While writing my May blog, Beauty to the Right, I came across Shann Vander Leek’s thoughtful and instructive article, Sacred Ways to Walk in Beauty. It prompted me to re-visit the definition of beauty.
Merriam-Webster defines beauty as the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind.
Of course, our culture defines beauty in a myriad of ways. Lexi Herrick has another take on beauty in her article for the Huffington post. In it she writes, “Beauty is often distorted, misunderstood and shadowed by a wide amount of conflicting pressures. It is something we endlessly strive for, rather than see in the true essence of our happiest moments.”
Shann Vander Leek reflectively states her personal meaning: “I’ve learned that walking in beauty is creating an intimate relationship with the goodness of all creation.”
But even when we view beauty as a set of qualities that give pleasure to the senses, walking in beauty will mean different things to different people; it certainly means different things to me. I walk, or move, in beauty when I work in my garden, tour a museum, or visit sacred sights. Beauty is a friend’s hug, a child’s laughter, or a sunset. But then walking in beauty can become a metaphor for being in beauty. We can be in beauty in our thoughts. Perceived beauty can be received many forms – seeing, hearing, listening, and feeling. One thing I know, when I am consciously present in what I consider beauty, I feel closer to source and my energy is transformed.
This assumes, of course, we take the time to notice.
The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less. Joseph B. Wirthlin
I suspect that’s why awareness is first on Vander Leek’s list of nine ways to walk in beauty: awareness, prayer, stewardship for the earth, creativity, sacred living, self-love, community, personal responsibility, and feminine sovereignty. She concludes with gratitude.
It is a lovely article and a lovely reminder. To read it in its entirety, click here.
We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. Jawaharlal Nehru