Awakening to Wonder
A Six-Week Online Course | January 20 - Feb 24, 2020
Supporting big-hearted creatives like you to wake up to the beauty all around,
so that from this place of wonder, awe, and reverence,
you feel inspired to contribute your own unique expression of beauty
in service to a world that works for all.
With Catherine Douglas
Brought to you by
...a sensitive, open, caring being that is feeling overwhelmed about the uncertain, ever-accelerating state of the world?
...longing to reconnect with life’s vibrancy and sparkle?
...yearning to see, appreciate, and fall in love with the beauty of life and allow that to nourish, rejuvenate, and inspire you?
I hear you, beautiful.
Hi, I'm Catherine. Since an early age, I've been enamored with the little wonders of life, such as glimmers of light on water drops or the kindness of a stranger.
Then, several years ago, I got sick from living in a house with toxic black mold and a whole cascade of health challenges ensued. Unable to barely leave my house or get out of bed, my already sensitive open system felt the weight of the suffering of the world and the insanity that we inflict upon each other in piercing ways. Usually bursting with enthusiasm, I felt helpless and hopeless about what to do.
There were times when I lost sight of the sparkle.
What has helped me through this time has been a deep devotion to wonder and focusing on the simple beauty all around me. Returning my attention to the present and the leaf or flower directly in front of me became essential for calming my nervous system. Too exhausted and sick to do the ordinary things I used to take for granted, taking macro photos that magnified the tiny majesty all around me became my solace and my practice. Through my wonder practices, I learned to see the world through new eyes, reframe my situation, and shift my states.
This became my medicine.
The more I practiced and studied the latest science on awe, the more I began to realize how needed this medicine is for humanity during these increasingly uncertain times.
And amazingly, along with the help of doctors, I began to heal. Not only that, but I found a renewed sense of inspiration, motivation, and clarity in how I long to magnify the beauty in service to a world that works for all beings. I'm beyond excited to share my practices and insights in this 7-week course, so that...
. . . you, too, can experience these wonders.
Why Does the World Need More Wonder?
It has been said that we are experiencing a collective awe deficit,
that many of us have lost our sense of reverence for the planet, each other, and the many forms of life with whom we share our gorgeous home.
Not only that, but many of us have lost a sense of curious wonder about ourselves
and the incredible miracle of our existence.
When we lose a sense of awe, reverence, and wonder, it becomes easier to otherize, easier to destroy, easier to harm oneself, and easier to blindly focus on endless GDP growth at the expense of deteriorating ecosystems.
When we don’t see how profoundly interconnected we are with the rest of the cosmos and all of life, we lose a piece of our humanity. We lose touch with the magic.
"The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us
the less taste we shall have for destruction."
~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
That is why I created this program for you.
Awakening to Wonder
will help you to...
Your Very Own Macro Lens!
Yes, this is happening! I am so excited to share that, as a special bonus, you will receive through snail mail the same macro lens that changed my life! (Plus a bonus video explaining how to use it!)
The Easy-Macro lens fits over your smart phone camera (compatible with Android and iPhones) so you can magnify your photos and see the beauty in the tiny treasures all around you! This has been a central part of my Wonder Walks and love affair with wonder!
And finally, each week you will also receive a new
Doorway to Wonder
Audio Interviews with Visionary Thought Leaders
in which they share with us the wonders of their area of mastery.
Whether it is the wonders of cosmology, evolution, neuroscience and the brain, or how wonder inspires art, music, or activism, these weekly interviews are sure to inspire, expand your mind, and open your heart.
Founder, Opening to Divine Eros
Eros, gratitude, and love as gateways to wonder.
Wonder as a gateway to discovering your unique genius.
Founder, Golden Bridge
The wonders of our capacity to heal.
Neuroscientist, UC Berkeley
The wonders of our brain, biology, and evolution.
Each module has a main video lesson, a guided meditation or visualization, an audio interview with inspired visionaries, a workbook, a state induction experiment, a weekly checklist, and often extra credit options and resources. The video lessons are full of content from Positive Psychology, the latest research on awe, neuroscience, NLP, somatic psychology, evolutionary spirituality, mindfulness, and peace studies.
Here's a look at what is inside. . .
Opening to the Beauty (LIVE)
Open to the possibility of seeing beauty all around you
Understand why wonder is important
Learn how our lenses get distorted and how we can clean them
Get clear on the course projects, outline, and plan
Start exploring and adding to our Awe Library
Get set up for a wondrous journey
What determines the lenses through which we see
How to induce desired states
What virtuous and vicious cycles are
How to design your personalized on-ramp system to your Upward Spiral
How to catch yourself from sliding down the Downward Spiral
How to find new perspectives and why this is important
Shifting Your Focus
The skillset needed to train your eyes to see the magic
Camera lenses have the ability to choose what to focus on
Like a camera lens, we too, can help direct our tiny amount of conscious attention amidst the millions of bits of information that we’re taking in at any given moment
Tricks to do this and how to “hack” our consciousness
Why it is important not to negate and block out the world’s suffering, but how to resource ourselves so we can respond effectively (and why this is essential for empaths!)
How to apply these skills so that seeing the world like this becomes a habit
LIVE Mid-Way Point Session
This is a special bonus mid-way point live session!
