Tag Archive | BEAUTY

A REMINDER TO BE REAL

 

 

Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness. If it doesn’t feel vulnerable, the sharing is probably not constructive.”

 

– Brene Brown

It takes courage to be vulnerable. Fortunately we all have courage built in to us. Of course, we need to use wisdom along with courage regarding how much to share in a given situation. But even if what we communicate is appropriately on a surface level, we can still share it in a way that keeps us honest and authentic.

With courage, let’s remove any masks
we’re wearing and bravely show the world
the magnificent real person that we are.                    

Be you. Be real. You are beautiful.
Strong and courageous too.

Truly,
​​​​​​​Charlene

 

HOW DO WE FIND AND GROW OUR INNER WEALTH?

 

 

“I’d gone though my life believing in the strength and competence of others; never my own. Now, dazzled, I discovered that my capacities were real. It was like finding a fortune in the lining of an old coat.”                 ~ Joan Mills

We’ve probably all known the delight of finding money when it was needed. I can recall college days and newlywed times of finding a few dollar bills in a purse or a handful of change between sofa pillows. I wouldn’t say I was dazzled, but I was elated. I might have even jumped for joy.

Did you know that about $2 billion in lottery prizes go unclaimed every year? And there’s an estimated $850 million lying unclaimed in lost and forgotten bank accounts.

What is the undiscovered and untapped wealth within us worth? Far more than any amount of money.

If we only knew how to readily claim and develop our inner resources of love, talent, courage, hope, imagination, compassion, faith – all our gifts – we could achieve a rare way of living life, being fully ourselves.

With faith and enthusiasm, let’s look within ourselves every day for discoveries of our gifts. Let’s also do something, however small, to cultivate and grow them everyday. One way to grow our gifts is to use them everyday.

“How do I do that?” you might ask. There are many ways. I will offer two here.

At least once each day stretch beyond blah feelings, angry feelings, hurtful feelings and choose to act kindly, caringly. In other words, decide to use the gift of love even if you don’t feel like it. 

To symbolize and strengthen your intention to grow your inner wealth, start with a clear jar similar to the one in the photo. Every time you notice a demonstration of any one of the gifts – either within yourself or another person – add a coin to the jar, even if it’s just a penny. Every seemingly little penny will contribute to the growth of actual money in the jar just as every seemingly little act of courage or statement of hope will be growing your conscious awareness and appreciation of your inner wealth.

Watch for examples of all the forms of strength in your personal life, in the world, in books, films, everywhere. Look for the word “strength” on billboards, on TV ads, everywhere. Become more aware of strength, especially in yourself.  Do this with each of The Twelve Gifts: strength, beauty, courage, compassion, hope, joy, talent, imagination, reverence, wisdom, love and faith.  If you do this, whether or not you use the money jar, you will be growing your gifts. But the visible symbol and action of adding coins to the jar will help anchor your intention and commitment. It will also be fun.

You are likely to collect some interesting stories about each gift too. If you feel inclined to add any here, please do! We will all benefit. Send your story the contact box or enter it in the comment area. If you wish to know of some true story examples of others growing their gifts, you can find a collection of them in TOUCHSTONES: STORIES FOR LIVING THE TWELVE GIFTS. This book is available both as a paperback and as an e-book. You can also access stories about each of the gifts right here, on this home page, to the right of this blog. 

Happy hunting!

With love,
Charlene

 

 

 

 

 

 

With joy,
Charlene

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

WHEN SOMEONE DIES: THE BEAUTY IN DEATH

Adult holding baby's hand

Beauty? Yes. Along with deep pain and confusion, it seems to me there is awesome beauty present every time someone passes from life as we know it.

 

This is inspired by, and dedicated to, a young man named Shawn. He died in a car accident a few days ago. Tragic? Yes. Especially since he left two young sons. He will be missed by many, especially two little boys.

 

 

Shawn is not a family member of mine; he was not a close friend. I knew him more than twenty-five years ago when he himself was a little boy and lived down the street from us in Jamestown, New York. He was a school mate of my two daughters.

 

 

And yet I am deeply and directly touched today, all these years later, by Shawn and by his passing. I am seeing today how the news of Shawn’s death has shaken hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people.  Many ask, Why?! We don’t know the answer.

 

 

I like to think, to believe, that Shawn is now in a “place” where everything makes sense, where he sees how all the puzzling pieces fit together and he has compassion for all of us still struggling to understand. I do hope he is experiencing peace and joy and I am praying for his family. Words fail to address what I imagine is howling hurt for them.

 

 

The beauty I see is how, for a moment, or a few minutes, or several hours, or maybe days, life becomes precious for so many of us. We remember that our time here is limited. During the time of raw shock and hurt, masks are removed, armor is lifted, and we allow ourselves to be more vulnerable. More real.

 

 

Yes, it hurts. And yet somehow we see better. We see that life is precious.

 

 

Yes, hearts are broken and yet opened too. And there is so much love and light and reverence and compassion pouring out.

 

 

I get the sense that Shawn is smiling as he sees so much caring and kindness among so many people now. I imagine him saying, “Yes! Yes, everyone. That is what it’s all about! Love yourself! Love one another. Love life!”

 

 

I hear you, Shawn. Thank you. Bless you. Bless your family, your dear children. May they be gently carried and cradled now by Love Itself.

 

Life is precious.

 

 

Why can’t we live with this awareness all the time? At least in more of our time here?

 

 

What if, every morning, we say to ourselves, “This could be my last day here. This could be the last day of life for one of my loved ones?”  Without becoming morbid or fearful, how might we remind ourselves, every day, that life is precious? How do we choose to live well each day, with gratitude, compassion, and reverence for all life?

FAITH IN THE MIDST OF LIFE’S STORMS

Tree limbs in a storm

I was recently on vacation with my husband at Sanibel Island, Florida. It was not the week of swimming, shelling, and strolling that we had been eagerly anticipating. Tropical Storm Debby arrived the same day that we did. Although we didn’t get to do most of the things we had planned, it turned out to be a truly lovely vacation, in part because, like all of life’s storms, my appreciation for life’s gifts deepened as I weathered that one.

 

During  that week, I was often reminded how the wind is like faith. We can’t see it directly but we can see its effects in our lives.

Flower petals after storm

 

During respites from rain, I went out and looked for beauty. I found it in many places, including the way leaves, limbs, and flowers were strewn about by the wind. For example, I came upon a floral arrangement in a bird bath, designed by nature.

 

Faith - Beach after stormDuring a walk on the beach after the storm, I came upon a little “bridge” that was formed by two limbs placed side-by-side by wave action. To me, that seemed like nature’s encouragement to step up, cross over, and begin something new, with courage.

 

No matter what is happening in the outer world–whatever the weather–we can experience joy. We can find beauty. We can open our hearts to love and compassion. We can listen for guidance from the voice of wisdom.

LOOK UP!

 

Look Up Moss in Tree

Please try this: Sometime today, pause, and for a moment, look up. Be open to see something new. Or, look all around you and be open to seeing differently.

While out for a walk this morning, I stopped under a tree and did this.  Just then, the stillness in the air was replaced by a sweet gentle breeze. A string of Spanish Moss hanging from a branch directly over my head swayed back and forth and then twirled in circles.  Can you see it?  It seemed to be dancing with delight. The child in me imagined that the moss somehow noticed my attention. Continue reading