I was cruising through Facebook today when a quote from Toni Morrison jumped off the screen and pierced my heart. It read: "At some point in life, the world's beauty becomes enough." I sat staring at the screen, feeling the resonance of her words deep within me. I've been thinking about beauty a lot lately because it's become such an important part of my daily life.
I've spent the summer on a kind of mini sabbatical, resting and recalibrating from a busy few years of travel. I needed to give myself time and space and attention to restore my life force. I missed feeling alive. As I've allowed the emptiness to fill, in its own way and in its own time, I'm realizing things about myself I hadn't noticed before.
I'm a curator of beauty. I love to create destinations that are delightful and pleasing to the eye. I remove screens from windows that impede a beautiful view. I plant trees in places where I can appreciate them throughout the day. I place delicious soaps - soaps that smell like wild lilacs or lemony mint, in the guest room of our home so our friends can enjoy the beautiful scents. And I use flowers and seashells and photographs - anything that speaks to my sensibilities in the moment - to make "sweet spots" around the house.
Here's today's spot over the kitchen sink:
I also love sharing beautiful images with friends. Here's a photo of the sunflower field blooming in our neighborhood this week:
For years I've taught people to pay close attention to their gifts - the things they do easily that bring them deep satisfaction and peace. Often the gifts that come naturally to us can get woven into the fabric of our daily lives so tightly that it's hard to see them for what they are - significant sources of joy. You might be the gal who gets great satisfaction in finding the right words for those in need, or the teacher who uses humor to help his or her students feel less self-conscious as they learn.
These abilities are gifts not because they serve others (although it's great when they do), but because they serve us. They touch us in deep places that somehow make everything right with the world. They provide us with a kind of solace that can get us through tough times. And they become a source of joy that offer us a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
As I read Morrison's quote this morning, I was reminded of the fact that beauty provides me with so much of what I need. And it inspired me to name my gift of creating beauty as a way of honoring its presence in my life. It's a holy part of who I am and it deserves to be cherished, respected and fed.
Your gifts deserve to be honored as well. If you look closely at what you do everyday - something that makes you feel satisfied and at peace, I bet you'll see that it also makes the world a more beautiful place, too. Watch for it, claim it, and name it. It's that important...
Take Action Challenge
This week, see if you can step outside of yourself and watch for what you do effortlessly that makes you feel happy and content. If you're not able to see your gift, ask a friend or family member to watch for it and tell you what they notice. Here's something beautiful just for you.
You can watch it, here. Thanks, Kelly!