“Whenever I experience something beautiful, I am with Soul. That moment of inward breath, that pause and awareness of ‘how beautiful this is’ is a prayer of appreciation, a moment of gratitude in which I behold beauty and am one with it.”
~ Jean Shinoda Bolen
Some of you may have noticed (or are regularly visiting) our Practice Space where we offer a Daily Question to enhance grateful awareness. Each day we are moved by and learn from the responses that appear. The reflections are joyful, poignant, subtle, poetic, loving, generous, sophisticated, playful, vulnerable, and, of course, infused with gratitude.
In a time and a world where there is such suffering, turmoil, grief, and concern, we are moved to uplift the transcendent and transformative possibilities of beauty to which Jean Shinoda Bolen points in her words above. As such, we offer the following selection of responses to one of our recent Daily Questions. May these reflections serve to open you to beauty in and around you.
Where is beauty in your immediate surroundings, right now?
“This foot at the end of my body; the beauty of its design of so many bones that bear and balance me through the years; it’s ability to flex and stretch and accommodate changes in terrain; the aliveness rising the more I look at it. Yes a foot is a beautiful thing no matter its shape!” ~ Malag
“My guitar is hanging on the wall next to me, and it’s a work of art.” ~ RyanMopo
“There is sunshine coming through the windows and reflecting off the walls in the room I’m in. The whole room is filled with sun. It’s even shining off one of the book titles on the shelf.” ~ HotSauce
“…this is the first morning in as long as I can recall since dealing with this emotional state that I have been to truly perceive the beauty that is constantly there no matter how it may be obscured or made intensely opaque by life circumstances, pain, dark clouds instead of sunshine and puffy-cloud laden blue skies. All is needed for wholeness and all is a gift just in different ways.” ~ Creek, (This response is an excerpt from a fuller reflection)
“I am currently in a choir room where I teach, surrounded by young adults who find joy in making music together. There is so much beauty in the blending of their voices and their enthusiasm for the arts!” ~ Alicia Esposito
“There is beauty and joy in the laughter of the children I hear in my school building. There is love and courage in the faces of the teachers who guide them. There is love and beauty and acceptance for which I am forever grateful in the voice of my friend on the phone when we pray together.” ~ Lisa
“There is the beauty of innocence in a photo I rummaged out of a shoe box yesterday. Two very young children, I, around 2 1/2, my brother 1 1/2. On 3/30 I got word from a county sheriff he died from a probable heart attack. I then notified his sons & my 3 older brothers. I soak in the beauty of those good memories of 61 years shared on this planet. He now dances amongst the stars & cosmos, little prince that he was in this photo. ‘It is only with the heart that one sees rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.’…” ~ Carla
“There is something I can’t explain about the sound of the ticking of the clock while I sit in morning silence open to the day that is emerging with the light.” ~ RoyHoward
“A beloved man with whom to live is sitting nearby, our dear old dog is curled on the ottoman; I hear the ticking of a mantle clock from a great-grandmother and the growing light from the east as my part of the earth turns toward the sun announces a new day.” ~ Patricia
“It’s still dark outside so it’s hard to see beauty there. Here is beauty in my first cup of herbal tea that is warming me up on this cool day. In the background I hear the ticking of our wall clock which was purchased several years ago during a trip to Turkey which brings back beautiful memories…I see beauty in the food of our refrigerator which nourishes our body, our wedding photo which sits on top of our entertainment centre as well as a bunch of dried roses that my wife had kept during one of my gift givings…my senses are beauty and I cherish having the ability to use them to experience life.” ~ Devy
“Beauty is in the hearts and souls of those whom surround me.” ~ EJP
“This website. Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful. (Sufi Inayat Khan). You, all here in this group, make this place beautiful for me.” ~ Christine
“My clean dishes I just washed.” ~ Barbara Kitchens
“My cats, my desk, a photo of my mother who recently passed away, a poster sized photo of 34th street in Manhattan that my husband took, memorabilia from our various trips that we’ve taken together. Oh and a box of cat toys.” ~ Cliff
“The beauty is life itself, the cat curled up on a nearby chair, our dog, content and old asleep at my feet as I write within my little room, not quite an office, my shabby sanctuary and keeper of decades. Right now, the gentle patter of rain against the window behind where I have the privilege to sit, reminds me just how small I am in the whirling cog of things. And my never tidy counter, adorned with favorite rocks that speak; a two-foot plaster sculpture of who else, but me, a gift from a child now many years ago; and finally, on my door, a collage of family faces staring right back at me, a gift last year when I turned seventy.” ~ Kevin
“The beautiful ‘mother’s rocker,’ just across the room from me, made by my grandfather when my grandmother was pregnant. It’s 105 years old. Her baby, my father, died at 70. I’m 76, still going strong, taking long fast walks, doing pushups from the kitchen counter. Grateful! (P.S. A mother’s rocker has very low arms so a woman can hold her baby without her elbows bumping wood.)” ~ Kate Maloy
“My six year old, curled up and asleep beside me.” ~ Anne Larbes DeLorean
“In my heart, my soul and absolutely everything that surrounds and is within me.” ~ Terry Hall
We offer our deepest thanks to all of you who shared the descriptions of beauty around you. We are grateful to the big-hearted photographers who generously share their images through Unsplash, a few of which are featured here. If you would like to add a rich practice to your life, we invite you to visit our Practice Space and join the welcoming community who connect there each day.
And for you, where is beauty in your immediate surroundings, right now? We invite you to share your reflections below…