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By Jonathan Mead Published in calmness
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How to Find Beauty in Life
PHOTO BY SIMN PAIS-THOMAS
Life is mostly made up of routines and patterns. Every day we act them out and
they are what make up the bulk of our lives. Many of us live according to a
socially acceptable template, within the realm of safety, while living repetitively
and dreaming of ways to escape.
I used to revolt against these routines. I saw them as the enemy of adventure
and of living a spontaneous life. However, Ive found that routines can be quite
blissful. Ive realized that every day events and what we would commonly classify
as normal, is often extraordinary if you just take a closer look.
Ive discovered that even if youre not exactly where youd like to be, that doesnt
mean that life right now cant be beautiful or enjoyable. And the best part is, you
dont have to do anything to make it beautiful. It already is beautiful.
All you have to do is open your eyes.
Seeing Things Differently
We are constantly surrounded by miracles, but we do not recognize them
because they come to us so gracefully and seamlessly.
For example, have you ever thought about how many different processes have to
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be organized simply to create the experience youre having right now? Imagine if
all of that was a conscious effort. Imagine if you had to think about breathing, or
think about listening to music. You dont, it just happens. Isnt that amazing?
Now multiply that by a trillion. Every breath, every movement, and every
condition thats creating the possibility for you to be alive right now is a miracle.
We often get inundated with our To-Do lists, or get caught up in the drama of
things that arent really important. Realizing that beauty exists in every moment
is possible; it simply takes a way of seeing things a bit differently.
Boredom due to routine is a creation of the mind. In reality, there are no
ordinary or extraordinary moments. There is beauty everywhere. If you truly
understand this, you can look at any ordinary object and find beauty in its
existence. You can see a pile of rotting compost and realize that within that
organic waste is the possibility of a garden of flowers.
Ive found that there are a few easy shifts that need to take place, in order to
create a state of constant awareness of how amazing life is. Most of the time we
only catch a glimpse of how amazing things really are before we get sucked back
into the monotony of our routines. We lose mindfulness.
In order to make awareness of beauty a permanent fixture in your life, you need
to practice being mindful and aware. I dont claim that practicing these principles
is easy, but the benefits are worthwhile when we bring consciousness into our
daily existence.
1. Practice Listening
One of the biggest blocks to recognizing all of lifes extraordinary moments is
that we often dont stop to listen. Were too busy talking to ourselves. If were
thinking all the time, were living entirely in a world of symbols. Were living in a
world of abstractions about reality; words that describe, label, and categorize
things. This can be a wonderful tool for communication, but it can also be a
curse when it gets out of control.
If were always thinking, were never in a relationship with reality. In order to
become intimate with life, we need to listen. Imagine that every time you
interacted with someone, you were the only one talking. There would be no
communication, because you never gave the other person a chance to speak. It
works the same way when youre communicating with life.
Instead of thinking all the time and getting lost in your own thoughts, slow down
and just listen. Put your focus on listening. When you find that you are drifting
away in your own thoughts, gently bring your focus back to listening.
2. Practice Non-Judgment
Have you ever noticed that when you judge other people, it immediately puts
you in a negative mood?
Usually, the judgments we make are because other people arent conforming to
our version of the way we would live. Everyones values are different, and thats
what makes life interesting. While there are some justifiable judgments you can
make, theyre still, ultimately, not worth it.
Compassion is a better vehicle for change than judgment.
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The next time youre about to make a judgment, try to practice compassion
instead.
Let your feeling of needing to judge be a reminder for you to practice
compassion. That way, your negativity will be transformed into peace.
Beauty is experienced through a state of peace, never through a state of
condemnation. And yes, non-judgment also means to stop complaining.
3. Open Your Heart
If youre like me and youre pretty left-brained, you might be thinking, Okay thats
nice, but how exactly do I open my heart?
Opening your heart is a matter of accepting yourself and life as it is. Its a matter
of forgiving yourself and others. Its letting go of all your resistance to the flow of life
and the flow of circumstances.
If you want to take action to change something, thats fine. But it doesnt make
any sense to resist what is already a reality. Surrender to this moment, accept
things and people as they are, and your heart will begin to open.
Tips for Daily Living
What all of these things have in common is presence. The more youre living in the
present moment, the more bliss you allow to come into your life. If youre always
living in the future, always seeking something, youre rejecting what Is youre
never actually here to experience the miracle of life, right now.
If you can just practice these three things, your life will start to transform
dramatically. Youll begin to tap into your inner integrity and live authentically.
You cant live in acceptance and not be authentic. And if youre living
authentically, you naturally move into a state of bliss. See where this is leading?
