Part of living a contented (and centred) life and being satisfied with the present moment is taking time to notice the beauty that is around us every day of our lives that we more often than not take for granted and which is free to enjoy.
I have made it a daily practice to notice and soak up beauty – letting it sink in to the deep layers of my body and heart so that it fills me up with nourishing goodness.
Different people find different things beautiful – the beauty I see is often out in nature or in other people’s actions but it can also be in objects. Some beauty I have noticed lately is:
- My daughter’s face covered in blueberry squishes and the smell of her hair
- The aroma of wood smoke in the morning (now that the weather has gotten colder)
- The warming spices in my morning cup of chai
- Frothy milk ($3 well spent at IKEA – I can’t get enough of this froth!)
- The sun shining through the back of a wave at sunrise
- The golden moon appearing from behind clouds in the early evening after parent teacher interviews (a total gift after a long day)
- The sound of rain on leaves in my garden
These are things that I notice and express gratitude for every day. By aligning with beauty (and the source that created it) our sense of it only expands – as they say “Where attention goes energy flows”. It’s time to start paying attention.
Rick Hanson says:
‘The experience of beauty relieves stress, nourishes hope and reminds us that there’s much more to life than grinding through tasks’.
So much of a teacher’s day can be spent “grinding through tasks” but we do have a choice of whether we intersperse this “grind” with servings of beauty. Some examples for your students might be: a guided meditation; sitting under trees just listening while feeling the breeze on their skin; sharing a poem, a song or a beautiful flower…
It is alarming to think that our schools and therefore the lives of our children and teachers are becoming a grindstone – the purpose of which is to wear things down. I’d rather cultivate the opposite.
I know you can spare a few moments each day to open to beauty. You do have this choice but you have to make that choice. Really look at the things around you – especially the ordinary things we take for granted. Use all your senses to experience beauty in the environment and in other people. You could keep a beauty journal or take a photo when beauty strikes, or simply breathe it in. Deep.
How much beauty are you currently taking note of day to day and moment to moment?