This is what we do with beautiful things: we tuck them away. We use them when we need them, in our bearlike way. We use them as fuel. We breathe them. We give them away. We remember them as long as we can.
Sometimes we miss them completely.
If we start actively looking for them, we will not miss them. Become an active beauty seeker. A beauty hunter.
That’s kind of how it is with certain words for me. Certain turns of phrase, poems, and sentences. They knock me out with weight, and I want to keep them as if they belong to me and not to the world.
This is what beauty often does. We want to claim it and make it part of us.
Our lives need beauty—relentless, unremitting beauty.
I was driving this morning to a client to teach him yoga, and I started to think about the five most beautiful things I saw at that very moment. I was at a traffic light, and it was gray and cold outside.
I saw a dirty purple sign for Donuts! and a beautiful blonde teenager with a sign that said Hungry. Please help.
These things struck me as beautiful right then, in that moment. So I kept going, kept looking. What else could I find? What rock could I turn over? What beauty could I find in all the wreckage?
This is the challenge: Every hour, stop what you are doing and write down the five most beautiful things to you right in that moment. Every hour, or as often as you can! You can also post pictures in addition to writing them down. Just connect in some way and find the beauty.
I can hear the excuses coming: But I am on the freeway. I am at work. There is nothing beautiful. I am watching TV. I am in a bad mood! I can’t see anything beautiful. I don’t have my glasses on. I can already hear the gamut of excuses for not seeing any beauty.
It’s there! Look! It’s right there. It’s here all the time. Close your eyes and see it even if it is not right in front of you, even if you have to dig into the well of your imagination, which you might feel ran dry of beauty a long time ago.
Here’s a line from a poem I wrote:
Beauty, unremitting like this, so hard to come by—
And yet it is everywhere, this beauty.
You can’t ignore something so beautiful.
Make your list and keep filling it up, and when there is no room, get a new sheet of paper and keep going and going and going. You will amaze yourself. You will find that you are actively looking for beauty wherever you are. No matter what. And what else is the point? What is beauty if not to lighten us up from the inside out and, sometimes, from the outside in?
What if we walked around looking for beauty instead of looking for things to be stressed about or offended by?
What if we became the beauty hunters? What if we told more beautiful stories? What if it was all we saw, even in the dirt? What if we trained our eyes and our hearts to tune into that which makes us cock our head to one side and close our eyes gently in an effort to memorize what we were seeing. What if it is all we got?
What if all we have are our five beautiful things?
I have heard my teacher Wayne Dyer tell this story so many times, but it always makes me perk up out of my seat and listen as if my life depended on it. (Maybe it does?)
Wayne Dyer used the example of the Holocaust Survivor Victor Frankl, who was able to mentally survive living in a concentration camp by finding beauty in a fish head floating in his soup. In a fish head, guys. You read that? A fish head!
*My goal is to make this viral! If you are on Twitter, Tweet us at The Beautiful Things Project @5MBTProject with what your #5mostbeautifulthings are. We can’t wait to share the beauty with you.
Share what your five most beautiful things are right now and please share this post. Let’s make it viral. What’s your fish head?