Bigger Fundamental Truth of Beauty –Journey of Beauty 02.09.29

Guiding Thought

How do we distinguish fundamental beauty from fleeting, or superficial, beauty? What is the nature of illusion? What is the nature of dis-illusion? How do we get through illusion to Truth?

Reflection / Contemplation

Urgency and Ease: two states that have occupied my attention these last couple of days. Well, they have been with me all along perhaps and pop up now and again (along with all of my other contradictions), with mixed frequency and intensity. Here they are in relation to Truth and Beauty.
Folks who like to play the Truth game are pretty certain that theirs is the one and only game in town. Politicians and religious leaders are obvious players as are those in their camps of being “Right”, as in my “Right” is more right than your “Right”. Plug in whatever topic you want. There is no shortage of opinions or expressions thereof. I have no shortage of opinions myself. I am also very clear that our incarnate reality is more complex and nuanced than the black and white pronouncements of what Truth is.
The term “Both/And” was introduced into our lexicon when I was in graduate school and became a substrate for much of the material we were exploring. The gist of Both/And allowed for two truths or positions of being right to co-exist. That is a wallop of gray, now isn’t it? I was much younger then, and now have some decades behind me with direct experiences with black, white, and gray. Both/And are occupying more of me these days, although it can be a hard concept to live out and explain these days given the political climate of our times.
And then there was the term “Allurement”. What a Beautiful word that was presented in a course on Evolutionary Cosmology by the physicist Brian Swimme (he is worth checking out in my books, as he is on the thinking big committee). As best I can recall, the term described as having all the right conditions for something big and beautiful to occur (like our Earth) – a mix of the right ingredients and being at the right place at the right time. Too much too soon and you implode, or too little too late, and you fizzle out. We just have to stay aware enough to know when to leap, otherwise the opportunity is lost.
I can’t help but apply this concept of allurement to my seemingly contradictory states of urgency and ease, the Both/And. Well, you get me, of course, but you want the right kind of me to show up and express the best of me that I am able to do, and not have me implode or fizzle. This is the bigger fundamental Truth of Beauty: Beauty, True Beauty can handle the contradictions.

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 of Ease –Journey of Beauty 02.09.28

Guiding Thought

What memories do we have of beauty? How are beauty and freedom related? What are we learning passively, simply by showing up to think about beauty every day?

Reflection / Contemplation

I am taking a bit of a break today, not from Beauty, of course, but from my earnest and strident nature. One of today’s guiding thoughts addresses the passive learning of Beauty by just showing up. And so my plan for the day is to be filled with the Beauty of Ease.
My closest and dearest companions know well how I am #1 on the Enneagram (a system of for psycho-spiritual development with origins suspected from the Ennead – ancient Greece – and worked their way through the Desert Fathers, and Sufis and in the more modern times, Gurdjieff to psychiatry, the Jesuits, the Diamond-Heart Approach is now a bit more mainstream). A suggested spiritual practice for my particular Enneagram type is to color outside the lines, step away from routine and order, the idea of perfect. My house itself is not always in order, and my friends laugh at the description of this type, but this system addresses the internal landscape and dialogue. I readily identify with the #1.
Some folks are turned off by this system, as they think it is too negative. They want a nicer entry to inner work. I had first come to this system through the Jesuits and spiritual direction in my early 20’s. I didn’t do a whole lot with it and then about 10 years ago it popped up while I was listening to a radio interview with Richard Rohr OFM (a Franciscan priest) who is a big proponent of this system. He believes this is one of the best forms of spiritual work for our times. Mind you, the return of this system into my life was not peaches and cream. It was another, “I have been found out” moment, and spoke so loud, I could not ignore it.
Those tight shoulders which I mentioned a few days ago received some better attention than a continuing education course could. I got a massage and reminder, too, of how I hold myself in the work I do and the nudge to make it easier on my body/shoulders. Ah, ease.
As my day is just getting started it will be an interesting experiment to stay at ease with all things and see where and how Beauty shows up, especially in relationship and community.

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)

Hangin’ with Prophets –Journey of Beauty 02.09.27

Guiding Thought

How may we be aware of ourselves as Beauty? Not just as beautiful, but as Beauty Itself? How can we exist as Beauty–how can we be Beauty? How may we Know our Self—and each other–as the Beauty we Are?

Reflection / Contemplation

“No man is an island…” These words popped into my mind with today’s guiding thoughts. So I had to find out where they came from. My research says that these are the beginning lines of a poem by John Donne, 16th century metaphysical poet (just up my alley, although I will forgive him for gender pronoun exclusivity, as he was a man of his times), reminding me that we humans do not live in isolation.

I felt like a rock and an island during my adolescent years, even wallowing in a song of Simon and Garfunkel whose line ran: I am a rock; I am an island; and island never cries, and the rock feels no pain. Thankfully I had (and still have) a sister to whom I could write about these feelings of isolation. Her love was able to see my Beauty and offer encouragement and support, a little taste of community.

