+++ shred & tweeted


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Paula, if anyone is full of wonder and keeping dreams alive, it's you! I'm so glad you enjoyed this. Thanx for the sun and the stars. You know what they mean to me.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

It's hard when the five of you post the same day about the same subject. I run out of things to say about it. LOL I know, me short of words...who would have thought.

I'll tell you the same thing I told Maria...I should be dead...if you don't think I see wonder in life you are sadly mistaken.

love,

bill


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

I know you do, Bill. You are wide-eyed and bushy-tailed! BTW, you left a response to your comments today (Helping Writers to Spread Their Wings and Fly), addressed to Vicki. I didn't see Vicki's comment. I think maybe you meant me??? Not sure.

P.S. You can always fix 'running out of things to say' by reading mine first. Ha ha!! Just kidding.....


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

Shauna, this hub of yours is loaded with wondrous fruit for thought. In spite of many disappointments and wide-awakenings I have never lost my sense of wonder. How wonderful to know that up there on the other side of the world lives people (like you) who cherish the same thoughts as I. Wonderful, thought-provoking hub!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

I'm glad you found this hub full of things to ponder, Martie. The more I get to know you the more I see your life and outlook on life are filled with wonder. You inspire others around you to keep the wonder alive also. You constantly seek and share knowledge. You are a ball of fire. And that's a good thing!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

Lovely, lovely piece on wonder! I love the metaphor of the totem pole with wonder at the base and the foundation of the pole. Great comparison! Lovely to hear of your children's birth and the wonderment everyone felt, from the baby, to the parent and to the grandparents. What a wonderful way to portray wonderment and just reading about it brought wonder to me. Beautiful experiences!

Thank you for sharing! I so enjoyed reading this!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Suzette, your comment is much appreciated. I see you are in Naples. I've only been there once, but it is pretty. I lived in South Florida from 1976 - 1987, then I moved to Central Florida. It's not as pretty up here as further south but at least there's no snow!

Thanx for stopping by. I hope to see you again.


epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

Fantastic hub. Dreams are something we should never lose sight of even though it is so easy to do with the daily grind. I try to adhere to my dreams as much as possible. Thanks for this. Voted up!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Liz, we must hold on to our dreams. My son is now 21 and has a job (still lives at home, but that's ok) so now I'm free to pursue my dream of being a full-time writer. I'm working on step two of 'dream, strive, achieve'. Got the dream down. Now for the hard part!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Oh Sha,

I have the chills listening to this young lady...her voice and her guitar...oh, now that is wonder-filled and so, my dear gïrlfriend are you.

You have selected the most awesome topic that showcases what makes me love you so...you are all about wonder, the beauty, the glory and the positive aspects of always believing that we are glowing, growing and showing love. And yes, my rose colored glasses are firmly on my head, cool lady!

Voted UP and UABI...I knew you would be inspiring with this!

Love, Maria


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Maria, when I found this video I thought, "this is it! This is exactly what I'm looking for!" She has a voice that belies her age.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this. And yay you for wearing your rose-colored glasses!

Much love, Sha


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

Your writing always conveys so much emotion and your words so much sense.

You are so right about holding onto our dreams for the right time and even more so about holding our precious children close. In fact you are right about it all!

Great hub and I really liked the use of the totem pole. It was a very clever focus point.

Anna :)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, Anna. I prefer to write from the heart. I appreciate you letting me know that comes through. Have a wonderful day!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello bravewarrior. You went straight to the heart of the matter. That first breath was awesome and from there on out it was wonder. These days I wonder where I put my keys.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Funny, Mike! Please tell me you don't remember taking that first breath. That would shoot my story all to hell! Thanx for the visit.


DJ Anderson 3 years ago

Oh, Shauna, this is by far one of your best articles. You are so inspiring and positive. You have given me thoughts of yesteryear, with my young son. He is an adult, now.

Yes, the responsibilities of life have a way of slapping reality

right in our faces. It can be a surprising disappointment.

But, we must continue on our journey, as best as we can.

You have given us an outstanding article with much to think about. Sha, I have been on HP for 8 months and have watched you grow in leaps and bounds. Are you drinking some special magical potion? Girl, bottle that stuff and sell it!!

Great read, Shauna!

Thanks,

DJ.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Dj, you have started my day out on the right foot. No, I'm not drinking a magical potion. Wish I was! You've made my day. Thanx!


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 3 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

You hit the nail on the head with that 'first breath' the greatest wonder. Life is full of wonders if we just take the time to look around. Keeping our dreams alive is a must, without them life can be dull.

Awesome


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Rosemay, thanx for stopping by. I wonder how many people really look at that first breath? It must be a frightening experience which is why it's erased from our memory banks.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Dear Sha,

Such an amazing write here, truly filled with the wonder of life, and that first breath and every breath we take thereafter too! I just love your zest for life, love and just your wonderful perspective on life itself.

