When was the last time you were touched or impacted by something beautiful? What did it feel or look like?
We understand that beauty isn’t solely about physical aspects and outer appearances. That while using our 5 basic senses to experience beauty is wonderful, it can also be limiting, superficial and even artificial.
Beauty is everywhere.
As a lover and cultivator of beauty, I have come realize one thing. I am here to be a beacon of light in the name of beauty. I gather that this idea or calling might resonate for you as well.
I am currently reading a brilliant gem of a book by the late and great John O’Donohue called Beauty: The Invisible Embrace. John challenges us to observe and become more aware of our relationship with beauty. He stresses the internal, mysterious, quiet and poetic relationship we have (or the potential to have) with beauty and how this relationship connects us to our gentle human spirt and with all of life.
Taking great inspiration from his work and from my own observations, experiences, and relationship to beauty, I offer the following 5 areas of focus on being a greater beacon of light for beauty.
“Space and stillness is the light that illuminates the beauty of our soul’s being.” ~ Adyashanti
The experience of true beauty, as I mentioned above, is often an internal one or something that begins inside and shines out. Take nature, for example. Her physical beauty abounds, but when was the last time you sat in silence, in stillness, in nature?
The great modern spiritual teacher and author, Eckhart Tolle, invites us to notice a tree, leaf, or a rock… just being itself. Just notice its presence and being-ness. This observation often instills in us a sense of peace and oneness. An invitation into a deeper place of being. A quiet comfort and ease about the way things are. An invitation into beauty.
Being still in nature also creates a feeling of abundance, plentitude and bounty. While we use our 5 senses to experience the natural beauty around, we feel interconnected to all of life which is a sensation that goes deeper than what our senses can provide.
“When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty decides to trust us.” ~ John O’Donohue
What if we cultivate a reverence of approach in every aspect of our lives (words, actions, deeds)? What if we speak with reverence? Walk in and with reverence? Work, practice, play, plan, negotiate, debate, read, write, prepare food, etc with reverence?
How do we carry reverence everywhere we go? We approach everything with it. This takes time and patience. A slowing down and reveling in the natural process of things. This idea of approaching with reverence calls for discipline and a devotion to beauty. It calls for a great respect of all people and things.
Personally, this is my greatest charge. To cultivate reverence of approach. Patience is not my greatest strength. However, as I dedicate more of my time to meditation, yoga and conscious breath work (pranayama), I find my patience growing. I also notice that my desire to slow down, simplify and trust in the process of life, expands and grows.
It excites me to approach my world with greater reverence, and joyfully watch the beauty of life continue to unfold and multiply. This world is full of drama. It is full of rushing around, anxiety, stress and madness. Don’t you want to experience the beauty of this life and to once and for all let go of the busy-ness and drama that is so present in our world?
“Wit is an intermittent fountain; kindness is a perennial spring.” ~Marie Dubsky
Recall an act of kindness that you most recently encountered or witnessed. What did it stir up inside of you? What physical sensations did it create? A warm, tingly sensation in your chest? A smile on your face? Tears in your eyes? Laughter? This is beauty. Showing itself to you. This is you, communing with beauty. This is love in action.
Beauty is not a constant. It flows in and out. It glimmers, beams then disappears. It showers down and then moves. It sparkles and changes and morphs. But when beauty is experienced through kindness, the lasting impressions and effects multiply. It’s like throwing a pebble into a still lake. The ripple effect on the water’s surface grows and continues. There is a movement of energy that billows out and touches a greater surface area than that tiny little droplet did. The beauty and energy of kindness also inspires hope. It invites us to be more kind, and recognize and celebrate kindness more often.
“Gratitude is a wonderful way to draw more beauty into your life.” ~ Anonymous
photo by Catherine Bennett