Week 14: Beauty

Start with noticing beauty within

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Much will already be said about finding beauty in the life around us. I can look at my town, the nature around me, my home and see a real beauty. I think many who are part of Lifelabs will share a desire to explore the beauty of the world around us: it often goes hand in hand with acknowledging our gratitude.

So, starting from a place where I am (usually) willing to notice the beauty of the world around me, I decided to flip the experiment to try and find the beauty in myself. This may sound trite, but I can often meditate for several minutes about the beauty of a flower or a tree, yet get caught up in irritation at myself or those around me. I then feel disappointed at myself and frustration at an emotion that in many ways has 'contaminated' any feeling of real gratitude! Rather than look for the beauty outside me, I needed to see what was within.

Finding beauty in myself was thought provoking. If beauty is to notice something attractive, elevating, pleasurable it can feel quite clumsy attributing it to me! But each day I did: I noticed my energy, my desire to develop my practice of meditation, opening up my feelings to a good friend, my curiosity for life. I couldn't focus five minutes on this, but I could notice the impact this inner beauty has on the world around me. My energy is transferred into a smile, a positive word, a desire to share. My meditation feeds this energy, brings me peace. This in turn develops the curiosity for life and the willingness to open up emotionally with friends. And so it goes on....and yes I have many areas that are not 'beautiful', but they are me and I will no doubt continue at times to become irritated with myself and try to overcome them! Perhaps though by exploring the inner beauty on a more regular basis I may find contentment in a way that self-criticism can never do? After all, self- analysis can get pretty intense and irritating in itself, so I may as well look for the inner joy!

At the end of the four days my thoughts are that usually when I reflect on myself I will pick out the negatives and berate myself for them - often because they seem to be the same each time. Changing my mindset to see the other side and then more of a whole view has been useful and actually quite relaxing! It has also allowed me to be even more open to the beauty of what is around and, after all, is that not absolutely one of the main beauties there is in life?


Mother, wife, daughter, teacher...

Firmly stuck in the 'sandwich generation' category, I am 46 years old and looking to shake things up a bit! I am a teacher, which I love - but it takes over your life! A mother of three - two daughters, 16 and 15, a son aged 11. Wife to Simon for 19 years. Carer for rather eccentric mum, aged 89.


Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
almost 6 years ago
Flipping the experiment sounds like a good experiment. I see a lot of what you are saying. I have always spent too much time berating myself and not giving myself a huge pat on the back for the great things I can bring to the table when required. We all do this. I think it's inbred into us from an early age in this country. We seldom want to give ourselves a round of applause for doing good things. Through 'wake up' I am changing. When I notice something I've done good, inside I congratulate myself. And why not? We've got to learn to love ourselves more. Let's put two fingers up to the society and people who don't want us to acknowledge the good in ourselves! Great post.
Go to the profile of Jacqui
almost 6 years ago
Haha! Love the two fingers image. You are right though. Thank goodness we have actually started to notice and celebrate the good!
Go to the profile of Vanessa
almost 6 years ago
Inspired! I love the prod to look at yourself through kind eyes - and the positive impact on life!
Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
almost 6 years ago
Loving ourselves is a tough but vital one to do. I always like to call it embracing my arse; you have to look at the bad bits and have a proper giggle at them. Thanks for this, great adaptation of the exercise. C x