I have decided, however, that with today’s guiding thoughts, to go big and bold, where the collective is concerned. I am going to hang out with the prophets. They offer an invitation to the community with their urging nature, a call for all of us to be more Beautiful. They are wild, fierce and, impatient. I am enough of a rebel and provocateur myself and so I identify with their urging nature and call for all of us to become ever more of who we truly are.

Ken Wilber, the contemporary philosopher, speaks of a tension between individuals and institutions. In the realm of consciousness, he says that institutions are generally one step behind or below that of the individual, since part of their internal contract is self-preservation. It is that lone voice, that we hope is loud enough or of the right timbre to catch our attention. Wake up! Wake up!

Prophets are often labeled as lunatics, since their eyes are on fire and their faces have a frenzied look to them; the perceived threat is the potential collapse of the social order, too much chaos. And here is where the soft eyes and heart come in, the entry point to see what Beauty they have seen and the bigger Truth they offer.

I am a bundle of questions, more now than when I started writing. What am I hanging on to? What are you hanging on to? Are my eyes and heart soft enough? Are yours? And since we are individuals in the collective, what is our responsibility to the collective to keep us all on the track of staying big and bold? And what are we waiting for?

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)

An Invitation –Journey of Beauty 02.09.26

Guiding Thought

What is beauty of mind? What is beauty of heart? What is beauty of soul? What is beauty of emotion? How are these the same? How are they different? Are they enacted, or expressed similarly, or differently? How do we discern the nuances of difference between beauty of mind-heart-soul-emotion? Is there a difference, or does all unite in Beauty, as it does in Love or Oneness?

Reflection / Contemplation

My daughter just took her last exam, completing her first year of college. The course was an intermediate level Logic class within the department of Philosophy. She tells me that she is so happy not to have to do any more proofs and sets, all those tasks to prove if something is true or not. But even more important, she told me that for all the tears, complaining, and worry associated with the wondering if she would ever be able to understand and pass this course, she thanked the very Philosophy professor who suggested she take it in the first place. His response was to tell her that she had a beautiful mind. Of course, for philosophers, Beauty of mind is where it is at. And yes, I agree. My daughter does have a beautiful mind.

Since it appears that I am on an education kick here to begin with, I might as well let the metaphor play out. The term, whole person has a big say in our collective conversations these days. The education systems, especially recruitment statements and ads: We teach to the whole child and promote excellence…yada, yada, yada.
Even health care has gotten on to this band wagon of the whole person. Their access point of Beauty is the body itself.

Potent memories from my childhood include exercises –somersaults, back rolls, cart wheels, jumping jacks, backbends and such– and memorizing, poems and prayers. Here’s an even better image: me standing on my head reciting the Preamble to the Constitution (my siblings and I can still recite this passage and others, although we are less confident about the standing on our heads part). My parents were into the whole person (body, heart, mind) even before it became a trendy in the lexicon. It was because of this evening routine, that our family was successful in school and athletics. Interestingly enough though, we all had specific areas where we excelled. Some of us were better athletes and some were more successful at the academics part.

Beauty offers an invitation. There is the hook of course, as in the Beautiful Mind of my daughter. My son who is an artist I think best represents Beauty of Soul. And my husband, well that’s easy. He has Beauty of Heart as he is first to offer support and a lending hand. But then there is the tug. I see the hook, and if it is good and secure, I suppose, and then the other realms of Beauty will easily follow.

My first image of this hook and follow came before I got out of bed this morning. It was a tug like you might make on a spider’s web. Once you tug, the other strands (other types of Beauty) will follow. And then my mind went to strain and possibly the collapse of the web. I ditched that image and came up with lanes of Beauty, much like a freeway, one lane for each type.

We move across lanes in driving, as we do with Beauty. Not only does my daughter have a Beautiful mind, she has a Beautiful heart. I will say the same for my son and husband. They too cross lanes. We all cross lanes in our approach to get some place, as with Beauty, with as much grace as possible.

The folks who play with consciousness say that when we reach pure consciousness the subject and object dissolve. At that point, a collapsed web, or a traffic jam for Beauty, as in Love may not even matter.

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)

And Beauty for All –Journey of Beauty 02.09.25

Guiding Thought

What do we perceive? What do we perceive as beautiful? What is beauty to you? How do you perceive beauty? How do our perceptions differ? How are they similar? What do our perceptions say about us as individuals, as human beings, or as spiritual beings? Can someone change how they perceive beauty?

Reflection / Contemplation

I am finally getting to an email from a friend who knows I am on this Journey of Beauty. A good two weeks ago, she forwarded an email from an organization, With Liberty, Justice, and Beauty for All. They, too, have started a blog post as to Why Beauty Matters, with the thought that it just may take Beauty to save America (climate, nature, landscapes, green spaces in cities), a riff on a quote from Dostoyevsky, “Beauty will save the world. Wherein, Yvegeny Yevtushenko, the poet, takes it further, “ But who will save beauty?”. Now if this doesn’t address perspective, diversity, and the collective, I don’t know what does.