The three practices Ive mentioned above are the primary catalysts for opening
yourself up to how wonderful life can be. There are, however, many other
practical things you can do that will help you become more aligned with these
principles.
Here are a few suggestions:
Find beauty in the little things. Its amazing to me how when I stop the incessant
mental chatter, and actually just see things, I am blown away by how beautiful they
are. The trees swaying, the leaves blowing around on the ground, the waves
crashing on the shore. The simplest of things have the most profound beauty. But
you can only see them if youre really there. If your mind is brooding, if youre off
somewhere else, youll completely miss them.
Embrace your artistry. If you think youre not a creative person, Im here to
respectably tell you youre wrong. You couldnt not create, even if you wanted to.
Every time you open your mouth, every story you tell yourself about the drama in
your life, is an act of creation. Youre constantly shaping, reinventing, and writing the
story of your life. Once you recognize this, its much more powerful for you to see
yourself as an artist, rather than a non-creative person. So the question is: What
story will you create today?
Live without limits. Some limits are positive and necessary (like speed limits), but a
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lot of the limits we place on our lives block us from experiencing our full potential.
Arbitrary limits, like fearing to reach out to a homeless person or talk to strangers,
restrict the flow of love in our lives.
Realize that beauty can be found in the most mundane. Beauty is not always
realized through a life-changing moment or a great epiphany. Its not always hidden
in a rainbow, in an earth-shattering orgasm, or found skydiving at 5,000 feet above
the ground. Beauty is often found through looking into a newborns eyes, in the
blooming of a flower, or in paint peeling off an old fence. Its often where you least
expect it.
See for the first time. Sometimes we get bogged down in schedules and
obligations, and we lose our sense of wonder about the simple joys of life. Just
quieting yourself internally and opening yourself up to an experience can allow you
to view it again for the very first time. When youre listening to music, imagine that
you might have not been born with the ability to hear. When you reach out to touch
someone, think about how many people dont have use of their limbs. When you
observe your surroundings, imagine youre seeing color for the first time.
Live intimately with life. The next time you have a drink of coffee or tea, completely
take in the smell and the flavor of the beverage. When you breathe, feel the air enter
your lungs. When you walk, really feel the ground beneath your feet. The amount of
beauty you experience in life is largely related to your level of intimacy with life. If
youre walking around disconnected, you overlook the wealth of artistry that is
available to you right now.
Make your passion a priority. Its easy to get wrapped up in doing all of the things
that we think must get done. Wanting everything to be perfect gets in the way of
having time for the things you really care about. While the errands and things on
your to-do list might be necessary, its important to make the things you love a
priority. If you have a hard time with distractions getting in your way, make a specific
time during your day that is sacred, where you only do what you really want to do.
Maybe its an hour of Kung Fu or Yoga in the morning before the rest of the world
wakes up. Maybe its 30 minutes of Mahjong before you turn in for the night.
Whatever it is, you have to make it a priority or it will get lost in the vacuum of the
minutiae abyss.
Focus on the good. The reason still puzzles me, but we humans have a tendency to
focus on the negative in events, circumstances, and people. We have a tendency to
count our misfortunes and all the things that are lacking before we count our
blessings. Make a habit of focusing on all the things youre grateful for and you will
open yourself up to experiencing the beauty of life.
Give something away. Ive found that the best way to reconnect with how beautiful
life can be is to give something away. It doesnt have to be anything material. It can
be a compliment, a smile, or a positive intention for someone else. Sometimes the
greatest gift you can give is sincerely giving your presence.
This list is, by no means, exhaustive. These are just the things that have worked
for me. Experiment on your own and take chances. Sometimes a deep breath or
a smile at a stranger is all it takes to bring you back into a state of presence.

Closing Thoughts
Its easy to get motivated to follow or chase a new provocative idea. Seeing the
beauty in the ordinary sounds quite alluring. But like most things that catch our
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jonathan Mead is a limit-breaking coach, martial artist and
trafficker of truth. He writes about self development and living
on your own terms at Illuminated Mind.
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fleeting interest, our well intended desires get lost in our rush to get things done
and keep up with the day to day business of living.
To make our perception of life being amazing a constant perception rather than a
transient one, we have to slow down. Its only through seeing the wisdom of
slowing down, breathing and being present that we can realize how ridiculous it
is to always be in a hurry. We may think were moving quicker, and getting more
things done. But in doing so, we miss the point: to enjoy life now.
Only by slowing down and being here now can we make what were doing
worthwhile. Its in slowing down that we allow ourselves space to experience life
more fully. We often go through life trying to eliminate and fill up space as much
as possible in an attempt to maximize our time. But in the end, the exact
opposite happens.
