In our crazy-busy world it is sometimes hard to remember to take the time to actually stop and take notice of our surroundings. When you do this and become fully present, you may start to see all the beauty around you. It could be an object, a song, or a view of nature. What it is isn’t really important. What is important is that beauty has the power to magnify good feelings, and often the power to change our mood for the better. Beauty can even help heal us.
The power of beauty became incredibly clear to me over the last two weeks. I had a conversation with a new friend, Ned Schechter, who was telling me that he has the ability to know what is beautiful and the skill to describe why something is beautiful. He made me think about how important and beneficial it is to surround ourselves with beauty. Ned does have a great eye and I enjoy looking at the objects he has for sale on his website Surviving Elegantly.
Later in the week, I had the difficult task of finding a new place for my grandmother to live. She is no longer able to live alone and I needed to find a place that could care for her properly with 24/7 caregivers. We defined the budget and I was determined to find the best place I could for her. My grandmother is a former model, artist, and real estate broker. Beauty in all forms has always been incredibly important to her. I knew that putting her in a place that was not attractive would have a negative impact on her health and emotional state. What I didn’t count on was the powerful healing that putting her in a beautiful surrounding would have.
I was able to find her a place that she could afford that is absolutely gorgeous. No really. I would live there. The picture in this post is the view from the living room. My grandmother was understandably anxious about moving into a place she hadn’t chosen, so I made sure that she took in the loveliness of her new surroundings before we settled her into her room to lie down. She was so pleased, and I could see her brighten by the minute.
Over the next day she called all her friends to come visit and even walked a little. (She wasn’t supposed to be able to walk.) When I came to visit she was in good spirits, making jokes, and counting cards as we played gin rummy. Two days before, she could barely feed herself or get a complete sentence out. The next day she asked me to bring over her art supplies and now she sketches on the patio in the morning before it gets hot. And she is having me bring the bridge table over because she is planning a game with the girls for next week.
Being surrounded by beauty is critically important to my grandmother but I think it is important to all of us. I think we can improve the quality of our lives by making an effort to surround ourselves with beauty and taking the time we need to enjoy it.
Are your surroundings important to you? Do you have little things that you do to improve your life (e.g., fresh flowers, fruit, chocolate, art, fashion, music, etc.)? Please share with us in the comments below.