Today, as in most days, there is simplicity to Beauty which catches my eyes, ears, head, sense of touch, and heart. My eyes are drawn to lines, simple ones, and the kind which Japanese Tea Houses and tea cups offer. Even in music, I am drawn to the purity of one voice. My good friend from college tells me that I aspire to the Zen. I just may not get it in this lifetime even though I make repeated efforts to do so. We get a good laugh out of this one.

I am attending to the landscape of my refrigerator today. My compost bin, sink, kitchen counter, and soon the recycle bin will well attest to this, as I have just completed a purge in the refrigerator. We make our efforts as best we can in service to Beauty. Sometimes it is a public statement. And sometimes it is a private one, which has large implications of its own.

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)

“I want more of that” –Journey of Beauty 02.09.24

Guiding Thought

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

Reflection / Contemplation

In this space of the collective within the guiding thoughts in relation to vibration and Beauty, I cannot help but remember a high school commencement speech that was actually memorable. The year my son graduated from high school, the chosen guest speaker was the band teacher, Mr. Paynton. He was much beloved by students and parents, and I hope the school.
I have never been to a graduation where the guest speaker offered an interactive presentation. Since the band plays at graduation, he selected some students to play a special piece of music. Unbeknownst to the graduates and all the proud family and friends gathered, Mr. Paynton selected a few of the band members to play “most” of the selected piece correctly. Well, you can imagine, the piece sounded a bit off. A band which shoots for 95% accuracy just doesn’t cut it. His message, of course, was to always do your best; contribute your best to the group effort, otherwise you end up with something like what we experienced.
On some levels it is easier to describe where things are off, or wrong.  That can be a rabbit hole in and of itself. My mother would frequently say that she wasn’t sure of what she wanted, but she certainly knew what she didn’t want. There are some popular writers/speakers in the wider spiritual circles that say that this kind of language sets forth a vibration, an attraction of what you don’t want (Law of Attraction folks).  Their suggestion is that you focus more on what you want and then it will come; this is a challenge, for sure, especially if you really don’t know what you want.
The hook for me is the vibration piece. For that brief moment yesterday (continuing education course), while my shoulders were in the care of that wise and experienced instructor, there was a vibration of Beauty – soft and safe enough to let my shoulders drop and the muscles relax. My whole being was able to say, “I want more of that.”
The demonstration by that band instructor was for the purpose of encouraging the graduating students. As a parent I was only privy to a little bit of who this creative man was. It was my son’s college admissions essay question, wherein he responded to the question of where he finds community, that he described the band room of his high school. My son was able to say in his own way, “I want more of that”. How wonderful it is, a band instructor who could communicate and inspire such a collective vibration of Beauty.
What a doorway to experience Unconditional Love and an opportunity to Stay Big on all levels!

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)

Staying Big –Journey of Beauty 02.09.23

Guiding Thought

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

Reflection / Contemplation

Today it is all about “Staying Big”. I had lots of things to say, and even wrote a bit before heading off to an all-day continuing education class (annual, as required by my licensing body). Now, all that has changed.
A couple of years ago I participated in a 6-week program on Contemplative Dialogue, hosted by a local church, and offered through a local Peace and Justice institute. The idea was to practice deep listening, especially with those whom you had strong philosophical, political, or theological differences. Even though most of us were all coming from the same ideological place, the experience was profound nonetheless.
Even more profound was the voice I heard during a group meditation (we began each session with 5 minutes of silence). It was my dad’s voice telling me to “Stay Big”. At that time he had been dead for over 35 years and my conversations with him had been rather one sided – me doing the talking. And here he was loud and clear, reminding me to stay on the edge of pushing boundaries, as I often describe myself.
My comfort zone in “Staying Big” is in the mental realm, ideas and such. Today I got the opportunity to practice “Staying Big” in the realm of the unconscious as it is revealed through body work. Right off the bat, I was an exchange partner with the primary facilitator of the training. No opportunity to hide behind my mental gymnastics; no fooling as to what my heart and body was holding on to. No opportunity to hide under wise and kind hands. As the facilitator said, “Tension in the body is fear”. And I was holding on to a lot of tension in both shoulders.  Oh, shit! I am found out.
But the lovely thing was that all throughout the day, this facilitator made frequent use of the words, Beauty and Love (kind of timely or synchronistic, wouldn’t you say), not only in regards to the process of the work, but in the bodies themselves, we come in contact through the work. He reminded us that before we even engage another’s body, we have to engage our own with as much kindness, love and relaxation as possible, so that we can be a conduit and container for the Beautiful work to follow. Self-kindness is as essential as showing it.
What a doorway to experience Unconditional Love and an opportunity to Stay Big on all levels!

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)