Why Does Beauty Matter?

sunriseIt is everywhere – in the curve of a road or a child’s cheek, in the juxtaposition of color and form gracing the twilit sky. It is sometimes imperfect and almost always impermanent, elevating our days through its existence.

In trying to understand the experience of beauty, German poet Friedrich Schiller observed human nature motivated by two principle longings, sense and form. The drive to sense the world based in immediate gratification, and the drive to impart form on the world based in coherence and rational order. Desires that often conflict with one another.

Being present in the moment can be at odds with ideas of responsibility, duty and perseverance.

But Schiller believed we needed both drives for balance –postulating that absolute beauty was experienced when objects or emotions resonated with both needs at the same time. Experiencing beauty this way, he thought, could teach us how to be both immediate and eternal, both present and accountable.

I believe beauty is often found in the gaps, in the spaces between what we expect and what we encounter. Being present is the currency of its recognition. Years ago, I learned the anchoring influence of recognizing just one beautiful thing a day. This practice seeded gratitude and influenced my perspective during some of the most trying times of my life.

The ChakraBabe project is about beauty – the beauty of balance. The healing effect of reconciling our duality by capturing beauty and celebrating it, by finding it in ourselves as we explore and understand our energetic nature – and the blessing of living on our own terms. It is with this intent I now wake up each morning to wrestle with WordPress and angst over Shopify.

Our launch is almost here. It is my desire you will recognize the beauty I have stumbled across, sought in obscure corners, collected and brought to you for consideration with ChakraBabe. As the project grows and the community coalesces, I realize the launch is only a new beginning, with fresh perspectives, greater depth and further growth just around the curve.

I look forward to meeting you there.

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Hanging by a Thread

blog6_minLast night, in direct opposition to my Buddhist directives of finding peace in the mundane, I was cranking out my domestic duties as fast as possible. In the midst of stuffing my washer with a load of laundry, I noticed a suspicious puddle of water on the floor in front of me. Upon further inspection it became evident I was dealing with what I can only call a minor catastrophe. A hot water leak in my foundation running from the bathroom, through the laundry room and coming to rest under the wood floor of my dining room buffet. The earth work alone is enough to warrant selling this place and moving to a monastery.

I went to bed subdued, to say the least. Life seems so tenuous at times – trying to balance private school tuition for a seventh grader, crazy high water bills, a burning desire for an area rug in my living room. Complicated, of course, by a deep sense of mourning for the loss of my Sephora habit.

Hanging by a thread – not just the monthly budget or retail therapy, but all of it, our health, relationships, our very existence on the planet. Lost in these thoughts I looked up and took in the confines of my bedroom. The walls a creamy hue, the artwork abundant and traded for years ago, vintage pieces from furniture markets, all coalescing in a feeling of easy tranquility and comfort.

It occurred to me then, maybe the thread is not a single-ply piece of cotton, maybe it is silk or has the tensile strength of the anchor line in a spider’s web. Maybe in its delicate presence it is capable such strength and elasticity that it outperforms any man made material.

In the moment of testing that strength, not knowing if it will hold or it will snap, we have a choice – to create and appreciate beauty.

It balances our lives. And it is all around us, all the time.