We can practice beauty through what is known as the giveaway*—which helps us experience greater happiness and well-being while transforming the world — bringing beauty and healing where there is ugliness, alleviating the suffering of others, and creating peace where there is conflict.
Few of us see beauty for more than a fleeting instant. The giveaway of beauty calls on us to recognize beauty in everything and point it out to everyone. Let someone else explain why it will not last, why it is sure to fade away with age, or is not as important as someone else’s bad news, gossip, drama, or pessimism. Let people believe that you are naïve, that you are not in touch with reality or that you do not watch the news.
When you practice the giveaway of beauty, you have time in your life, because beauty takes you into timelessness. Beauty requires stillness, pausing, stopping in your tracks at the sight of the new blossom on the almond tree, or the cactus flower that only blooms for one night.
Bring beauty to every moment by smiling sincerely. Give others your joy. Give others the gift of seeing the beauty within them and within every situation. Beauty will seek and find you. As you recognize beauty in others, acknowledge it to them. Speak words of beauty, including the words “Thank you.” Find something beautiful in every person you speak with, even if it is a difficult and challenging conversation. Bring flowers home. Say a gracious word to a colleague. Uplift a friend. And then take a good look in the mirror and notice the beauty in the face smiling back at you! Really, yes, that is who you are!
“Seeing beauty is not a passive act—it is an active and empowering deed. When you see beauty above all else, you are transforming the map you carry of reality, and that most likely you inherited from your parents when you were young. When your internal maps are graced with beauty, your outer world is likewise infused with peace and splendor.”
Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D The Heart if the Shaman: Stories and Practices of the Luminous Warrior
Imagine the peace you would bring to your life and that of your family, country, and the world by practicing the giveaway of beauty. Learn more in this week’s blog.
*The Native American giveaway, or potlatch, is a ceremonial practice in which property and gifts are distributed. The purpose of the giveaway is to share of themselves and to teach people how to release possessions.