The Necessity of Beauty in Tough Times

My heart was a little heavy. I was deep in thought about those I love and inwardly trying to “solve the world’s problems” (what? you don’t do that?)  Anyway, I read the title of this article in Darling magazine: Why We Need Beauty When Times are Tough . (PLEASE take a minute to read the article).

Oh, my heart resonated with this.  The discipline of knowing what choices keep you grounded in rough times can be tricky. Instead of honesty, we demean ourselves for thinking off the beaten path of hardship. We chide ourselves for being dreamers and wonder why looking at something beautiful is worthy. Well, answer that question. Why is it worthy? Listen to the answer. We know that the tiny, incremental decisions are the ones that let light pierce through the darkness. It’s always been in the smallest of things that redemption and hope takes root.

Maybe it’s in noticing the way the light makes your skin glow at sunset, or the way the trees sway and swirl in the breeze, or the application of a red, “happy” lipstick even when your heart is heavy? Whatever the “beauty” that lifts your heart, embrace it. Embrace it fully. Redemption draweth nigh.

You know celebration and recognition of beauty brings heaven down to earth, don’t you? The gasp inside your heart when you view the snow-capped mountains from the opposite ridge, seeing the aspens blaze in fall, or the surge of happiness and thankfulness amidst utter exhaustion as you hold a newborn baby in your arms, you know the peace that love brings and the way it surrounds you like a warm blanket on the cold night as you gaze up to see a shooting star. Guard this art of seeing, recognizing and celebrating beauty. Let nothing steal this prize from you. It’s extravagance is like a goddess from some mystical shore, looking at you, waiting for acknowledgment. Some will say this goddess doesn’t exist. You know the truth.

Recognition of beauty changes everything, mainly ourselves.

 

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The Gasp of Cluelessness

I marvel at the poignancy of uncertainty. Have you ever thought you had something “figured out”, categorized, written off into “never question again” territory , only to realize in a “grand-scale-kind-of-way” that you were clueless? You might even gasp upon realization that facts were missing from your analysis? (It’s a beautiful gasp, I might add) Maybe spirit was missing? heart was missing? Something major was undetected; obscured from your understanding and view? Yeah, me too.

It might be that you had taken some option off of the table.  Pragmatic choice.  Ease of life decision. Understandable. Until it’s not. Some would site this categorization as laziness. Some, security. I tend to think that until we are drawn in, awakened by an ‘aha- moment”,  that “we meant well”. The good news is, I believe there’s grace for this moment. I am so grateful for that.

But…

when the dawning comes, what will you do? Pretend? Act like you’re still “sure” even if you’re not? Is honesty something to be ashamed of?  I think not. Honesty is crucial. Humility hangs here in this space- Humility is a resource for growth.

I don’t know it all. Even in my epiphanies, I am so limited. Maybe that is the most valuable understanding in life. The goal isn’t knowledge (contrary to popular opinion). It’s so much deeper. When we’re tempted to make judgments about others in their decisions, that’s probably a BIG clue. We’re probably WAAAAAAY off-base. Yep, grand gestures of “sure-ness” are sure to humble us. Judgments are futile.

Stop.

Just stop.

You are not designed to instruct the world. Give it a rest. You are designed for something much greater.

I know, this can be discouraging. If the goal is superiority, surety, loftiness, this will definitely feel like failure. uggghhhh. BUT, If the goal is growth, love, connection… a smile just crossed your lips. The gavel dropped from your hand. You crossed into new territory. (SMILE) The relief you feel is real. (deep breath). Welcome to a new way of living. I know, the colors are magical, are they not? Take it all in.

Can I just say, there is something more sure than promises and hopes, pressures and expectations  passed from human to human? You’ve been told this by those who NEED to believe it’s true. You know there is more. There is something more powerful and fulfilling- a SPIRIT alive within you. Do not be afraid of it. There is a love, peace, hope and joy written upon your soul. Look at it. Cry. Savor it . Sure, some may ridicule you to scorn for listening to the stillness within.  Let them. It is the only path to peace. It is all that will matter eventually. Those that REALLY love you will cheer you on.

Freedom recognizes freedom.

Freedom recognizes freedom,

yes, freedom recognizes freedom!!!!!!

You were born for this. Know it. Trust it. Search for it.

