Noticing the beauty all around you
by Dr. Jane Bluestein, Judy Lawrence, M.S.Ed., and SJ Sanchez, M.P.A.
Have you ever gotten a postcard from a place so beautiful that you stopped to imagine what living in a place like that must be like? Have you ever suspected that doing laundry or paying bills would somehow be a lot less tedious in Tahiti, Paris, or the Himalayas?
There is beauty all around us, no matter where we live. But even people living in the most beautiful surroundings can become oblivious to the richness in their environment when the details of daily life take over. Seeing the wonder all around us requires a certain deliberateness and mindfulness. If you already live in a place you consider to be beautiful, or if you have at some point relocated to a particular place because of its beauty, then this awareness may come easily to you. However, you may live in a place that requires that you look a little harder to find— or notice— the beauty around you.
You may also need to broaden your definitions of beauty and wonder. Truly fortunate are those who can find resplendence in any environment, who can be awed as easily at the sight of a road through a rural cornfield as they can be watching storm clouds blanket a crowded city or a sunset embroider a snow-covered mountain. But it’s not necessary to leave home or travel to exotic lands to experience beauty. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of seeing. Remember, somewhere out there, a visitor may be sending someone a picture postcard of your hometown.
Go to a window or step outside. Look around. Notice the lines and curves, the textures, shadows, and colors in the buildings on your block. Witness the miracle of a flower growing through the crack in a sidewalk or a vacant lot. Allow a sunset to take your breath away. Smell the adventure of the changing seasons in the gentle beauty of a fallen leaf. Lie down on your roof or lawn and float along with the clouds.
Observe. Receive. Connect.
Listen to the sacred symphony of waves breaking on the beach. Chase a rainbow or a shooting star. Notice how many shades of green can be produced by nature in a garden or park. Taste the temperature of a warm summer breeze. Wrap yourself in the colors of a stormy afternoon. Go for a walk in a different part of town. Let the sparkle of sunlight on a stream hypnotize you.
Open your eyes. Take in the beauty of where you are right now. Even if you’ve never before appreciated the local environmental ambience, it’s all there, all around you, beauty and wonder in immeasurable supply. And it’s all for you!
Excerpt from Magic, Miracles and Synchronicity by Dr. Jane Bluestein, Judy Lawrence, M.S.Ed., and SJ Sanchez, M.P.A. © 2009, I.S.S. Publications, Albuquerque, NM. (This book was previously published under the title Daily Riches.)
Podcast: An Attitude of Gratitude with Judy Lawrence, M.S.Ed.
Presentation: Magic, Miracles and Synchronicity: An Abundance of Gratitude
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