Beauty is not caused, it is. ~Emily Dickinson
Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye. ~William Shakespeare
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~Confucius
I was born with a deep love of beauty. I suspect this is true for most of us. One of the nicest things anyone ever said to me was that I could create beauty anywhere from anything and that my love of beauty was typically simple…that I could be happy putting a branch in a jar. And it’s true. Simple, natural, a bit of color, the pleasure of connection to the sensual.
I love to see things from the soul’s perspective, to skip the literal and go right for symbolic sight. For one thing, everything everything is more beautiful there. Truth.
And so it isn’t lost on me that I was born to two artists, creatives, both with their own design businesses, both with an eye for creating the beautiful. Gifted in their own right, guided by something higher as they put their personal interpretation into how they expressed into the world. Their love of beauty, their devotion to creating it, and their creative artists’ hearts probably their biggest gift to me.
Although I crave that feeling when my senses lock onto something, it can be unbalancing. The beauty, in the sensual, taken through the body, can pierce whatever else is there. There is an opening, a kind of flooding as the rush of the experience pours in. And the intensity while filling a longing in me, can also light up a craving for more. I remember being in Kennebunkport, Maine with an old boyfriend and seeing all of the beautiful homes and their charming flower boxes, was so overcome by the visuals that I felt like I had to move there. I get overwhelmed sometimes, beauty stirring some kind of deep watery longing in me.
When I was young I was a dancer…in high school on most afternoons, and then every morning at 8:40 in college and again in the 80’s during grad school when I got hooked on high-impact aerobics til I blew out my knees… I danced. I took classes at least daily and it was so so good. And that ‘so so good’ can be a dangerous place for somebody with mildly addictive tendencies. That high is potent.
That mix of the visceral and sensual, awakens a kind of wanting, the longing both in the moment and for more… the beauty creates the wanting for more. To return to baseline, out of the experience of the ‘high’ can feel like a letdown, and yet of course it shouldn’t be. But when our brains click into the high or the relief of an experience, those chemicals can run us. I remember leaving each of these dance classes with a longing for more, the letdown phase part of the whole.
It’s in the contrast that these moments find their power. Where we are awakened, taken our of our soul sleep and allowed to remember that we live in the material sensual world. My own awareness not long ago, that we are here to be in the physical. That we are already spiritual beings, already soul, already energy and light. But that we incarnate to be in the physical and in our senses.
Coming into our bodies, embodiment, awareness of the senses isn’t indulgent, it’s part of our earthly nature…to experience, to love, to appreciate, to make these connections.
As you may know I love talk of the Temple, I even wrote a digital home retreat program to bathe you in the beauty of healing through your senses and awareness. We can’t live in the mind there is just too much noise there too much that doesn’t belong to you, too many untruths that you picked up from society, or your family or your teachers that just is not true and that you’d do well to release.
My own belief is that we are here to be exactly who we are. As much as we are all One we each hold unique expressions, a mix that is just ours. We never came to be perfect, perfection is such a human ego concoction. We are here to be, to connect, to share. The flaws we find so shameful, keep us from living more deeply and certainly from living more beautifully.
What if pleasure and the appreciation of what is beautiful were a conscious intention, an intention that we looked for, courted, talked about, were devoted to.
Ah that word… devoted. One of my favorites. Also reverence. What if we moved through daily life with reverence and devotion. And a bit of wonder. A reclaiming of the innocent, seeing without all the past clouding it. The sensual a priority, a pledge. There is so much to experience and the best is usually teeny tiny.
A playlist of moody gorgeous voices, each song your ‘favorite’, the mix transformative as you shower, make your bed, pick out your clothes for the day. Breakfast on a favorite plate, maybe bought on a summer’s day at a charming flea market where you found treasure after treasure for a few dollars.
Savoring the times you walk your dog, really looking at your neighborhood, pausing to talk with and enjoy your neighbors. Purposely looking at the sky and noticing what’s happening in the trees, listening to all of the sounds in the moment. Taking a full breath of the air, falling in love with whatever season is here.
To me beauty is about elevating the moment just a bit beyond where you would have noticed it. There is so much to love in daily life. And in my experience, when we live in the beautiful, when we chase it a bit, when we read a few pages of something beautiful and inspired, or keep a book of poetry, or read new recipes, allowing our senses to come present and to also imagine and create, we open a flow of more. And more is good.
It’s not about consuming or trying to find a fix, trying to numb. It’s not that kind of chasing. It’s about opening to what is already here and making space for more. I believe the ‘more’ wants to find us. The world wants to dance with us.
I have read in various places that when we enjoy and appreciate the food we’re eating, the consciousness of the food flows to us, the energy meets us, we receive more of the nutrients and beauty of that food. I know this to be true.
And that when we take a moment to appreciate and allow ourselves to let the moment of appreciation of the beauty in the plant world, that the plant will extend the fullness of itself energetically to us. Things get brighter, we feel more, we are flooded and blessed in these moments of attention. There is an exchange of energy. We see and appreciate, we are seen and blessed in return.
If you believe this at all, then I promise you that this kind of attentional practice, this devotion and reverence, and full on gratitude for each moment in the beauty, that you will find a kind of heaven on earth. You will absolutely love this life in a very different way. So little needs to actually change, nothing needs to happen, you don’t have to wrestle with the outside world to make something go your way.
For me, beauty is a big romance, it’s the main event. I can be in love in a million different ways, there is always something to love, and that is a great big huge deal.
Stop depriving yourself. Absolutely nothing including you and me needs to be perfect for us to be awash in all of the available beauty. We get to unstick ourselves from our attachment from what we think everything needs to be like, and just keep searching out the teeny and the beautiful.
I want that for you.
And…If you’d like to chat a bit, cozy up and talk about where you’re going, where you’d love to be, what might be in the way.. let’s do that. Contact me on the “Contact” page and we’ll make time. xo