LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Beauty Appreciation, Part 2

Last week I wrote about taking beauty breaks—giving yourself time to notice and enjoy the beauty around you. Have you been thinking about the types of beauty that move you most? Here are a few:

• Visual: creation, art, design
• Auditory: music, birdsong, laughter
• Written: poetry, literature, essays, scripture

How can you remind yourself to notice and look for the beauty around you? Think through your day. Where will you be? What will you be doing? Where and when might you see beauty? Be intentional. Consider keeping a beauty journal so you can record, remember, and continue to appreciate your experiences.

How can you bring more beauty into your life? Here are some ideas to get you started:

• Get up early enough to watch the sunrise. If you’re in the car when the show starts, turn off the radio and spend a few minutes watching and savoring.

• Take a walk and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of creation.

• Buy an inexpensive, fragrant bouquet of flowers for your desk or kitchen.

• Put special art books, postcards, calendars, or even works of art on your desk, your kitchen table, or your walls. They just might inspire you.

• Visit an art museum or gallery. Spend some time examining the works that draw you. What do you like about them? If you want to, jot down the titles of the works and the names of the artists so you can research them later.

• Listen to music. Treat yourself to something new—maybe a classical CD—and see how it changes your day.

• Read from a book of poetry, a classic novel, or scripture passages on your lunch break or whenever you find yourself waiting.

• If you’re a parent, teach your kids to look for beauty. Make a game of it, watch what happens, and share the joy of beauty with them.

What are your ideas? I’d love to hear them.


Crystal Laine Miller said...

One of the things I've been doing lately is looking at garden magazines, or those which have garden photos. In the cold, snowy, muddy months from January to April, it is mostly gray here in Indiana. I am thinking about what plants I will choose to put into my own gardens and how I want it to look when the gardens mature.

Except every spring, about May, our woods explode with wildflowers and the first wild plant to appear is usually skunk cabbage, a fresh green plant that has a bit of skunky smell, but from far away it startles the eye with something different than the usual gray--bright green. I look forward to that.

If we have beauty saved up in the memory, we can make it through the dark months. (At least I can.)

I loved this as it has me thinking about what else I can do to take beauty moment breaks.

LeAnne Benfield Martin said...


I love garden magazines and books. I'm not much of a gardener myself, but my husband is. He plants annuals every spring and bulbs every fall. Our lot is woodsy, like yours (only smaller!), and bright flowers make a gorgeous contrast to the browns and greens.

This morning my daughter asked which month is my favorite. Mine is May, hers is April. Our city starts waking up in late March and April but to me, it really comes alive in May. The sights and sounds and smells are so welcome after months of dullness. I also feel the anticipation of summer break with almost as much excitement as when I was in school.

Thanks for commenting. I love to hear from other beauty lovers.



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