Beyond Sight – Appreciating Beauty

When most of us think of something beautiful, we think of using our sense of sight. But what are the other ways we can appreciate a thing of beauty?

Beyond Sight – Use of the Other Senses

Of course, we can appreciate beautiful things with our eyes, whether we are looking at people, nature, etc. But what can we do beyond that?

Let’s start with the sense of smell. Think about looking at a flower. Instead of just seeing the depth of the red rose, get closer and breathe in its fragrance. If you are standing near the top of a mountain, take in the view while absorbing the fresh air. When you are close to someone, pay attention to their scent, that particular fragrance or cologne, or just that aroma that is unique to them.

Then there is the sense of hearing. In the outdoors, you can hear wind rustling the leaves, water trickling down a stream, birds singing, and many other sounds of nature. Relax by listening to gentle music, or the beautiful voice of a great singer. Go beyond the looks of a person, and listen to what they say about their beliefs, and their dreams.

With the sense of touch, you can feel a rose’s delicate petals, the softness of a dandelion’s seed head, and the warmth of a loved one’s embrace.

With the last sense, the sense of taste, you can taste the kiss of true love, probably one of the most beautiful use of the that sense. You can create a visually appealing meal and slowly savor every bite. You can appreciate the work that went into a honeycomb, and taste the honey from it.

Experiencing Beauty Through Emotions

Whenever you apply any of your senses to appreciate something beautiful, you also have the opportunity to let the beauty affect you deeply. Standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, you can not only marvel it’s greatness in size, feel the winds on your skin, breathe in the fresh air, and hear the sounds of people voicing their awe. You can let one of nature’s greatest wonders take your breath away.

When you look at a stunning piece of art, you can go beyond visual appreciation by contemplating what the artist may have been inspired by, and what feelings the work evokes within you.

Sharing Beauty with Others

One of the most common ways beauty is shared with others, especially in the internet world, is through photographs. How can you help others truly appreciate a photo more than aesthetically? Use of present tense details, such as the weather conditions, the sounds around you, the way you felt when taking the photo, what inspired you to taking it, and how it made you feel when looking at it later would help those looking at it go into the moment with you, the photographer.

Finding Beauty Within Yourself

Finally, it is always important to remember that there is a beauty that lies with all of us. We do not have to always be looking towards others, or traveling to far away places to find something beautiful. There is something that makes each of us unique, and that is beautiful in itself. Find that beauty, and share it with the world. Encourage others to find what is beautiful in themselves.

How Do You Do It?

And now I ask you… how do you appreciate beauty?

A special thanks to one of my readers, PeaceLoveJoyBliss, for the intriguing question that inspired this post.

The Life of an Emotional Sponge

Empathy is a beautiful thing. I have always embraced the fact that I am able somewhat understand another person must be feeling in situations that I may not have experience with myself. And even if I do have experience with something similar, I am able to realize that I cannot fully understand what they are going through, as everyone’s emotions and reactions to situations are unique. But with empathy, I am able to at least be able to put myself in their place enough to help them get to the root of the thing troubling them.

The downside to this quality, for me, is that I have also become an emotional sponge. What others feel, I begin to feel as well. I absorb emotional energy of all types. Whenever the person I am with is openly feeling blue, I become blue myself, but at least in that circumstance, I know that the source is external instead of internal.

Some people, however, have the ability to mask their feelings on the surface and portray themselves as being stronger, happier, braver, etc. than they really are. I am, of course, one of those people who will hold something in until it bursts. It is not intentional, but just a natural reaction within some people. Especially with an empathetic person who feels their problems will be a burden on others. But other people conceal their feelings, it somewhat jams my radar. Instead of absorbing their emotion and knowing its source, I feel it and take it on as my own.

It takes a bit of time, but eventually I am able to identify it as not coming from within myself, and then am able to hone on the source. Ultimately, my empathetic side is not satisfied until some form of good takes place, in the form of helping identify a problem and find ways towards a solution. It is this drive that makes me so sensitive to others’ feelings.

Emotional Residue from Dreams

This morning, I woke up feeling particularly snarky. In recent months, with exception to times I was sick, I have always woke up in a blissfully sunny mood, but not today. And I am sure it is from what I like to call emotional residue from a dream I had. The fact that I cannot remember the details of the dream just adds to my snarkiness, although I am certain that it involved a massive fight with my ex. I was aware early on in the morning that something was out of balance, but it was not fully apparent until morning tennis practice. No matter how much I tried to shake the feeling off, it surfaced in the form of the worst practice I have ever had – my serves were way off, and I was much harder on myself for my usual beginner’s mistakes. I have since settled my nerves, and am feeling much better, thanks to some extra special attention from my fiancĂ©. But it just goes to show that subconscious things can really affect me in ways that are a bit hard to control.

Personal Awareness

One of the many wonderful things I am taking away from the Intentional Achievements class is becoming more aware of myself. Really noticing the ways I react to things, and then taking the time to analyze them and determine why I react. Then with that knowledge, figuring out how to change my perspective.

For example, two things I thought of during class last night (that I also shared with my fiancé over a yummy warm, cast iron baked cookie) were the following:

What: Nervousness to talk in groups.
Why: Fear of being either ignored, or considered silly to stupid for my thoughts.
Change/Result: Once I let go of worrying about what others think, I was able to speak up louder (taking care of any chance of being ignored) and really share my thoughts. Not only that, but I found that I do have something interesting and intelligent to add to many conversations.

What: Censoring myself when talking to people, even with those I should trust.
Why: Sharing things with others in the past have cruel judgment, being viewed from that point on in a negative way, etc.
Change/Result: I have learned that with the right person, there will not be negative reprocations. The right person is someone who is truly loving, supportive, open minded, and trustworthy. When I let go and shared things in my past, not only was I not judged, but I was admired more for my ability to realize problems and implement change. That, in turn, made me feel much stronger than I ever have before.