Beauty and Perception –Journey of Beauty 02.09.05

Guiding Thought

What do I perceive? What do I perceive as beautiful? What is beauty to me? How do I perceive beauty? How do people’s perceptions differ? How are they similar? What do perceptions say about people as individuals, as human beings, or as spiritual beings? Can I change how I perceive beauty?

Reflection / Contemplation

What is perception but a lens through which I/we navigate and categorize experience?
Synchronicity is at play for me here. I am in the midst of listening to a workshop recording by a sound healer who lives in the region here in the northwest.  This set of cd’s is on loan from a friend. We both admire the work of this person. My friend likes him for the sound experience he offers. Me? I like the sound experience too, but what I really, really like is his commentary and the writing he offers to provide context and the science behind his work.
Two things are at play here. One is that what commentary was on the disc this morning had to do with perception: inner and outer experiences of such and how repeated uses of our senses get mapped in the brain, whether it is through visual, kinesthetic, or auditory pathways, etc. I just eat this all up. On my walk this morning, my friend and I were wondering where Beauty gets mapped in the brain, given the multiple ways we can experience it.
Neuroscientists have mapped neural pathways of meditators. I’d like to see a Beauty experiment. I just may have to ask my daughter who is in college if her university, which offers a degree in Neuroscience, engages is such explorations.
Secondly, I am reminded how unique we all are and what motivates us is equally unique. This very much applies to Beauty. What is beautiful to me is not necessarily the same for others: case in point, my fixation with pottery and my cup collection. I can wax on about the form, color, hand feel, the turning of the foot and rim, etc., not to mention my appreciation when it comes to selecting which cup will use for my morning coffee.
To my husband, a cup is a cup. He is more utilitarian in that regard. And then there is my son whose musical interests are solidly classical and operatic. He doesn’t get my interest in chanting and toning. Each of us has our own tastes and sense of what is beautiful.
As I write, I am coming to a realization that we get hooked somehow, some experience lights us up. We want more…Beauty. A pathway is established.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

Beauty as Vibration –Journey of Beauty 02.09.04

Guiding Thought

How does Beauty feel? What is the energy or vibration of Beauty? How do I bring Beauty to all my movements? Can I breathe in Beauty? What is the mental attitude of doing with Beauty?

Reflection / Contemplation

I have no hesitation in writing today, nor do I have any shortage of experiences and thoughts on the topic of how Beauty is a vibration.
I don’t think that it is just one vibration. One of my favorite activities to do this time of year is to stand beneath trees which are in full blossom. There is nothing shy about their expression. What if I were to sit beneath my apple tree when it is in full bloom?  I just may do this today, as my senses require some fine tuning. It is easier for me to tap into the energies of trees, especially their roots.
I had a most lovely time on a walk with a friend just two days ago. We went to a park just a few miles from my home.  Truth be told, I have not been to this park in years, nor have I ever explored its wonders. What a treat! Our time in the park was purely to introduce me to the several stands of Sequoias, otherwise known as Redwoods. I never knew they were here to begin with, nor were they so close. Hello, anybody home?
Thankfully, my friend and I get each other and at each new stand, we allowed ourselves to tap into their beauty, or should I say, they allowed us to stand in their presence. I am still in awe at their majestic height and how each tree seems to have its own bark pattern. It’s hard to miss this bandwidth of Beauty.
I love to sing. In recent years, I have regularly engaged in group singing, Kirtan, a practice of devotional chanting to the Divine.
Singing is vibrational. This is a given. But what I experience with this group is how I feel the vibration in my body as we sit in silence between chants. And there is a variance in the vibration depending upon which chant we sing.

A monthly meditation group I am in also engages in chant. Last month we decided to use the same chant to begin and close our session. Oh my gosh, the difference in tone and sound at the end of our group was amazing. Not only were we stronger in our singing, but we were clearer, more resonant. It reminded me of another meditation group where one of our participants was in the early stages of Acupuncture school and had to practice pulse taking. So our pulses were taken prior to meditation and then afterwards. Our pulses were more balanced at the end of the meditation. I know mine were.

Now here’s a thought: Beauty brings us into alignment, if we are open to it.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

My Beauty –Journey of Beauty 02.09.03

Guiding Thought

Do I know how beautiful I am? Do I have any idea what Beauty created me, what Beauty adorns me, what Beauty permeates and surrounds me? Do I know all Beauty is a gift of Love, leading me to Itself?

Reflection / Contemplation

It was over 20 years ago in my reading of the work of Stephen Levine, the Buddhist author whose work around death and dying provided great insight and comfort as my husband’s father was on hospice. Levine’s work took me to a place of Beauty I had never before gone. A therapist had tried to take me there once, prior to my reading his work. I could not go on that journey until Stephen Levine words offered this particular pathway to me.
 
His statement was that when we experience or feel love, it is actually a mirror that is being held up to us.  We are being reflected back upon ourselves. The Divine we see in others is, in truth, a reflection of the Divine in us. WHAT?!! And here I had thought the love that I feel and express is just me be a good person, and one that I am supposed to be. Knowing that the Divine is in me is one thing, owning it is altogether another thing.
My knowing and owning my Beauty has been and continues to be a work in progress. There are parts or ways of my knowing that are easier to navigate. Maybe it is because I have given them more attention or there are less societal and cultural judgments to navigate. My taking ownership of my own Beauty has implications too, and that I know is part of future conversations with this project
For now, this intention piece keeps showing up. I periodically re-enter the world of “Mirror” work, both for personal development and application to my body work practice. I am finding how much work it takes for me look into the mirror without judgement on my appearance or give attention head noise, and maintain a steady focus on the heart energy exchange, that deep connection with my own inner beauty/Divine. To be honest, I know I am just dipping my toe in the mirror’s waters right now.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

Inner Beauty –Journey of Beauty 02.09.02

Guiding Thought

What is inner Beauty? How do I recognize it in others? How do I recognize it in myself? How do I cultivate inner beauty, especially when there are questions about what it is and how to recognize it?

