Beauty is a powerful source of resilience and a refuge.
Move # 3 — Discovering Beauty
(click above title to go to Laughing Heart website Move)
Beauty is a powerful source of resilience and a refuge. There is no special technique except as the Benedictine Monk, Brother David Steindel-Rast teaches to “Stop, Look, Go!” That’s it! When we simply open our hearts and minds to discovering Beauty whenever it appears in our ordinary life, and take this moment of gratitude, resilience deepens. I have a friend who was the primary caregiver for his wife. She was declining rapidly from Alzheimer’s. When I spoke with him, he was despairing and close to burning out. Then his daughter moved back home and everything changed. He cherished the small moments of respite that gave him time and space for himself. He told me he began to discover beauty in little mundane things he had always taken for granted–like mowing the lawn or looking at products in the supermarket. Imagine selecting a detergent as an opportunity to discover Beauty! He was grateful again for his life. The new frontier of neuroaesthetics is exploring the scientific dimensions of how Beauty contributes to resilience, joy, and healing of brain and heart.
- Author Finds Resilience, Love And ‘Beauty In The Broken Places’
- Neuroaesthetics—Art Therapy’s Other Name
- Art Enhances Brain Function and Well-Being
- Neuroesthetics – Wikipedia
Excerpts from the Explorers Wheel
BEAUTY IN NATURE
Our primary connection to Beauty has been through Nature, and our sense of awe and wonder is likely unchanged since the dawn of our species. Indigenous peoples retain this living, immediate connection with Beauty. The Navajo, for example, have a special ceremony called the “Beauty Way,” which is designed to restore balance and harmony by reestablishing the link to the Natural World.
With dew about my feet may I walk
With beauty before me may I walk
With beauty behind me may I walk
With beauty above me may I walk
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk
It is finished in beauty
It is finished in beauty.
The naturalist, John Muir, expressed it this way:
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”(1901)
Beloved Pan, and all ye other gods who haunt this place,
Grant me the beauty of the inward spirit
And may the outer and inner man be as one.
5th century BC
(translated by Gisela Kahn Gresser)
Julian, this is a poem by Mary Oliver that speaks directly to noticing beauty in everyday things. Rev. Laura Mancuso
I see or hear
that more or less
that leaves me
like a needle
in the haystack
It was what I was born for —
to look, to listen,
to lose myself
inside this soft world —
to instruct myself
over and over
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant —
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,
the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help
but grow wise
with such teachings
as these —
the untrimmable light
of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?
“Mindful” by Mary Oliver from Why I Wake Early. © Beacon Press, 2005.
(With appreciation to Rev. Laura L. Mancuso, MS, CRC
Spiritual Life Program Leader, Vista Del Monte Retirement Community)