Last week I finished reading The Celestine Prophecies by James Fedfield, a book I had heard about many times, but recently picked up because it was on the suggested reading list for my healing training programme. Many thoughts have come out of the book for me, but the one I wanted to share today was about aooreciating beauty.
There is a state which many people experience – of connectedness and sprituality. I’ve mentioned it on this blog before, as what Tim Freke refers to as The Mystery Experience. In The Celestine Prophecy the main character is taught to access this state by focussing on the beauty of the natural world (which is why you have a lovely photograph of a flower taken by my son Tom.) Beauty is quite an amazing concept because it is impossible to explain. Why does a sunset or a rainbow make us catch our breath in awe and wonder. Why are we driven to produce works of art? To me, any explanation would defeat the point. That point is to experience the beauty and dive into the mystery that way.
The beauty of a flower or a sunset might be obvious, but there are other types as well. One of my most profound and unexpected spiritual experiences came whilst I was on hold waiting to speak to a bank on the telephone. For some reason the piece of music they were playing seemed to soar straight into my soul and by the time I was connected to an operator there were tears streaming down my face. So beauty can also be found in sounds or in the way something feels, such as the texture of a snuggly blanket.
There are also those who see beauty where it is not expected. I have a friend who draws pictures of urban environements, seeing beauty where others would not. And that is where I would like to end this thought, because it is my challenge to myself. Tomorrow I am off to visit my Dad, and am challenging myself to see beauty while I am away. Particularly to find the beauty in my stepmother despite her dementia, which is turning my Dad’s life into a struggle. Tonight I am going to remind myself of all the guidelines for communicating with someone with Alzheimers, and hope this will help free me up to appreciate her as she is.