In every workshop that I lead, whatever its primary subject, I find it important to remind participants that each of them is the beauty in life. They each have an immaculate center or core that is their essential nature. Our thoughts may be very far from beautiful as we pester ourselves, plot our revenge, complain about life, and in countless other ways darken our own doorstep. Our actions may likewise prove anything but beautiful as we indulge an addiction, fail to show up to our life purposes, and behave far below our standards. But, maybe deeply hidden away and difficult to access, is that essential loveliness—that humanity, that beauty, that goodness—with which every infant enters the world.
You can better access that splendid core by visualizing a chest of drawers, opening the drawer in which you keep your beauty talismans, and reminding yourself that you are not your thoughts, not your feelings, not the you who was manic today or chaotic today or despairing today or terrified today, not the you who ate too much at lunch or passed the buck at work, but instead the you who shares genetic wealth with everyone who has ever done the right thing and risen to the occasion.
What will your beauty talismans be? You can have many, given that you have a whole drawer available! One might be a photo of you at the age of four or five, impish, happy and perfect, getting ready to dive into the lake or cut your birthday cake. A second might be a poem you love, one that captures the poignancy of living, written out in your own hand and decorated like a page out of an illuminated manuscript. A third might be a marble that represents your precious core. What else? You can have so many!
Right now, visualize your own wonderful collection of talismans and mementoes that will do an excellent job of reminding you that you are fundamentally precious.
I recently strolled a path surmounting the white chalk cliffs of the English coast. I thought about that D-Day armada that sailed off to liberate Europe. I couldn’t help but think that there would be pitched battles and bloodshed until the end of time. The horrors arising out of our human nature may ultimately overwhelm the beauty that is also a feature of that inheritance. In the big picture of armies and tidal waves, what is a marble or a poem or a photo of you at five? What are they? They are just about everything, really. They inspire you to be your best self and to do the next right thing. What else matters more than that?
How might you use your beauty drawer? You might open it every morning as part of your morning routine. You pick out your actual clothes, then visit your mindroom, open your beauty drawer, visit with your talismans, take one or two out to touch and hold, and announce, “I am the beauty in life.” Then, later in the day, maybe when you’ve done something just a little bit foolish or disappointing, you visit with them again and they help you heal. Then, finally, in the evening, as part of your bedtime routine, rather than having some anxious thought or some resentment be the last thing on your mind, you visit your beauty drawer and fall asleep while gazing at your talismans of worth. Wasn’t your day enriched by having spent real time with your richest self?
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Oh this is lovely! I “invented” something similar for a project in fourth grade I called a “cheerful box.” I put lots of stuff in it that I knew would cheer me up when I was sad. I still have it…though it may need an update. ?
How glad I am to have found your writing today!
Im not a writer, I am a graphic artist who also paints in watercolors. But a few
years ago (1990) I wrote a poem that I am proud of.
It’s always too much, it’s never enough.
Nothing ‘s perfect, nothing lasts.
And you can never get it all.
This is not bad news!