Awe is often experienced when someone is confronted with such perceptually vast stimuli that they must reconfigure their mental models to accommodate the experience
how to reconfigure our mental models more consciously, specifically focusing on a deep embodied experience of interbeing
how we would show up if we would really see the world through eyes of interbeing
to chart a number of other core values for the emerging worldview necessary for the survival and thriving of our species within the biosphere
Seeing as a Form of Loving
about amazing research on the science of awe that has shown what scientists call awe's "altruism effect"
about moral elevation and how it helps inspire us to create a more compassionate, caring, and altruistic world
some of my favorite exercises this week that really help to open the heart
Living a Life of Wonder (LIVE)
learn how to not just see through different lenses, but actually improve your 'eyesight,' moving from an exploration of states to traits
create your personal ongoing plan to help live a Life of Wonder
share final projects, celebrate each other, and recap
About Your Instructor
Catherine Douglas is an artist, educator, peace activist, imaginal cell, and founder of The PeaceRipples Institute. She is deeply passionate about helping to create a more beautiful world that works for all beings. She taught her first program, PeaceDance, back in 2004 and fell in love with facilitating experiences for her students. Her love of ecstatic states led her to study with Professor Csikszentmihalyi, one of the founders of Positive Psychology and the person that coined the term "flow state." After writing her thesis on finding flow through dance, she taught Natural Highs: Healthy Alternatives to Drugs and Alcohol, a substance abuse education program based in neuroscience, adolescent brain development, and experiential practices to change one's state of consciousness.
The more people she taught, the more interested she became in larger systemic solutions that could help address the root causes of the suffering she saw in her students. After years of working with many dozens of organizations and some of the top thought leaders of our time, she is excited to be offering more educational programs through The PeaceRipples Institute.
Catherine is a certified SomaSource Practitioner and educator at the annual global youth rites of passage program, Surfing the Creative. She completed the Strengths-Based Positive Psychology Coaching Program at San Francisco State University, sat on the board of directors for the Happiness Alliance, co-founded the annual Peace Day campaign, BeThePeace, and most proudly, graduated Valedictorian from her Laughter Yoga Leader training (yes, Laughter Yoga is a thing).
Sam, Making Love With Life Student
From the first time I saw you, Light was bubbling out of you like a glass of champagne. Attending the Making Love With Life course in Boulder tickled my heart, my palate of perception, my tear ducts, my voice box, and gently prodded my protected heart to open up to the possibilities of letting in the beauty of existence.
Natural Highs Student
I just wanted to take some time out to thank you
for today. Ever since I left the studio, I was filled with the most incredible inspiration and energy I had felt in a long time. No kidding, I literally sprinted on my bike home I was loving life so much... Catherine, you are like the most amazing person I have ever met. No joke! You are so kind hearted and have ideas that CAN change the world. Radiant energy flows from you when you talk and somehow makes me feel less hopeless in this dark world.
I am very grateful for having participated in the 10 day project. It has changed the way I think about life over all and my life in particular. The new practices that I have adopted have blessed my life and the lives of those I have touched. This has been a very beneficial 10 days for me and the world as a whole.
Participant in the free BeThePeace Challenge
What Catherine's Former Students Have Said
This is not an ordinary online course.
This is an intervention. A re-alignment. A deep re-membering.
This is a pair of glasses that will help bring the magnificence, the beauty, and the magic
clearly into focus.
Imagine wrapping yourself up in a blanket of love covered in stars,
where you no longer feel alone in the universe, seeing all life as your kin.
What could your life look like if you allowed the beauty in?
What if you said yes?
Special Inaugural Opportunity!
All of this for just:
And you get to help be a part of co-creating this program!
This initial beta round is a special opportunity for a small intimate group to give input, feedback, and help add to the magic, as well as form a tight and long-lasting community together.
If this speaks to your soul and you know you are meant to be a part of this sacred container,
I am beyond excited to welcome you into this program.
The cart closes on 11/11 at midnight
in order for your macro lens to be shipped before class begins on October 22.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is the time commitment?
Each main video lesson is about 20-30 minutes. The live modules will be around an hour. The meditations are 6-12 minutes (usually 7) and the Doorways to Wonder featured speaker audios are about 10-30 minutes. The weekly workbook is between 6-18 pages, plus there are weekly exercises. So in total it is about 2 hours of content, but delivered in chunks so you can make it work in your schedule.
When are the live calls?
We will have live Zoom calls on:
October 22nd (our first class)
November 14th (middle of the course)
December 3rd (final class)
Will the calls be recorded?
Yes! We will have three calls (see above question) and those will be recorded. The other modules are recorded and will be unlocked each week.
Is there a return option?
Yes, there is a refund period until October 31st. Please email email@example.com with a thorough response as to what did not work out for you and you will be refunded the cost minus $20 for the physical product and shipping fees. I think you will love this program though!
Have another question?
Just email firstname.lastname@example.org
What will happen once I join?
First, congratulations! Yay! It's worth celebrating investing in yourself and making your life more beautiful! I'm so honored and excited to have you on this journey and to welcome you into this sacred circle that is co-creating something beautiful together!