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ABOUT BEAUTY, FROM A RECOVERING PERFECTIONIST

Tree in a meadow

“If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice its knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully.”
~ Matthew Fox

 


I have often used polished stones as a way to demonstrate this message about beauty and imperfection.

When I give polished stones away at school presentations and workshops, I invite everyone to look closely and notice all the little nicks and scratches on the stones. Yes, they are strong and beautiful – the agates, the ambers, the amethysts, the apache tears, and the aquamarines, to name just a few. And, they are not perfect. Like us.

Another take-away from the stones is this: Colorful polished stones in circle
the stones come in all different colors,
shapes, and sizes. Like us.
And they are all beautiful. Like us.

Today and every day, let’s focus on the good and the beautiful in ourselves, others, and the world.

From a recovering perfectionist…

With love and compassion,
Charlene

WHAT’S BEAUTY, NANA?

WHAT'S BEAUTY?Both of my four-year old grandchildren, Alexis and Anthony, recently asked, “What’s beauty, Nana?” It was after hearing the chorus of the song, I See Beauty.

I see beauty, all around me
Inside you and be
I see beauty.

I found it tricky to answer. What would you say?

It’s interesting that they asked “What is beauty?” because they will often say “That is beautiful” about many things, such as the sky, trees, flowers, rainbows… the natural world. Already a girly girl, Alexis also comments on pink clothing, shoes, and princess items as “beautiful.”

But since we’ve been playing the song now and then, I think that are starting to understand the essence of beauty itself.
The rest of the lyrics are helping:

I see beauty all around
From the sky down to the ground
in the flowers in the trees
Inside you and me.

I see beauty every day
In hugs and smiles that come my way
In everything we say and do
It flows through me and you.

Yes, The Twelve Gifts of Birth Music is a help. So is the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids. Check them both out for the children in your life.

We can also watch for opportunities to comment and say things like, “Ah-ha. I see beauty right now in the way you are… being kind, helping your sister, caring about your friend, sharing your toy, being truthful, apologizing, forgiving…

As the song goes, let’s aim to see beauty everywhere, especially inside you and me.

SEE WITH AWE

SEE WITH WONDERWhat a beautiful idea. Imagine if we could see at least one thing this way every day. What joy that would bring. Peace too.

How do we do this?  We don’t see as we did when we were children. With wonderment. Over time our senses have dulled. We’ve seen so much. Perhaps too much. There may be things we wish we have never seen. Continue reading

BE WILLING TO TAKE A NEW STAND

Sedona Red Rock“Sometimes a slight change in where we stand can dramatically change how we see things.”
~ Melody Beattie

I love how this is true both literally and symbolically.

For a literal example, consider the Red Rock formations of Sedona, Arizona. Many of them are named according to how they look when viewed from certain vantage points, such as Merry-Go-Round, Snoopy, and God’s Chair. 

We used to live near what is called “Coffee Pot Rock.” From that area, the formation does resemble an old style percolator. But, when seen from various spots along hiking trails, that same rock can look like a chicken or just a rock with no meaningful shape.

May we be willing to see things differently by making changes in how and where we stand on positions and life situations, especially if we find ourselves seeing ourselves and others as wrong, bad, or just not good enough.

Today, let’s take a stand that allows us to see beauty.

BEAUTY IS…

 

 

 

Happy Spring on the Northern Hemisphere. As daylight increases in the outer world, let’s aim to better see the light of beauty within us. Beauty Is

 

SPRING CLEAN

 

Clean heart“Create in me a clean heart, O God…”  

                                     ~ Psalm 51:10

I love this psalm.
Long ago I had a vinyl record of a song inspired by this passage. I can still play it in my mind. 

 

As winter ends and spring draws near, let’s make way for heart cleanings and clearings.

 

 

Intend to release judgments, regrets, and resentments. Consider using, today and every day, a song, a prayer, a ritual, an affirmation, some activity that helps you open to the grace of letting go, with love and compassion. 

                                                      

FRESH STARTS

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”

~ Rebecca West

 

Spiral basketWatch for circles today. Look for signs of fresh starts and new beginnings. With the gift of hope, trust in what is ahead and just around the corner.

 

The quote and reflection/suggestion above was a recent Today’s Touchstone. One subscriber wrote and shared this:

 

“I saw many circles starting this morning – my coffee mug, my watch, my cereal bowl, top of the milk jug, a planter, a sweet candle holder, a ring, the letter o in the word love. New beginnings – getting home early from work, allowing myself to take a short nap at work for renewing my energy, not worrying when someone cancels or reschedules…”

 

Myself, I happened to be traveling that day. Along with clocks, road signage, and round-abouts, I spotted many art objects at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, like this woven basket. The spiral within the circle reminds me that life is a journey for each of us. 

 

Every day is a good day to notice beautiful circular patterns in the outer world and, with a sense of nowness and newness, be ready for fresh starts. Blessings for your path!

 

BEAUTY: SOME QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

What are some ways that you experience beauty? Perhaps by listening to music? Arranging flowers? Volunteering?

Notice Beauty

In what places do you see beauty?

Do you sense your own beauty? Both inner and outer? 

Recall a time when you acted with beauty. How did you feel?

Into what situations and areas of your life would like to bring more beauty?

WHEN DESPAIR AND FEAR GROW: REST IN THE GRACE OF THE WORLD

three cranes at pond“When despair for the world grows in me…
I rest in the grace of the world, and I am free.”   

                 – Wendell Berry

 

In The Peace of Wild Things,
poet Wendell Berry shares the power
that nature holds for him. 

 

 

When he fears what the future might hold 
for him and his children,
he goes to “where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water,
and the great heron feeds.”

In the midst of the world’s business and busyness,
whether we go in reality or in our imagination,
let’s often bring ourselves 
to a place where we can be soothed, healed, and uplifted     
by the grace of the natural world.
May we rest in beauty and peace, and faith too,
with reverence for life as a touchstone. 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

Mothers Day

 

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Looks for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ ” – Fred Rogers

 

Mindful of hope, let’s look for the helpers.
Mindful of beauty, let’s be the helpers.
Mindful of wisdom, let’s nurture others with this perspective.

 

 

With love and gratitude for my mom and all moms, Happy Mother’s Day!