Its through space that air fills your lungs. Its through space that your body
moves. Its through space in the vibration of the air that sound is heard. Its in the
gaps between veins that blood flows. Without the space between these letters,
there would be no words for you to read -it would all be incoherent.
In this way, you realize something
Emptiness truly roars. Silence speaks. Space gives birth to form.
Its in the gaps that beauty is found.
** Got tips for daily living? Share your thoughts and stories in the comment section.
See you there!
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Reply
Anonymous
May 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm PDT
we have to slow down
We live in a competitive society where slowing down isnt possible. There
are too many of us, and we are all replaceable. Focusing on the negative
keeps us competitive.
There is little actual joy to be found in repetition, thats why assembly-line
work is done by machines.
Unless your passion can pay the bills, its not a priority.
j
November 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm PDT
I enjoyed this piece it encompasses ideas that frequently arise in my
6/23/2014 How to Find Beauty in Life | Think Simple Now
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Reply
thoughts, I think its incredible the power our perspective has to govern our
reality, yet its sad that such a small majority of people are aware of there
ability to change there own lives, Im 17, so a majority of my interaction is
with discontent distracted individuals lost in there self-created worlds, I find
it frustratingly difficult to explain the power people have over there reality,
the nature of society increases the likelihood people have of adopting
attitudes that dis-empower themselves and there potential, usually
responses to my attempts to explain this are dismissive, I try to appreciate
the light in this occurrence by considering that Im only aware of the self
destructive nature of some attitudes because my consciousness has
developed a little beyond the typical teenager, but I find it difficult to accept
individuals with endless potential being restricted by there own negative
thought patterns and perspectives, is there any approaches to helping
people realise there own power you found particularly effective? or any
information relevant that could help me?
thanks again for the piece :) j
Reply
james
November 22, 2011 at 2:13 pm PDT
I enjoyed this piece it encompasses ideas that frequently arise in my
thoughts, I think its incredible the power our perspective has to govern our
reality, yet its sad that such a small majority of people are aware of there
ability to change there own lives, Im 17, so a majority of my interaction is
with discontent distracted individuals lost in there self-created worlds, I find
it frustratingly difficult to explain the power people have over there reality,
the nature of society increases the likelihood people have of adopting
attitudes that dis-empower themselves and there potential, usually
responses to my attempts to explain this are dismissive, I try to appreciate
the light in this occurrence by considering that Im only aware of the self de
structive nature of some attitudes because my consciousness has
developed a little beyond the typical teenager, but I find it difficult to accept
individuals with endless potential being restricted by there own negative
thought patterns and perspectives, is there any approaches to helping
people realise there own power you found particularly effective? or any
information relevant that could help me?
thanks again for the piece :) j
Asif Iqbal
November 24, 2011 at 8:48 am PDT
I just watched an atrocious video clip of some real people being shot at
until their death. And I suddenly felt like retching, or something like that. To
get rid of this feeling, I googled the keyword beauty of life. And there
came up this extra-ordinary article on how best we can enjoy life. Death is
inevitable, and what is inevitable, what we can do nothing against, should
be patiently accepted. This is whats told in the article.
But what turned this article into a miracle (to me) is its little paragraph on
going non-judgmental. Wow, the concept is pretty new to me! I, to be frank,
was heavily judgmental about people that I know. And yes, it involved
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Reply
negativity, which is petty bad. I will, from now on, seriously consider
becoming less and less judgmental.
Thanks for this soul-opening piece. (Im an atheist, and therefore I resisted
saying God bless you.)
Reply
innam
July 2, 2012 at 3:49 am PDT
Most people think of their sense of beauty as a judgement based on their
experience of whatever it is they are judging.
But true beauty is found IN THE EXPERIENCE. It, is our core relationship
to the infinite moment.
Judgements are dead proclamations of things past.
The eternal NOW, is the source of all power and beauty.
Innsm
Reply
donna link
October 23, 2012 at 6:50 am PDT
this was one of the most meaningful articles ive read in quite sometime. I
know that God was in the mixHe is the reason that i ran across this site.
Im so happy I did. It was written just for me. Thank you, and keep up the
wonderful work. The world definitely need people like you.someone to
teach us how simple life really is. But we have complicated what God
made so simple. Im trying to live life the way God has intended me to, and
this article will stay with me. God bless you.
Reply
emily
November 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm PDT
this has truly inspired me to become a better person, and to find myself,
and my true purpose in life.
Thank you.
Reply
Ling
April 7, 2013 at 6:31 am PDT
I love your article Jonathan. I been feeling down and trying to find beauty in
life. Thanks for your inspiring article.
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