Look at a Time-Lapsed Video of the Northern Lights for Three Wondrous Minutes

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 · 12 Comments

If you’ve followed my writing or heard me speak you may have heard me quote Philosopher and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel saying, “Life is routine and routine is resistance to wonder.”

Our brains are wired toward routine and we absolutely lose our sense of wonder in every day life. Yet wonder is a natural anti-depressant.

When we pause, have a moment of mindfulness and open our senses, the sights, smells, tastes, sounds and feeling of things comes alive.

There are so many wonders all around us that can bring alive the magic of the world. I wanted to share one of them with you put out by filmmaker Alexis Coram in National Geographic who films the “auroras” of the Northern Lights.

Take 3 minutes and treat this as a mindful experiment. As you watch, what do you notice. See if you become aware of the fact that here we are sitting on a spinning planet in the middle of space. Look at this beauty, what comes alive in you?

Carry this wonder with you for the rest of the day (or press play again :).

Please share you thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Adapted from Mindfulness and Psychotherapy


  1. Diane
    June 12, 2015 at 7:15 am

    While I watched the video I felt that at first, I was the center of my universe…then I felt so small, my problems and concerns became so insignificant in the face of all that beauty. The colors and the shooting stars were there almost in spite of me. I got caught up in the awe of it all, the lights, the movement, the Too Many To Count Stars all moving to their own design. And I was a small part of it all – such a small part, yes…but a part none the less. I came away feeling that everything will be all right, that it was all okay. Calm and content in the grandness of it all! The wow of the wonder is persisting, and I plan to revisit the video before my perspective becomes too self centered and over powering. Thank you, Elisha! You are Golden! (no pun intended) ~Diane

  2. Jayda
    June 12, 2015 at 6:59 am

    honestly? It was depressing! Beautiful yes, but the time-lapse produced a feeling of sadness for life’s brevity. I feel like life is passing me by. Life goes too quickly.

  3. Shannon Cole
    June 11, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Thanks for this post. The awesomeness of wonder in our night skies is never a disappointment.

  4. Karen
    June 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Science writer Lewis Thomas wrote: “Statistically, the probability of any one of us being here is so small that the mere fact of our existence should keep us all in a state of contented dazzlement.”
    Watching the video puts me in a state of contented dazzlement — thanks!

  5. Susan Smith
    June 11, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I have seen the northern lights many times. I live in Fairbanks, Alaska. I never saw the aurora with such a vivid picture of how beautiful life truly could be. The aurora had become routine. Looking from a still mind, I saw beauty I had dismissed as just another cold night. I have found, since exercising mindfulness techniques, the level of depression I experience, has almost completely disappeared. I needed this exercise as a reminder of the change that can occur, when the routine is broken.

  6. Kat
    June 11, 2015 at 9:41 am

    I am very fortunate to live in Alaska and to be able to see these lights cover the night sky. The music chosen for this video is very fitting. In person, however, the music you her is silence..and the snapping and crackling they generate.
    Thanks so much for sharing this.


  7. Cornelia Wylldestar
    June 11, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Thank you for the beautiful Northern Lights, Elisha. And thank you for your work, your energy, and your spirit that increases the acts of mindfulness in our community. You, your work, and your family are appreciated. Keep well.


  8. Claire
    June 11, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Just thanks! I really liked the music too.

  9. Lesley Darling
    June 11, 2015 at 6:33 am

    I am filled with awe and gratitude. This is on my bucket list. When I watched it I had goose pimples, that’s my sign from the universe that I’m on the right track. Thank you so much for sharing it, I was just in a moment of anxiety and sat down to this.

  10. ANNIE
    June 9, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Beautiful, just what I needed today, at this very moment. Thank you for all you post and share.


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