Reflection / Contemplation

I wonder if inner beauty is just that? It is just because it exists; we exist.  I recognize it in what is around me, in others, and even myself. I am inclined to think it exists even when it is not of my focus.
Last summer I participated in a course on the Spectrum of Love which over the course of a week’s time took us through a meditative process of engaging objects, people (including ourselves) and situations.  We started out very simply, with observation and moved through a myriad of states of recognition, acknowledgement, and others on the way to Love at the end. It was a building exercise that started small by way of awareness of location and engagement that eventually included the difficult and challenging areas of our lives (people and situations), both personal and on the world stage.
I came away from this course with a reinforced understanding that all things, beings, people, etc., have some inherent Beauty in their very existence. I was presented with an opportunity to notice and take the experience deeper if I so chose.
There is an apple tree outside of my studio. I am lucky enough to have it in view throughout a portion of my treatment sessions.  And right now the blossoms are in early bloom. In the last few years I have really paid attention to the cycles of the seasons and the steady and varied expressions of this tree. What I really admire about this tree is its ability to be and stay a tree. When I remember, or move into an awareness, I send appreciative thoughts to this tree. We had a bumper crop last summer. Was this tree saying “thank you” back to me?
Back to the cultivation of inner beauty, it requires that intention and attention that I wrote about yesterday. That is the action piece, the day to day work. The how varies. But underneath all that, I have to choose to do it. Like that tree, I know I will get something in return.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

Show Up! –Journey of Beauty 02.09.01

Guiding Thought

How do I act with Beauty? How do I bring Beauty to mundane tasks or actions? Is Beauty created, when I bring Beauty to a project? How do I embody Beauty?

Reflection / Contemplation

I am inclined to think that most, if not all, that we do involves intention and attention. As a body worker, if I don’t have clear intentions about what I am doing, and I don’t pay attention to what I am doing with my client, I could cause serious bodily harm, or at the least, give a lousy treatment. This intention/attention business applies to relationships, or just about anything. Beauty included.
Now I know that I cannot sustain such focus all day. My mind wanders and the autopilot button kicks in. My daily interaction with Beauty is much like this: I weave in and out of intention/attention to autopilot.
This intention/attention business starts before I get out of bed in the morning. More and more, certain phrases, mantras, or the words attached to a vision board that sits by my bedside, help me to garner my forces for the day.
It is then that I get up, get dressed and go for a walk with my daily walking partner. We have, now, an unspoken pact to make sure that we notice something new every day. We stop and appreciate some piece of nature that we have not noticed before. Today it was the first of the irises; and the tulips are not yet done offering their burst of color and happiness. We are lucky to live where there is a constant supply of newness and an invitation to pause for Beauty. My engagement with Beauty starts early in my day.
And so it goes this weaving in and out of intention/attention, to autopilot, and back to intention/attention. As I write, I realize there is a temporal process to all this: the actual stopping throughout my day, being present and noticing. It is my part in the relationship with Beauty. I have to show up!

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

Commitment and Dedication– Journey of Beauty 02.09.00

Commitment Statement:
I commit to participate fully in this 40 day process on Beauty. This means I will engage with the material offered each day through meditation and writing. I commit to make time and space for creative self-expression as it arises. I commit to express myself with honesty and to fully own what thoughts, emotions, and insights emerge daily. And I commit to being open to surprises.
 
Dedication
I dedicate this 40 day process to any and all on the sojourn of Beauty and to those individuals and family members (deceased, living, or yet to make themselves known to me) who challenge me to become more fully myself.

 

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

Why a Journey of Beauty 02.09.0

Why Beauty?
Thus begins my exploration into the interior states of Beauty. Certain family members and close friends have heard me say, on multiple occasions, that I must be exposed to Beauty every day. My soul/being requires such, whether it is something I observe or experience outside of myself or something that I create. Why does my soul place such a demand on me? Or have a loud enough voice that tells me that if I do not pay attention to this, that my inner light will diminish? 
I am not quite sure how many times I have made this claim, but enough so that if I say it once again, its meaning will drop to the level of triteness and the important folks in my life will look at me with eyes glazed over. So what does it really mean to me when I say that I must be exposed to Beauty daily? It’s time to pony up.
What I know right now, or rather what is true for me now, is that my experience of Beauty is relational: giving and receiving, or rather, receiving and then giving.
My experience of and with Beauty gives me a sense of “Awe”, access to something that is bigger than me. I am not alone in this Universe. What flows from my experience of Awe is gratitude or appreciation for whatever has been offered to me, be it by way of a visual, sound, physical, or taste experience. Even an idea or a conversation can be beautiful to me. Something inside of me gets jostled and stirred. I am different for or because of my experience and I am grateful for it.
I am old enough, curious enough, and introspective enough to know these things about myself: I have to be in relationship.  I have to be in relationship with something greater than myself. I like to stir and be stirred, especially in relationships. I have to be in relationship with that which makes me a better, more conscious human being.
Beauty attends to these requirements; at least I believe it does
What I do not know and am not so clear in expressing, is why this drives me so. Is Beauty a want or a need? Why or how does Beauty invoke the “Awe” response in me? I am willing to be engaged and challenged by this upcoming process.
Let the adventure begin!

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)