Beauty was the sign.

Beauty was the sign.

Today’s blog is more of a reflection than an analysis, so I’ll make it short.  

Beauty was the sign that I’d moved out of survival mode.  It wasn’t so much the beauty itself as it was my ability to experience the beauty, to notice it so that I could lean into it.  

So many of us, especially folks socialized as women, walk around with our danger radars on high alert.  Certain circumstances exacerbate the alarm. Media messages, community norms, workplace power dynamics, family traditions, and the reality of backlash ramp up the nervous system.  

The good news is that we can calm the nervous system with very specific techniques.  When we do that, we can disrupt the power of those systems that impacted us in the first place. 

That’s what trailblazers do.  Our self-care is deeply personal work.  When we help ourselves, we go out into the world and preach the gospel of courageous change.

I’ve been implementing different techniques over the last year.  It’s been my practice, my challenge and my joy since July, 2022.  

Recently, the sign of my growth showed itself through beauty.  Seriously. It was an a-ha moment of revolutionary beauty.  Survival mode, nervous system alarm, and vigilance reside in stories about the past and worries about the future.  If I’m in full on catastrophizing mode, I am not present.  When I regret what happened in the past, I am far away from the now.  On the other hand, beauty is all about the ability to stay in the present moment to experience it and that requires a calm nervous system.

Beauty invokes the senses, stimulates the brain, relaxes the nervous system, fosters creativity, and expands possibility.  

Last week beauty floated into my awareness and I’ve been adding it into my days intentionally. 

  • my homemade morning macchiato
  • tomato plants in my garden
  • yellows (my favorite color!) all around me
  • red house finches at the bird feeder
  • the scent of jasmine
  • a clutter-free desk
  • sunsets
  • my favorite shoes
  • handmade copper earrings that my friend in Croatia gifted to me
  • the beautiful minds of people who create with me

Beauty is not reserved for others or for the unknown future time when we’ve earned it.  It is available to all of us if we claim it and create it.  That is what healing, courage, and self-trust look like.  It’s how we up-level. 

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