Living a Life of Beauty
Living a life of beauty does not necessarily mean beauty in the physical sense. To me, having great relationships with people you love, having work that inspires you and that allows you to give back to the community in some way, fills that description. The opportunity to create, whether that be art, music or planting a lovely flower garden can instil joy and peace in our lives as well as beauty.
When I was in my teens, I did not understand flowers. They were not practical. Tomatoes, carrots onions, potatoes and peas could feed and nourish one’s body. What use were flowers? Caring for your spirit or lifting your mood with the aesthetically appealing or the thought of taking time to nurture yourself by enjoying the little things in life was foreign concept to me.
As time went on, I married and divorced. My days were full with caring for my three active and loving children that were the center of my world. Working and trying to stay on top of house work, I had little time left for myself. Often at midnight I would throw in a load of laundry and set my alarm for an hour later to get up and throw the clothes in the dryer. It felt like life was on overdrive and I was exhausted.
Convinced that I was sick, I made the rounds from doctor, to naturopath, to iridoligists and anyone else I thought might diagnose why I felt so exhausted and unhappy. I had allergy testing, food testing, went on elimination diets. I read books, talked to people and lamented the fact that no one could help me figure this out. All my GP would say was, "You are not sick. You are a single mom with three kids and you work hard!" Then I found Dr Andrew Weils’ Book “8 Weeks to Optimum Health.” Not your typical prescription for healing a body, his first recommendation was to go on a news fast... no TV news, newspapers or radio news. I began, if somewhat sceptically, following his advice. Imagine my surprise when one of his "prescriptions" was to have fresh flowers on the table every day. Some of his advice along with meditation, taking the time I needed to recharge and making sure I was eating well and getting enough sleep did help. The truth of my doctor's original diagnosis really hit home when I watched my daughter coping with the responsibilities of caring for her four children after her divorce.
We often hear we need to “stop and smell the roses.” When I visited the small village of Mirepeisset, France for the first time in 2011, people seemed to place an emphasis on working to live not living to work. The restaurant in the center of the village was only open for a few hours in the evenings. Every time I saw the owner during his free time he seemed happy, full of energy and was enjoying his day. Village life was very appealing not only to me but also to my daughter who a year later moved with her four children to France. We have the opportunity, every day, to make changes that will bring us closer to the life we would love to live. Why not design a life of beauty rather than take what is given to us. That is precisely my focus during this, "My Year of Transformation."