The world is filled with incredible beauty, yet the filter of stress often casts a spell upon our eyes that, in turn, dulls all the senses. The result is that in every direction, we see (perhaps project) a boring, if not ugly, landscape. We are the ones that cast this spell, so it would stand to reason that we must also be the ones to “break the spell” (for those of you who are familiar with popular fairy tales, this theme, for a good reason, is not uncommon). This week while rereading the works of poet philosopher, John O’Donohue (Anam Cara) I was struck by his passion for beauty (perhaps because it mirrors my own.) Just as it is hard to feel sorry for yourself when you find things to be grateful for in your life, searching for all things beautiful is one way to help break the spell of stress and self-pity. Nature is filled with remarkable beauty and the sages and luminaries across the span of time remind us constantly to return to nature as a means to become grounded and centered in our lives, in essence, to break the spell of stress. O’Donohue invites us to examine the beautiful landscape regularly, and we would do well to take his advice. The world, it appears, is also filled with much ugliness (e.g., politics, poverty, hunger, etc.) and while we cannot, nor should not ignore these problems, neither should be become mired in them that we cast a spell of despair over ourselves….Balance is the key! The world is filled with incredible beauty! Its up to us to find it.
Stress Tip for the Day:
Make a list today of 10 things that you consider, through your eyes, to hold great beauty, stunning beauty: Stain glass windows, a vase of roses, a sleeping kitten, a Mozart Symphony, a child’s smile, snow capped mountains. Without spending money, begin to create (perhaps recreate) a sacred space in your house, office or place of your choosing so that you are surrounded in beauty. Remember that sacred spaces need to breathe, meaning that things of beauty need to be circulated in and out to maintain their perspective of beauty, least we take them for granted and recast the spell once again.
Links, Books & Movies Worth Noting:
One of the last interviews of John O’Donohue (before his untimely death a few years ago) was conducted by Krista Tippit for the NPR program, Being. Below is a link to this sight and his last interview. I also highly recommend O’Donohue’s book, Anam Cara (Soul Friend).
Quote for the Day:
“Beauty is a harmonious relation between something in our nature and the quality of the object which delights us.” —Pascal
Photo for the Day:
One of my hobbies is photography and I wander endlessly in nature to do my best to capture these moments of beauty, that I then hang in the photo gallery throughout my home. It was hard to select just one photo to capture the essence of beauty for this entry, but in honor of John O’Donohue and his native Ireland, here is a photo from the Southwest region, near the Dingle Peninsula. Enjoy!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.