Finding Beauty

“Find a bit of beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can’t find it, create it. Some days this may be hard to do. Persevere.”–Lisa Bonchek Adams

I love my flower pictures--this time of year they remind me that spring will be back!
I love my flower pictures–this time of year they remind me that spring will be back!

If you aren’t a part of the health and social media landscape, you might not have heard of Lisa Bonchek Adams. Lisa was a writer, a wife, a mother, and an advocate. She also had metastatic cancer and died on March 6, 2015 at the age of 45.  This post isn’t really about Lisa–there are many others who were more deeply connected to her than me.  If you’d like to learn more, or just experience some of her poignant, powerful writing, I encourage you to check out her blog.

Instead, this post is about one of Lisa’s most shared statements, the quote that opens this post.  Lisa was talking about what helped her through her own journey, through her struggle to spend as many moments as possible with her kids, family, and other loved ones–seeking the beauty in the world.

This philosophy is something that I often find myself sharing with clients.  We have brains that are biased to focus on things that feel dangerous (read: stressful, scary, unpleasant, etc).  In addition to that bias, we are bombarded with news about that which is ugly, painful, violent, or dark. And that makes it important for us to reclaim our focus.  To deliberately, intentionally notice and soak up those things that are lovely, kind, inspiring, comforting.  To work towards balancing out that negative bias with a deliberate positive focus.

100_1025Finding beauty in the world is a broad topic.  For me, beauty often comes through nature, through small acts of kindness and connection, through art & music.  For you, beauty may be in a well-executed program, a train that’s on time, a smile from a loved one.  There is no boundary or definition on what you are allowed to see as beautiful.

One of the reasons that I appreciate Lisa’s quote is that she is frank about the fact that, sometimes, finding beauty is tough.  But she doesn’t let us off the hook.  Instead, she challenges us to create something beautiful–with our words, our actions, our creativity.  She invites us to own the fact that finding and creating beauty, even when they aren’t easy choices, are completely worth our effort and perseverance.  And finally, she reminds us that finding beauty isn’t enough.  Sharing it is what really cements the power of beauty.

So, today I invite you to think about what beauty you can find, share, and create.  What can you bring to the world that reminds us all that there is joy to balance pain, growth to balance loss, and beauty to balance darkness?

Please feel free to share your moments of beauty in the comments.

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