#beautynearme

#beautyinyou

There is Always More to the Story

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When I was young(er), I used to think that there would be this “point” where I’d feel “together”, “concluded”, “more sure”. I definitely did not foresee the opposite happening, but it has. My list of things I know dwindles and dwindles. Most of growing old(er) seems a series of “aha moments” that have convinced me that I require a lot more God, grace, humility, forgiveness, personal development, faith, trust, intuition…(frankly, more of everything). Basically I need more because of what I don’t know. (anyone relate?) But, the flip side is knowing some things deeper than before. Time gives the ground space to get water to the roots, deep, deep down in places known, but unseen. There’s always more to the tree’s story.

It’s as if when we were young we were looking through binoculars. (Who gave them to us? I don’t know), We were looking at a specific point on the mountain top. Because of the binoculars we could see clearly and surely every little detail.  But as we age the scope widens until the binoculars are gone and we find we’re looking with bare eyes at the vastness. There’s a stripping away of all this is not “us” until the whole panoramic view is seen and takes our breath away. Indescribable. Unbelievable, surprising even ourselves. Yes, there’s always more to the story.

So, aging brings us face to face with a gift: not what we know, but the gift of knowing what we don’t know. Without grace for that epiphany, we can feel so frustrated that we only saw the binocular view. But, it was a view. However it was handed to us, it happened. It had beauty and meaning. Yes, it had a shelf life, but it was part and parcel to who we have become.

The binocular view is close-up, detail-oriented, vivid, personal, spirited, riveting. There was something sure about it. In our aging, we must have grace for that zeal; grace for the time we thought we knew something so specific, and then grace for when we don’t. I have a feeling the panoramic view is just a beginning place as well. There are other dimensions and perspectives ahead. There’s always more to the story.

Wisdom says we need all of them,  the close-up, the panoramic perspectives and all that is between and after. It’s all part of traversing in this place; a journey deeper and deeper into unknown; a journey deeper and deeper into peace. Whatever view, we gain and lose. Whatever view, we see differently. than another. Whatever view, observations and experiences reveal. In each and every view, wisdom speaks. Wisdom carries grace indiscriminately because no matter the view, there is always more to the story.

 

 

The 7 “Wonders of the World” has Rivals

 

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The 7 wonders of the world has rivals. And I’m not really talking about the “New” 7 wonders. All of them, old and new are majestic, soul-stirring, breathtaking visions, to be sure. But I think the real rivals are nestled amongst the busyness of each day- something just as magical. Dare I say that? Dare I push a little further and say that not ONE day gets missed?

Not one day has missed the sprinkling of the “divine”.

They come in thoughts, visions, segments, sometimes so brief, you could miss it.

Maybe your mind is awhirl and your thoughts are scattered, but you glimpse through the window, the sun-rays are hitting the landscape in a way it never has before. The hue is different. The mood is different. Haven’t you see this a thousand times? Your breath catches at the sight. You realize the REAL difference. YOU are different and changed since “last time”. You smile as JOY invades.

Maybe you woke in the morning stillness…too early. But before you move from the comfort of bed, you hear the bird singing in the darkness. It feels personal, private, necessary. You have been serenaded into PEACE.

Maybe as the day is fading and fatigue is at hand, you glance and see those you love all huddled together, laughing. Heads are tilted back in full abandonment. Even from a distance you can feel the presence and power of LOVE. Everyone is safely themselves.

Maybe your spirits are down and you have no strength. But for one teensy second your eyes drift to look beside you. You see the selfless one who cares for you without complaint. You know you are being carried like a raft in the river riding the current. Directed. Guided. Powered.

I stand behind my claim. The “7 wonders of the world” has rivals.

A Day at the Sea

Sail

The sun peeks over the horizon and the water begins to glow and I begin to feel warmth in my body and soul

The sounds of the seagulls and waves mingle and sing a beautiful duet

I breathe it in… listening, feeling…I close my eyes to receive

Needing it so desperately, I soak in the energy and life like a sponge

And when I begin to feel the abundance of warmth

I walk into the water and feel the cooling refreshment of the sea

I’m on my back floating and drifting with the tide

Eyes to the sky–free, peaceful, smiling

My hair floats around my face and moves and dances with the water and I feel like I’m part of something magical

I drift back to shore like a boat finding it’s way home and  spend a few moments with my hand in the sand, fingers tracing the waterline

I see the intricate details of little shells as the tide foam catches the light, glimmering like little rainbows

I walk and walk along the shore …some might say even aimlessly, because I don’t know where I’m going, but I know it doesn’t matter here

I stop and rest beneath the palm, noticing the strokes of sunset as they float, shift and streak the horizon with splendor

The sailboat glides and the silhouette takes my breath

The perfect day is closing it’s eyes

I lay back on the sand as the stars take the stage. They wink at me because we have this common secret

I know this place of peace is open to all, but only received by some. And I am one.