In The Beginning… Part II

See Beautiful ™  gave me an opportunity to share how I see beautiful.  I’m so glad I took it because it made me feel like I was rising like air.  Little did I know the process would be the catalyst to start doing “something”, even if “something” was small.

The following is reprinted with permission from See Beautiful™  ©2013

I am very honoured that Lydia has given me the opportunity to share how I see beautiful in myself and the world around me.  Thank you Lydia for helping me to see beautiful every day.

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Photo credit: J. Fries 2013

The word beauty brings obvious things to my mind: my family, a new born baby, a fall day, holding hands, fireflies, a child’s hug.  Just thinking of those things puts a smile on my face and a warm feeling of satisfaction washes over me; I can feel the beauty.  However, I’ve learned beauty is not always obvious.

I love to explore my creativity through drawing and painting.  I usually start off with a vague idea, nothing too detailed.  I’m always intrigued to see what it turns into.  I was experimenting with colour wash effects which consisted of wetting my paper, randomly dropping paint from my brush onto the paper and allowing it to flow. As I set them aside to dry I fleetingly thought one “sorta looks like some fruit”.  Later when I came back I thought, “Hmmm, now it looks more like a clown.”   What started out as a simple exercise in experimentation resulted in a painting that I quite liked; beauty can be very unexpected.

Shortly after finishing the painting I was reading through some of the inspirational quotes I collect and four caught my attention.

  •  “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb.  That’s where the fruit is.”  H. Jackson Browne
  • “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”  John Lubbock
  • “People see only what they are prepared to see.”  Ralph Waldo Emmerson
  • “Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view.”  Obi-Wan Kenobi

Reading them made me think of the painting, and especially how we interpret beauty.  I decided to inspire myself and some of my friends by putting the quotes and painting together, creating bookmarks to give as gifts. I was surprised how many other things people saw in the picture and how much they appreciated the bookmarks. More unexpected beauty, and it felt fantastic.

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Photo credit: J. Fries 2013

I think we’ve all had some days that do not feel beautiful at all.  The beauty is hiding, elusive; but even then, I’m learning that it’s still there.  A few weeks ago I spent too many apprehensive hours in the ER waiting to be assured I was fine.  I was trying to see beautiful. I kept looking at my See Beautiful bracelet, but even it wasn’t really helping.  The waiting room was full, most waited in silence, I could feel the tension.  I just wanted to go home.  A woman came in, registered and sat down beside me.  She was the type of person who just blended in, but she exuded this beautiful calm.  Taking a hand held spindle from her bag she began to spin wool into yarn.  It seemed magical, as I watched the spindle dance and turn, the weight of waiting lifted.  People who had been silent for hours started asking her questions and visiting; a conversation began behind me.  The entire atmosphere was transformed in less than five minutes.  I looked up to see people smiling, my name was called; for a split second I was almost sorry I wouldn’t be able to hear the end of her story and see her finish spinning. I was sent home, all was well.  I think I might try my hand at spinning.

The beauty had been very elusive as the hours slowly ticked by, but it was there, and I’m very happy I recognized it.  The experience enabled me to see beautiful through the “Spinner” and by reaffirming my health.

The obvious, the unexpected and even the elusive; all beautiful.  The more I see beautiful the more I find to see beautiful in.  The more I see beautiful, the more I seem to experience synchronicity and opportunities arrive.  Remember the bookmarks?   One of the people I decided to share a bookmark with was Lydia because her dedication to empowering people, especially girls and women, to see beautiful everyday really inspires me.  The day she received the bookmark just so happened to be the day I emailed her a snow picture I had taken and wished her a beautiful day.  My first thought when I’d seen my snow covered van windows was “Yuck, I’ll have to scrape windows.”  Then I thought, “Wow, that’s kinda cool, like a blank canvas.”  On a whim, I decided to share that moment with See Beautiful ™.

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Photo credit: J. Fries 2013

Very unexpectedly, Lydia emailed me right back thanking me, and asking me if I’d like to share how I see beautiful.  I didn’t see that one coming.  However, it fit right in with what I’ve been feeling inspired to do, to help people recognize beauty when it’s especially elusive.  That’s when finding beautiful is a challenge.  It’s when people need to “see beautiful” the most.  Part of realizing that is helping people of all ages to go beyond thinking “outside the box”, to help them realize the box was never there in the first place.  I want to join in creating an environment where enthusiasm, thoughts, ideas and solutions have no bounds.  Where elusive becomes obvious.

I’ve been thinking about how to do this and Lydia has unknowingly helped me find my direction.  I’m excited to see where it will all lead.   I’m fairly certain it will be beautiful.

Footnote:  Even as I wrote that last paragraph, I knew my general direction but I had no idea exactly where it would lead or how I would get there.  My certainty was not misplaced; so far it has definitely been beautiful.   

Next Installment:  Obvious Beauty that has us Rising Like Air.

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