I have always been drawn to pretty things. In home décor, personal style, out in nature, etc. point out the prettiest item in my surroundings and I will always be drawn to it. If you look at western astrology you could blame my affinity for splendor on the fact that I am a Taurus, the sign that is notorious for having a soft sport for luxury and loveliness. If you look at my genetics you could easily argue my attraction to home décor stems from my own Swedish ancestry (there is a reason Scandinavian home décor is world renowned). Or my French roots could be investigated to explain my love for fine fragrances, dressing in black, and thinking everything The House of Chanel has ever produced is absolute perfection. You could also argue my passion stems from upbringing. My mom is the most stylish woman I know in terms of both home design and personal style, and I will spend the rest of my life trying to emulate her effortless yet always polished elegance.
No matter its origin, the reality is I love beautiful things and that will always intrinsically be part of me. For a long time I felt as though my love for beauty and spirituality had to exist in two different worlds. I worried that by spending time focusing on things that brought delight to my physical senses, I wasn’t spending enough time focusing on the intangible tasks of spiritual growth. When I would attend spiritual workshops, I would try my best to downplay my own personal style so I would fit in with the enlightened souls surrounding me. I didn’t want them to know that I actually do appreciate designer goods, or that I can easily spend hours testing out new beauty treatments and loving it. I assumed only mere mortals could get caught up in the frivolity I so enjoyed, and I feared they would see me as a fraud if the truth was revealed.
It wasn’t until fairly recently, and after a fair amount of soul searching that I realized my desire to downplay my true self wasn’t actually doing me any favors. How could it? I see that so clearly now. I can’t say my perception changed over night, but slowly I began to notice the flaws in my own self-created image of a spiritual person. It was during one of my many moments of reflection that I finally realized that the fact that I am drawn to beauty doesn’t actually put me at odds with my desired spiritual growth. Instead my ability to see and appreciate beauty is a tool I could use to help other people see the wonderful things they have in their own lives. After all isn’t that what spiritual growth is all about, not only embracing your fully realized self but also encouraging others on their own unique journey?
Suddenly I was seeing the world from a whole new perspective. Instead of feeling ashamed for my love for beautiful things and experiences (let’s be honest a beautiful meal can put me on cloud nine for a good week haha) I felt more compelled than ever to share the beauty I see with everyone who will listen. If beauty can manifest such joy for me, surely I am meant to share that elation. Now I am not naïve enough to believe that simply by encouraging others to admire a magnificent flower or appreciate the craftsmanship of a truly exquisite handbag the world is going to change. Instead, my thought is that maybe, if we all spent just a little more time appreciating that which is beautiful and positive in our own lives we could slowly but surely shift the global narrative.
In our current society we are constantly bombarded with negativity. Turn on any media outlet and chances are an adverse news story will be the first thing you encounter. This constant infiltration just reinforces pessimistic perspectives. However, I encourage you today to look at the world from a different angle. Try and see the beauty everywhere you go, you can start in your own home but don’t stop there, admire and appreciate all of the loveliness in your everyday life. If negativity tries to creep in, acknowledge it, and then try to shift your focus back. At the end of the day reflect on how you feel. If you are feeling more positive share that feeling with others.
Think about all of the things in your own life that make you happy and bring you joy. Share your happiness with others and encourage them to do the same. That, my friends, is spiritual.