“When before the beauty of a sunset or a mountain, you pause and exclaim, “Ah,” you are participating in divinity.” Joseph Campbell
Have you ever just sat quietly and let the sound of the birds chirping enter into your ears without having to reach out for the sound? How about letting your eyes stay soft and allowing the colors to come into you without straining to see them, grabbing them and pulling them in? I call it being in the flow.
Natural beauty surrounds most of us most of the time. Yet we can so easily become addicted to the thoughts in our heads that we don’t notice. Of course it works with music, art, tastes, and everything that fills our senses.
What about the unpleasant sights and sounds that we’d just as soon not engage? I just have to flow with it. It’s that Buddhists concept of no grasping, no pushing away. And we get to choose the focus.
I do not believe we can put our heads in the sand and refuse to see things that we may be able to have some positive impact on, even if it is just witnessing the thing we find appalling, or saying a prayer. We can bring the beauty of our own heart to the situation, and in that some healing has taken place. And then we can we can carry it around with us, letting it weigh us down for a long time, or we can choose to let it go.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Rumi
Whenever I am attuned to beauty, it seems to be everywhere. When I am focused on my worries, fears, anger (all about the past or future) rather than just being with what is here right now, I miss the amazing beauty that always surrounds me.
One day I realized, “I’m walking along this path with tears rolling down my face. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and there is new life everywhere I look. The beauty fills me and makes my heart smile, even while grief works through me.” What a gift.
If I am not practiced in recognizing beauty it will pass me by and I will only be experiencing the grief. That makes me feel like I may get stuck in it, and therefore should not let myself feel it at all. If that were the case it would definitely get stuck in me and a part of me would become deadened. I have experienced the truth in the old adage that you can only feel joy to the degree that you can feel pain, or any feelings.
We can’t have light without the dark, yet we can bring a flashlight with us into the basement! Who knows what secret beauty is lurking there for us?
“Do not waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is beautiful in your life right now where you sit? Maybe it’s the face of your spouse, the feeling you get when your cat jumps in your lap, or the incredible painting hanging on your wall that you haven’t noticed in awhile. You can let them be a part of your flow, right along with whatever else occupies you. It’ll often bring a needed perspective shift in the moment you change your focus!
I wrote a blog this week called three ways to open to love and peace everyday. I talked about forgiveness, developing a heart of gratitude and self-compassion. There are many ways to experience more love, ease and peace in your life. One of them is to stop when you are feeling stuck in any way and softly open your senses to the beauty around you. You will not feel stuck for long. You may not feel great joy either, but you will be able to feel whatever is present and that is a must for healing.
And remember that light and dark always exist side by side. You get to choose which one will get your attention, your energy and your life.
Blessings on our journeys,
PS As I went through my photos to select something for this musing, I found beautiful sunsets, incredible beaches, awesome mountaintops, and the kind of flowers no one can miss. Yet I wanted something that is more of an everyday kind of beauty that one could easily miss if not really looking. I found many, so if you are interested click on this link and have a look, just for fun. I realize there is much beauty in faces, but being a nature photographer I don’t have many of those. But just look around, they’re everywhere!