It is always so very refreshing to read your writings as they are so genuine resulting from all of your life experiences.

Yes, all that life entails each day, can truly take its toll on stealing that sense of wonder from us, but it does not have to be, as you have reminded us so beautifully here.

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless, Faith Reaper


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Faith, you just made my day. What a wonderful comment! Enjoy your day and thanx for sharing. Live those dreams!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Wonder is a marvelous thing in our lives. It's never too late to reclaim it. I am amazed at your birth story. You barely missed a beat. Wow. Good for you and your son!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Flourish, after giving birth to my son I decided one kid was enough! I went into heavy labor from the get-go. 5 1/2 hours later he was born. When I got to the birthing center, they put me in a deep tub to ease the pain of labor - that's where my water broke. At least I didn't wet myself! Ha ha. My midwife didn't believe in episiotomy - tearing naturally is the way we dealt with that issue. It wasn't until they were sewing me up that I was given drugs. Up to that point it was major ouch all the way!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Reach inside to that child that still dwells within you. Sure, you’ve gotten older, but you haven’t lost the foundation that began building itself the day you were born. Wonder is where it all started. Take that wonder and turn it into curiosity, fascination, and hunger for knowledge. Turn it into the fuel needed to achieve your dreams.

Re-learn how to breathe and begin a new life.

Love the hub and this wonderful ending.

Rounds it all off wonderfully .

Thank you for sharing Shauna and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Eddy, when I read your post today, I thought it had much the same theme as this one. We seem to have our thoughts in the same place at the same time. And what a wonderful place it is!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Shauna, I'm loving your probing perspective on the wonderment that begins with birth and could and should last as long as life does. Your telescopic look at the phases and expressions of this vital emotion (isn't it an emotion?) brings its powerful influence on a person's quality of life so clearly into focus. One must never give up its important role. I can think of nothing worse or more debilitating!

Thank you for this. It's so good to read the different perspectives of each of you, yet they're all part of the whole subject! It's exhilerating!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Nellieanna, I'm so glad you enjoyed this. Sounds like it made you think a little. That's always a good thing! And, yes - it is interesting to see where the group goes on each topic. It's a lot of fun.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

How wonderful to dwell on the wonder in life. You have pointed out how it can wind up on the back of the bus. We all need to be reminded to keep it in the front seat.

Your story about your giving birth and the wonder of a child do more than illustrate your point.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mary, I'm so glad you stopped by! Giving birth is indeed a wonder. Just the fact that women can actually grow and nuture human life within our bodies is mind-blowing when you think about!

Thanx for the votes and have a great day!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Thinking is a favorite activity and pastime of mine! hehe - Yes, your viewpoint did make me think!! Great stuff, Shauna!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

It is easy to give up on dreams and wonder at some point along the way. At least I never stop yearning to learn more. I suppose that is a good start. :-)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Jeannie, that's where it all begins! You've got it goin' on as long as you yearn to learn. So glad to see you here.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 3 years ago from West Virginia

Voted up, useful, awesome, shared on FB. I never knew this group existed. It's great that all of you can collaborate and do great things for HP. I've never gave up on my dreams, I strive everyday to reach them. I know I can achieve them, but we all need a little inspiration. Motivational Bravewarrior.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Lyricwriter, I'm glad this proved to be beneficial for you. The Perspectives Team has been contributing our individual takes on a common theme for almost a year now. It's fun and a good way to get to know fellow hubbers outside HP. Thanx for stopping by and sharing!


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

What a terrific article from start to finish. I like the totem pole theme. My priorities definitely changed after having children. I'm not so much interested in new things now such as expensive cars and luxury items. Now it's all about how I can help my children grow. I haven't stumped my dreams, I just don't have time to devote to them. But then I think there will be that day when my children are grown and I don't want to regret looking back and wishing I had more time to spend with them because I put them aside to work on my own dreams.

It was hard to give up my dreams, but they aren't forgotten. They are still there just waiting to blossom one day when the kids are well on their own way.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Crafty, that's exactly it. Don't give up on your dreams. Simply put them on a shelf until your children are grown. That's what I did. When you choose to be a parent, that is the number one priority. We are responsible for guiding, teaching and loving our children. We are they're foundation. There is no job more important than that!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Dear Sha,

Came back to read your wonderful perspective on wonder and I believe it needs another round of sharing, so I will do so!

Hugs


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Hey brave, this is an excellent hub. I like positive insight like this. Keep it up. Voted up!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

You're a doll, Faith. Thanx for sharing!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Word55, with so much negativity in the world, we need to keep our eyes and heart on the positive aspects. I'm so glad you agree!

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