To practice beauty is to see splendor where none is obvious. It’s always there; you just have to know how to see it. Focusing on the beauty of a situation changes its dynamics. It constructively diffuses fear, anger and negativity, while spreading positive change.
In The Four Insights, Dr. Alberto Villoldo draws from indigenous cultures to identify the practices that allow us to change our perception of the events that happen to us, remove the association with cause and effect and learn to live in harmony with our world. One of these is learning the practice of beauty.
7 Ways to Practice Beauty As Taught by Motorcycle Mirrors
Look at the big picture. Learning to discern the crucial from the incidental is a motorcycle survival skill. To make the best decisions, you want holistic data, rather than unnecessary minutia. Focus on details in your mirror while riding and you’re likely to crash. Focus on them in life and you miss the beauty that surrounds you.
Consider the angle. You can only take in so much through your mirrors, so you adjust them to focus on what’s important. Use the same practice with colleagues and family. When you perceive only negativity from a person, step into his shoes and see the situation through his eyes. The insights are astounding.
Look for what you don’t see. Mirrors provide a snapshot of whatever they’re focused on. That’s why you use shoulder checks to address blind spots. Beauty is not always obvious, especially if you’re prepared to see ugliness. Yet beauty is always there. Focus on it and feel the energy shift.
Recognize that perspective changes. Experts recommend that you check your mirrors as often as every five seconds. You and everything behind you are moving. You forget what you’ve glanced at, new thoughts have come into your mind and the next time you look, it’s through a different filter. It’s the same when seeing beauty. It buds, blossoms and transforms, and although the image changes, the beauty never diminishes.
Take movement into account. You, and most things around you are moving. They’re moving at different speeds and approaching you and each other at different velocities. Every time you look you’ll see something different. As life situations fluctuate and evolve, the nature of beauty changes.
Give gratitude for the lesson. When checking mirrors, look for the facts without reading emotions into it. Fear can distort your perspective and cause you to react inappropriately. Other people mirror the lessons you need to learn. The next time you find yourself upset with someone’s behavior, consider what’s in it for you. Whether it’s learning not to take things personally, remaining centered or not getting emotionally engaged just because someone else is upset.
Think of the situation as a puzzle. What you see in the mirror is but one piece. When you have a sense of the picture as a whole, you’ll see how it all fits together – and the beauty all around you.
It’s hard to imagine that we miss more of what’s right in front of us than we see, or that our own perception is biased. Perceive beauty and you’ll find a gift from Spirit. Notice what is pleasant in unexpected places. When it’s not evident, add loveliness through your words, thoughts and actions. That’s how you change the world.
— S. Wyman-Blackburn (@stevenwymanb) February 10, 2014