Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category

Make Good Art

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Life is sometimes hard.

Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong.

And when things get tough, this is what you should do…

Make good art.

— Neil Gaiman, Art Matters, “Make Good Art”

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, November 11, 2019

Healing Shame

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

Jesus knows that we need him to help us deal with our shame and guilt. Shame does not need forgiveness, because it involves what others have done to us. We don’t need to be forgiven for being hurt, but we do need to heal. Treating shame takes honesty rather than confession. We don’t need to repent so much as we need to rediscover God’s beauty within us. God’s image is embossed on our souls. It is hard to see, under that grimy film others left behind, but shame can be cleansed. It has to be removed carefully, kindly, and often slowly. It takes time and patience and often the demonstrated love of close friends or wise counselors, but restoration is possible. Our hearts can grow this way and give us room for friendship and love to share with others.

— Tom Berlin, Reckless Love, p. 37

Photo: Zugspitze, Germany, July 17, 2000

Make Art

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

And remember that whatever discipline you are in, whether you are a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a designer, whatever you do, you have one thing that’s unique.

You have the ability to make art.

— Neil Gaiman, Art Matters, “Make Good Art”

Photo: Burg Lahneck, Germany, August 22, 2004

Be Beautiful, Be Yourself

Friday, April 26th, 2019

If you can accept your body, then you have a chance to see your body as your home. You can rest in your body, settle in, relax, and feel joy and ease. If you don’t accept your body and your mind, you can’t be at home with yourself. You have to accept yourself as you are. This is a very important practice. As you practice building a home in yourself, you become more and more beautiful.

— Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Love, p. 23

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 8, 2019

The Gratitude Channel

Friday, January 11th, 2019

The world is full of things to appreciate and find beautiful. The challenge is to teach ourselves how to look. The forgiveness and gratitude channels remind us that even though we have been hurt, we do not have to focus our attention on that hurt. The love and beauty channels remind us that in each and every moment we have the choice to determine what we see, hear, and experience.

The one thing no one can take from us is where we place our attention. In other words, we alone control our remotes. If we have made a habit of tuning in to the grievance channel, remember that any habit can be broken.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Goodp. 113

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, January 9, 2019

Awe

Thursday, December 20th, 2018

Awe doesn’t ask our permission to wow us; it just smacks us in the face with something bigger without bothering to argue us out of our tedium. Awe can come in a single glance, a beautiful sound, a heartfelt gesture. Think of how we can slog along in our little tunnel of daily life, back and forth, and then one day pass a lilac bush in bloom. The fragrance catches us first and then the beauty of the full blossoms. In pausing to appreciate it, we receive a reminder of the spectacular. Much like that, awe can bring this invigorating sense of novelty into everyday relationships that might otherwise feel stale or dull.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 282

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, January 29, 2016

Beautiful and Unique

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

I have been taught by the angels since I was a child to see the unique beauty within each person, all the physical beauty that is there, as well as the beauty and love that is in their heart. Looking at a person I am always shown wonderful personality attributes, gentleness and kindness (even in people who have told me they have done terrible things). I have never ever met a person who is not beautiful and unique. But I know that so many of you struggle to believe this, just as you struggle to believe that you are pure love.

Remember, no one is perfect — I’m not, you’re not, and no one in the world is. We are all humans with our frailties, so stop setting yourself an impossible standard to live up to. We are all unique, we are all different, so stop comparing yourself unfavorably to others — it makes life tougher than it needs to be and is a big barrier to self-love.

— Lorna Byrne, Love from Heaven, p. 199

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 13, 2018

New-Creation Work

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Evangelism needs to be flanked with new-creation work in the realms of justice and beauty. If we are talking about the victory over evil and the launch of new creation, it won’t make much sense unless we are working for those very things in the lives of the poorest of the poor. If we are talking about Jesus winning the victory over the dark powers and thereby starting the long-awaited revolution, it will be much easier for people to believe it if we are working to show what we mean in art and music, in song and story.

— N. T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began, p. 405

[Photo: Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, March 17, 2012]

Creating Value

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

Although we have an innate drive to create value, we have to make choices of who and what to value. A sunset has value if, and only if, you give it value — you invest energy and effort to fully perceive it, thus allowing you to appreciate it. While it does nothing for the sunset if you value it, valuing it does wonders for you. The moment of value creation makes you feel more vital, engaged, interested, appreciative — in short, more alive. Life means more to you at the instant you create value, just as it means less to you when you are not creating value. Most positive emotion, passion, meaning, purpose, and conviction come from creating value, and most emptiness, aggression, and depression result from failure to create value.

— Steven Stosny, Living and Loving After Betrayal, p. 57-58

[Photo: Waterside Inn, Chincoteague, Virginia, November 2017]

Making Them Sparkle

Friday, March 30th, 2018

Verse for the day:

[Photo: Keukenhof, Holland, April 17, 2004]