What do I mean by BEAUTY IS THE BALM?
Places of worship have long been designed to transcend the ordinary. It is an offering. It is both an offering to that which is worshipped, as well as an offering to the worshiper. Lofty ceilings reaching skyward, stained glass painting the light, earthy and soulful wood and stone all guide us to the elevated plane of that which is sacred. It feels expansive. It feels soulful. It places us in the small scale of our humanness while simultaneously offering an exalted and uplifted experience.
If we allow ourselves, we are altered by the experience. There is the potential to be uplifted, to be transported out of a foggy gray moment into something quite tangibly luscious. This is what I mean by “Beauty is the Balm”.
All around us we are being offered the opportunity to transcend, to be uplifted, to move toward and be affected by joy.
Early morning light, the smell of freshly ground coriander, diving through a sparkling ocean wave, the taste and texture of a perfectly ripe peach, the graceful line of a calla lily, voices in heart-melting harmony, the ruffles of a peony, the face on a young child, music that compels you to dance, poetry that plucks your core, your own laughter, your grandmother’s words of wisdom, the Milky Way.
The list is endless. Begin to notice what ordinary things elevate you to a higher experience. Spend more time there. Slow down.
Take a moment to literally breathe it in. With your breath, soften your body, FEEL this phenomenon in your body. Direct all of your attention to your heart, imagine your heart is listening to and experiencing this beauty (if “feeling with your heart” makes your face look like you just bit down on a lemon, here’s some science .. there are some 40,000 neurons around the heart and these function in much the same way as your brain). Direct your attention to your belly, breathe, soften. What does it feel like to experience this beauty with your belly. ( Here’s more science, yay science! .. Neurons lining the stomach are filled with neurotransmitters, chemicals that help nerve cells communicate with one another. One key neurotransmitter is serotonin, which plays a major role in mood regulation. While serotonin is also found in the brain, 95% of the body’s supply is in the stomach.) Yeps, we’re going downtown, feel this beauty with your pelvic floor, oh, hello! .. lots of neuron there. And your feet, furthest away from your brain (depending on your current yoga position) feel that beauty all over.
As if you could listen and see with all parts of your body (because you can), let your breath be the silky flume that takes you ever deeper into the miraculous beauty of the ordinary.
Let it permeate you and reset your particles. Let it move you to tears, to awe, to peace. Whatever balm you need, take it in. It’s here for you.
By the way, this is life changing. Allowing this awe, this epic and everyday beauty, this miracle of glorious experience to really live in my body, has changed my life. It continues to change my life.
The sacred beauty of our every day is available to us if we pay a little more attention, listen more, feel more, show up a little more to this existence in which we’ve found ourselves. The ordinary becomes our way toward something bigger our connection to all things.
We’re here; we’re alive; we might as well lap it up.
LAP. IT. UP.