Rather than focusing on the negative “news” that is delivered directly to us, by people we love, know or work with, or from the media or the internet, wouldn’t we be wise to spend just a small amount of time turning away from that barrage of ugly information and toward the beautiful people and things that also cross our paths each day?
Confucius said, “Everything in life is beautiful, but not everyone sees it.” Is it possible that is because we fail to look for it? Maybe you can change that, at least for yourself, just five minutes at a time.
Five minutes a day –seven days a week – is not much time to devote to a quest for beauty, but there is a strong possibility that it could be enough. However, the only way to find out for sure is to give it a try – so wouldn’t today, whatever day you happen to be reading this, be a really good best day to start? Are you ready, willing and able to begin a real quest for beauty, just five minutes at a time?
Day 1 – Take Five to make a quick list of your favorite things; things that to you are beautiful. Ex: Warm chocolate chip cookies coming right out of the oven, your favorite child giggling from his toes, a favorite song by your personal teen age idol, a lovely family heirloom, a gorgeous sky above you, fresh mown grass, mashed potatoes and gravy, Angelina Jolie, Matthew McConaughey, toasted marshmallows, Christmas trees and the Statue of Liberty. Feel your mood elevate as the list gets longer and longer.
Day 2 – Take Five this evening to sit in the dark – pitch dark. Allow yourself to consider the beauty that lies within both darkness and light – peace and quiet– activity and rest – clarity and muddiness – stillness and busyness – joy and sadness – order and chaos -color and no color Beauty often resides in life’s contrasts and each element is equally precious.
Day 3 – Take Five to spend outdoors – alone (hot weather or cold.) Sit or stand in one place and observe the vast variety of creation around you – plants, animals, ground, sky, rocks, insects, trees. Absorb the enormity of God’s creativity. The beauty of nature lies in both its individual expression and its infinite variety of expressions. Accept your own precious piece in the vast Universal puzzle. There is no other person on this planet exactly like you.
Day 4 – Take Five to introduce yourself to someone you’ve never really talked to before. Begin by knowing that there is a gift for you in that person that will bless you. Tell them that you are taking five precious minutes of your life to connect with a new soul. Learn all you can about that person in five minutes and allow yourself to be amazed by his or her unique expression of Spirit – because every person is beautiful, if and when you allow them to be.
Day 5 – Take Five to think about how you earn your living or spend the bulk of your time. Ask yourself, “Am I doing what I love and loving what I do?” And if the answer is “no”, then ask yourself, “why not?” Experiences are only beautiful to you if you are willingly and joyfully invested in them. You deserve that kind of beauty in your life every day.
Day 6 – Take Five to complete one little undone chore. Fold the laundry, clean out the trunk of your car, write a thank you note or e-mail, return a phone call, pack away the last Christmas wrapping or ornament? Just one – and then take an extra minute to feel the beautiful peace and satisfaction that comes with personal accomplishment. A series of small personal accomplishments lead to bigger, better ones every time.
Day 7 – Take Five to think about your own body. The magnificence of the creation of your human body can almost not be comprehended. It is a divine instrument – truly wondrously made. Are you feeding it well, keeping it clean, clothing it appropriately? Are you taking time to groom and nurture and exercise it? Your body will grow in beauty and wellness if you tend to it carefully, and you can always start doing that, just five minutes at a time.
If you enjoyed these little five minute observations of the beauty that rests right before your eyes, repeat it next week, except that next time you choose where and how you will look for the beauty in your daily life. Who knew that life could seem so much richer, just five minutes at a time?
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