Put Yourself in the Presence of Beauty
At first thought it may seem like a relatively unimportant idea to add more beauty to your life. However, from the point of reference that you want to reduce drama and troublesome emotions, it can make a world of difference. And most importantly, intentionally putting yourself in the presence of beauty can reduce the disruption you may feel during this time of radical global and social change.
Experiencing that which is beautiful creates an enduring positive state of “awe” that can go beyond your current understanding of things. Resting in wonder and mystery shows us that there is something much larger than our me-centered world.
The awe of being in the presence of something beautiful might feel like a sudden sensation of the extraordinary when you gaze upon a newborn baby, look at the stars on a clear night, or the view from a mountain top. Another day, what is beautiful might be the cuteness of a new puppy, sunlight shining through your kitchen window, or the smell of a fragrant flower. Prayer and meditation may create for you a feeling of beauty and unity.
A moment of beauty can create a spine-tingling feeling that connects you to something bigger than yourself. These moments become blocked, however, if you are occupying the reactive roles in the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) of Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer.
When locked in the DDT, it is common to think there is something wrong with you, treating yourself as a self-improvement project. That approach usually suppresses your reactive habits, eventually making them stronger. Instead, intentionally place yourself in the presence of beauty. These extraordinary moments will gently pull you from the DDT toward a more heart-centered experience that will help you escape the grip of the drama triangle with more ease.
Remind yourself to look for what is beautiful—however you define that for yourself. When you do so, even a couple times a day, you are training your brain to notice beauty and be open to what is wonderful in the world. When you naturally look for beauty, you are discerning what you value. Maybe the next person doesn’t find it beautiful, but that doesn’t matter. You do.
Beauty offers you so many benefits! Here are just a few:
- When you gaze at something you deem beautiful, you naturally become curious about it. You want to find out more. You also become curious about what others find beautiful, which increases your ability to genuinely listen and develop caring relationships.
- Emotions that arise when you are in the presence of beauty are more positive and lighter. Unlike the drama emotions of fear or anxiety, which trigger your “fight-or-flight” response, the emotional response to beauty interrupts those emotions and brings you to the present moment and the unique experience you are having.
- Beauty increases your desire to be generous and empathic. It is not possible to be stingy and generous, or self-centered and empathic, at the same time.
- Beauty triggers a neurological and hormonal response, promoting positive health indicators. Research shows it plays a role in health and healing, lowering blood pressure and building a stronger immune system.
Practice intentionally placing yourself in the presence of beauty as often as possible. It may be listening to a beautiful symphony or gazing upon puffy clouds floating above. Maybe your beautiful moment is a walk in nature and gazing at the veins in a leaf. When you place yourself in beauty’s presence, you will be connecting to the extraordinary that exists all around you and changing your personal world for good.