Welcome to DAY 5 of our practice. Let’s begin…

Quote over image with dew on grass.

Please close your eyes while you take three slow, deep breaths. Then open your eyes and consider the invitation to: “Notice Beauty.

We sense that beauty is so much more than simply an aesthetic that evokes pleasure. Living gratefully opens our eyes to beauty. In pointing to the depth and significance of beauty, it can be helpful to look to the poets. In “Beauty: The Invisible Embrace,” poet John O’Donohue writes: “The human soul is hungry for beauty… When we experience the Beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming. Some of our most wonderful memories are beautiful places where we felt immediately at home. We feel most alive in the presence of the Beautiful for it meets the needs of our soul…Without any of the usual calculation, we can slip into the Beautiful with the same ease as we slip into the seamless embrace of water; something ancient within us already trusts that this embrace will hold us.

And so let us be curious about beauty. Let us, as “the beholder,” look for and find beauty “where others have not dared to look.”

Today, we invite you to:

  • Set an intention to notice beauty. Notice how simply setting this intention impacts you.
  • Note some of the many forms beauty takes: a graceful gesture; a rugged worn face; a play of light on the sidewalk; music; a poem; the intricate veins of a leaf…
  • Where is beauty in YOU? This may be uncomfortable to consider, but please do. How might you express beauty in the world?
  • Reflect on the role of beauty in the lives of humans throughout history. John O’Donohue speaks of beauty meeting “the needs of soul.” What is your sense of the significance of beauty?
  • At day’s end, reflect upon what you noticed, how it feels and what might have changed as a result of following your intention to notice beauty.
  • Write about your experiences in a journal and/or share below.

Deepening Resources

If you would like to explore this topic further, you might appreciate:


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Enjoy the full eight-day A Grateful Day | A Grateful Year practice.