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Beauty Overlooked

I thought today of all days was a time to encourage you to look through the world as if you were an artist. For must of us, all we have to do is step out the door to see obvious beauty -- a soft pink cloud, the reflection of light on a field, the bloom of a brilliant flower -- yet even these can be overlooked when our hearts are heavy. I ask you to examine your world more deeply from what you choose see to what you choose do, this small change in behavior will bring small joys that will fill you up and cost you nothing.

Reframe how you see beauty. Take the common crow outside your window, the one that wakes you up with its harsh cawing. Crows are extremely intelligent birds known for their problem-solving skills and amazing communication skills. When I hear them screeching I wonder what they are saying to each other? What are they detecting in their world that they must share? What do they see that I don't? Are they truly black or a deep indigo? What if I painted them in a different color, would it take their crow-ness away? It's a brief moment of wonder but it is a welcome pause in the usual rush of worries and to-do lists.

Our actions can also be framed as a way of making something beautiful out of something tedious or mundane. The act of doing laundry or emptying the trash are opportunities to reflect on our abundance. This reminds me of the task of locking up the house at night. I used to resent it as being my job until it was framed as a way of putting the house to sleep at night and providing me the chance to thank it for keeping my family warm and safe.

So much of life's beauty is about how it is framed and I find the act of intentionally searching for it, whether it's for artistic inspiration or to connect more deeply with the world, helps to quiet all the noise. We only get one pass through this miraculous life, so as the poet Mary Oliver would ask, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" I would ask what beauty can you find within your one wild and precious day?

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