My cluttered mind found nothing good about my upcoming day—a day I expected to simply plod along, with some stressful events, and some that just were not interesting. I hate that feeling. I needed to ignite my mind, and my heart.
So, I took a walk: specifically to notice and appreciate everything of beauty and of excellence that I could find. I studied a flower, watched the clouds race in slow motion, listened to children’s laughter as they rode bikes to school. I tried to count the many different greens of a plant and blues in the sky. I felt the texture of a golden leaf in my hand. I heard a symphony of bird sounds without seeing a single bird (hidden in the brush).
In my mind, I’d let little stuff become a burden. But opening my eyes walking outside also opened the eyes of my heart … God created, with such complexity, what seems like such simple things. He paid attention to detail, and he created with excellence.
You can be awed in nature, on a walk, but also in music, art, mathematics, science, and everyday experiences. There are dozens (or more) ways to give yourself a lift through appreciation of beauty and excellence. Here is a “starter” seven:
- Go outside and stand still in a beautiful environment for 20 minutes.
- Make your surroundings aesthetically beautiful.
- Listen a piece of music, watch a film, or study a painting, statue or other art. Marvel at the talent that went into producing it. Think about how it touches you aesthetically.
- Appreciate a beautiful piece of architecture, dress, sculpture, pottery, poetry, prose, etc.
- Explore expressions of beauty in different cultures.
- Hang a bird feeder and observe the birds.
- Explore beauty in the face of a child.