In difficult times you should always carry something beautiful in your mind. •Blaise Pascal•
It sometimes seems to me that we’ve lost a sense of the importance of beauty in daily life. There is a coarseness and crassness to so much of the personal and cultural discourse we’re exposed to, that we’ve grown callouses over our “beauty receptors”—out of sheer survival! And, we’re all so busy, so techno-distracted, so efficient. Just don’t have the time to pick a few flowers for vase on the table… to smooth out the clutter by the front door… to hang just the right pictures on the wall. This relates to P4P Principle #3, Rhythm. When we can begin to bring a bit more nourishing pacing into our lives, allowing for the kinds of in-breath/out-breath… contract/release… reach out/go within rhythms we as human beings need, we naturally gravitate toward cultivating more beauty in our lives.
That creates a fabulous positive feedback loop: when we focus our consciousness toward beauty (and gratitude, an inner form of beauty), what emerges is joy. Thus we can weave peace into our very cells. This isn’t just flowery sentiment, this comes from leading-edge research in the fields of positive psychology and mind-body science.
Late beloved author John O’Donohue put it more poetically: “If our style of looking becomes beautiful… we will be surprised to discover beauty in unexpected places where the ungraceful eye would never linger. The graced eye can glimpse beauty anywhere, for beauty does not reserve itself for special elite moments or instances; it does not wait for perfection but is present already secretly in everything. When we beautify our gaze, the grace of hidden beauty becomes our joy and our sanctuary. ”
I am blessed to live in a place of great beauty, so I get a triple dose!