“Beauty was not simply something to behold; It was something one could do.”
—Toni Morrison, late American novelist
Image from Unsplash by Blake Wisz
My son-in-law Chris did something beautiful on a Friday night a few weeks ago. He made homemade pizza. Discussing his process of proofing special pizza flour for 48 hours and making his sauce with fresh garlic and basil made us all drool as we waited for its exit from the oven. He topped off his masterpiece with mozzarella and locatelli, which brought back memories of my mom from childhood. I devoured four pieces and had to restrain myself from another.
We all took delight in the joy Chris experienced as he created and presented his work of art with love. He now intends to begin baking homemade bread.
How much beauty do you experience each day? Where and how can you create more beauty in your world to please and delight yourself and those around you?
“You cannot have a beautiful life if you always focus on ugliness in others.”
—Debasish Mridha, M.D. physician, writer, philosopher, and philanthropist
Image from Unsplash by Sebastian Herrmann
How much beauty do you see and experience on a typical day? How much ugliness are you observing in your personal and professional communities?
A colleague who happens to be a lawyer recently shared considerable frustration and general unhappiness with the dog-eat-dog, fight-fire-with-fire approach to much of their work, stating that work has become increasingly ugly and that waking each morning to do more of it with no end in sight is crushing their soul.
Where and how can you seek and find more beauty in the people around you?
What shifts in perspective and behavior can you offer others so that they, too, can have a more beautiful life?
“Discover your beauty cracks and all. These are your gifts of imperfection.”
Image from Unsplash by Joeyy Lee
Our cracks, flaws, and mistakes are simply a part of our humanity.
By accepting them as gifts and understanding our imperfections we can also begin to accept and appreciate others for their beautiful humanness.
God doesn’t make junk and he wants us to fully accept and love one another as we are.
It is our daily acts of kindness and goodness that allow us to fill the cracks to be whole and our own unique work of art.
Where and how can you discover more of your own beauty in the gifts of your imperfections?
Consider reading The Gift of Imperfection by Brené Brown
“Open your eyes to the beauty around you. Open your mind to the wonders of life. Open your heart to those who love you, and always be true to yourself.”
—Maya Angelou, late American poet, memoirist, civil rights activist
Only four presidents — John F. Kennedy in 1961, Bill Clinton in 1993 and 1997, Barack Obama in 2009 and 2013, and Joe Biden in 2021 — have included poets in their inaugurations. Maya Angelou was one of those six poets. I hope her nuggets of wisdom in today’s quote resonates for you.
Please take a look and explore the work of these six poets, and the messages for their time in history:
2021: Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb”
2013: Richard Blanco, “One Today”
2009: Elizabeth Alexander, “Praise Song for the Day”
1997: Miller Williams, “Of History and Hope”
1993: Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning”
1961: Robert Frost, “The Gift Outright”
“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”
—Franz Kafka, 20th Century German-speaking Bohemian novelist
Image from Unsplash by Mitchell Maglio
The phrase Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder can only take us so far in life. Given the increasing pace of our lives, many of us struggle with even taking the time to perceive and fully appreciate the beauty around and within our world.
Considering beauty as a fountain of youth may cause all of us to take a far more comprehensive look at this skill, much like our current efforts to eat better, exercise more, and get the rest we need to be our best, for ourselves and those we love.
Where and in what ways can and will you more fully experience and delight in all the miraculous beauty around and within you?
Hopefully, just the anticipation of doing so will put a lot more youthful pep in your step!
“Some people look for a beautiful place, while other people make a place beautiful.”
—Hazrat Inayat Khan, 19th Century Founder of the Sufi Order
Image from Unsplash by Anna Kolosyuk
We have all heard the quote, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
If this is true, how much beauty have you beheld today? Many people believe they must visit special places like new cities, national parks, or other bucket list destinations to see such beauty.
Those more tuned into the power of beauty to inspire and enliven our worlds discover and see beauty in the more familiar people, places and things right in their own yards.
Today’s quote challenges us to take a step further to see and become a proactive creator of beauty instead of just a consumer of it.
Where and in what ways can you bring – or better yet, create – a more beautiful world to inspire yourself and others in your communities?
“There is just as much beauty visible to us in the landscape as we are prepared to appreciate – not a grain more.”
—Henry David Thoreau, 19th Century American essayist, poet, and philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Ron Dauphin
We have all heard the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” For whatever reason, I and perhaps many of you simply glance at this phrase and give only a passing nod of acknowledgement.
In August, my wife Wendy and I took the trip of a lifetime to Africa, Iceland, and Ireland with two good friends. Three weeks and thousands of mouth-gaping experiences and photographs gave us a new and expanded appreciation of the beauty of our planet and its people.
How and in what ways can you enhance your capacity to see and appreciate the beauty all around you by looking more deeply into your own communities – and of course, booking your next bucket list adventure?
“These are the things that our souls metabolize to be healthy: we need beauty, we need truth, and we need goodness.”
—John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market
Did you know that the human body can go for more than three weeks without food? The maximum time we can go without water is about a week.
Protein, carbohydrates, and fats make up our food and nourish our bodies for optimal health.
Today’s quote suggests that feeding our souls requires beauty, truth, and goodness if we are to flourish and thrive.
What is it that you hunger for? What do your body and soul need most for optimal health? How would incorporating greater beauty, truth, and goodness in each day enrich and improve your life?
“Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.”
image from positivelyaging.org
Many years ago, when Saturday Night Live was in its first years, there was a funny series of skits portrayed by Billy Crystal, titled “Fernando’s Hideaway.” His signature line was “You Look Mah-velous!”
With not a hair out of place, Fernando always says “I would rather look good than feel good, you know?” In our society today, we can observe this “looking good” approach to life success through the material, or status trappings many people pursue.
Alternatively, there has been a very significant journey inward for many people, where greater health, wisdom, and spiritual growth are increasingly valued and pursued.
Explore and take one action today that would enhance your mental, emotional, or spiritual worlds. Consider making this exercise a daily habit, and don’t be surprised if this inner work makes you look better on the outside, because you will be wearing considerably more smiles.