Dawn emerged from the South China Sea, unseen to me cloistered in my room and 10 klicks from the shore. My mind probed the day ahead and found nothing exciting. What did I have to look forward to? A few stressful events popped to my cluttered mind, while other events didn’t seem very interesting. I hate that feeling. I needed to ignite my mind, and my heart.
There is a cure!
But I knew there was a cure. Walk! Open my eyes! Appreciate everything of beauty and of excellence that I could find. So I did.
I studied a flower, watched the clouds race in slow motion, and listened to children’s laughter as they rode bikes to school. Counted the many greens of a plant and blues in the sky. Felt the texture of a golden leaf in my hand. 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 a complexity, what seems like such simple things. He paid attention to detail, and he created with excellence.
On a walk, nature awes most of us. But you can also find such amazement with 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 ideas:
- 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.
God is in it all
Peace and focus comes from reverence and appreciation of the good things we can find around us. Such a focus brings us back to a positive attitude and to a better day ahead. Challenges no longer are the massive earthquakes they might have been. Instead, we can take everything in stride, with more joy, and more productivity. Give it a try!
Those interested in the walking the joyful Christian path may be interested in reading my book, The Jesus Workout. If you prefer Christian suspense, try The Hyena Man, set in an African missionary company.