“What you encounter, recognize or discover depends to a large degree on the quality of your approach. Many of the ancient cultures practiced careful rituals of approach. An encounter of depth and spirit was preceded by careful preparation.
When we approach with reverence, great things decide to approach us. Our real life comes to the surface and its light awakens the concealed beauty in things. When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace.” ~ John O’Donohue
Imagine beginning and traveling through the day by following a ritual of approach that includes careful preparation in order to meet experiences of depth and spirit. Waking and remaining nested for a bit in that fuzzy stillness and (near) silence and making a commitment to meeting the day with a feeling of reverence, allowing “real” life to come to the surface. And, as “real” life is allowed to float to the surface, sensing that the light of this “realness” “awakens the concealed beauty in things.” All things.
Millions of moments of perfection, beauty, hope, love, gratitude, potential float in and out of our day, all day long. Our “busy-ness” and “focus” can make it hard to see and acknowledge the concealed beauty in things, people, moments, occurrences.
We are all but blind to the beauty that is found even in those things we would not label as beautiful: grief, silence, death……
When I began this post a few days ago, it admittedly had a negative slant. News in and of the world had taken a toll on me, my heart and soul.
Of all things, it was a workshop on how trauma (physical, emotional, environmental, psychological, etc) causes the problem solving part of our brain to shrink, that triggered a shift in perception for me. It came from discussion on our “fight or flight” response. What kind of beauty and hope could be found in this you may ask?
The concealed beauty is that the power of a kind word, a gentle touch, of being present and being concerned, and reaching out do make a difference. These things physically change the brain.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
And that is the power each one of us has. The power to make a difference if we choose to.
My personal “work”, and I have to say I am not comfortable calling it that, but do not know what else to call it, is to listen to some ancient, primordial sense deep inside of me that I believe once understood the idea of a revered preparation for encounters in this world, with beauty…of walking with gentleness, gratitude, awareness and patience on this world and in this world.
There is an assault happening to us, ridding us of this wisdom and respect. We respond with fight or flight. We see this all over the world and in our own homes and communities. How are we approaching life, each other, our world, the universe? Are we preparing for encounters of depth and spirit?
We tend a garden full of rushed hearts and arrogant minds. There is little gentleness and less patience.We are tired because we lack sound sleep. We are overwhelmed, overfed or underfed, unsure. We stumble over fear and hate. We are either drowning or parched with thirst and withering. We hide in front of the TV and behind other screens. Constant noise, conversation, TV, clatter and chatter over occupy our brains and numb us a bit. Doing, doing, doing. Being important seems to out weigh being gentle and kind. Quantity and appearance seem to matter more that quality and simplicity. We fertilize our lives with all this and grow flowers that are big and bold, but lack perfume and prevent light from reaching anything growing beneath or nearby. These flowers hog the water, the light, the nutrients.
So, lets start paying (more) attention to the quality of our approach to the this planet, each other and the experiences that unfold before us. Approaching them with reverence. Like preparing a garden bed and soil in an empty, deserted lot so it will support and sustain life and beauty, the health and stamina of the small seeds working to grow. If we put some of our time and energy into preparing mindfully for encounters in life maybe we will be able to see that a garden that includes variety is healthier and more beautiful. While each plant has it’s own needs and requirements, the fundamental needs for living and growing are the same for each plant and flower. Like people.
Perchance great things will approach us and the light of what matters and is important in the world may illuminate the concealed beauty in an abundance of things we are or have been blind to. So that
” …beauty will decide to trust us”
and then we understand
“When we approach with reverence, great things decide approach us”