— The Practice of Beauty – The Second Giveaway

Does this sound familiar? Are you stuck trolling the internet and watching news even though you know you will lose track of time and find yourself depressed and anxious at the end of the day? This is the second giveaway because hardly anyone remembers to look for beauty for more than a fleeting instant. Remembering to focus on beauty is especially hard to do in a culture that values clever expressions of cynicism and where “the news” is an endless repetition of fearful images. It is easy to get caught up in a negative downward spiral finding conspiracies and threats everywhere.

What can we do to stop the downward spiral? Stop, take a moment, and find something beautiful as soon as you wake up. Instead of turning on the TV or checking your phone, go outside and take a walk or take a few minutes to meditate. Close your eyes and clear your mind. Then open your eyes with the expectation of finding beauty in the sky, or the wind or rain. Seeing beauty is not a passive act. It requires pausing and mindfulness to see beauty all around you. It is taking time to sit and watch a sunset.

Seeing beauty is also an act of courage. When we point beauty out to someone, we take a risk. They may snarl explaining why it won’t last, why it is sure to fade away or why it’s not as important as cleaning up that mess over there. Or perhaps you will make the day of a fellow traveler who is also weary of all the ugliness and negativity and will find you to be a light in the darkness. Maybe you will become energized and find time to read stories to children or help an elderly neighbor with chores. The possibilities are endless as you courageously embrace beauty.

Starting your day looking for beauty allows you to step into timelessness. You get to taste infinity and touch your own mortality. Instead of being caught in a downward spiral feeling overwhelmed you will have time to laugh, time to meditate, time to help others. You are transforming the map you carry within you of reality. As you fill your internal map with beauty, your outer world also undergoes a transformation. The internet and the news, the conspiracy theories begin to fade away. Negative people no longer find you to be interesting.

The power of beauty is the ability to co-create with the Primordial Light. Beauty is the colors, the reality is the canvas, and you are the brush with which you splash the light of many shades and dream the world into being. This is your sacred task, to complete creation with beauty, in beauty, from beauty. Take an oath with yourself to find something of beauty each day, something that makes you smile, something you can share.

Can you find beauty and share your joy with someone today?