REVEALED BY LIGHT


INSIGHT: A CALL TO BE REVEALED

By Marisol B.

Given that the prime characteristic of the beautiful; is light or radiance, I would like to reflect on some of the ways in which our own beauty might be revealed.

I would like to ponder upon the manner in which the inner intelligibility of a being is made visible, and the moments when one realizes and recognizes the great beauty of one's own existence.

A GIFT BESTOWED UPON US

I would like to start off with the thought that beauty is vested upon a being; it is gifted and perfectly given - ready to be revealed. As described by Michael Angelo; his masterpieces were already in existence, and all he had to do was to take away the excess marble in order to reveal their perfection.

The above places us at a point of identifying what parts of our own life and existence are in need of sculpting, building, and revealing. What parts need to be hit by radiance, order, and integrity; as to appear more beautiful and inviting.

Pondering upon these things, the following three points come to mind:

01. We are beautiful and complete; yet not fully revealed.

As we journey about life, it is important to remain mindful of our worth and individual gifts. We are all filled with great potential and perfection. There are times when we will be tempted to forget this simple truth and become clouded by doubt, fear, and a false sense of unworthiness. Let us remember the gift we have been given in existence, and the great endowment that entails the fact of being (versus doing or having).

02. Virtue brings light into our being and existence.

As we grow and work towards constant self-actualization, the beautiful and perfect parts of our being are more visible to others and ourselves. Having a clear vision of the virtues we wish to cultivate within our own lives; and acting upon these, bring a coherence of life that is both, attractive and appealing.

03. Magnanimity (i.e. a generous spirit) reveals much light upon itself and others'.

The greatest way in which our own beautiful identity and growth is truly revealed, is through the concrete means in which we give of ourselves. Having a constant desire to add value to specific causes and people, enables a spirit of service and collaboration.

As we move forward with our lives, let us be ever mindful of these principles and apply them consistently; lest we forget our inherent and perfect beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONGING FOR THE SEA


We long to sail on the sea of life and yet we are afraid of leaving our safe harbor

WISE WORDS FOUND VIA NEW YORK ENCOUNTER:

Longing for the Sea and yet <<not>> Afraid

We embark on the journey of life spurred by a promise of happiness in our heart. But then, fear of the unknown makes us hesitant, especially if the destination is not certain. Desire chocked by fear appears to be the common experience of our time.

We strive to build relationships and overcome divisions, and yet we end up stifling true dialogue, due to preconceptions or conformity to the demands of political correctness. We dream of achieving greatness in some dimension of our lives, and yet we settle for a comfortable life. We ache for something new (and constantly check our smartphones in expectation), and yet we abhor events that are out of our control. We crave stability, but we are unsure that what is true today will still be true tomorrow. We strive to be more "mindful" in the present, and yet our mind is always fleeing from the here and now. We desire belonging, and yet we dread relinquishing our freedom. We long to encounter a lover, a friend, a father who will break through our radical solitude, and yet we are afraid of losing ourselves.

We long to sail on the sea of life and yet we are afraid of leaving our safe harbor.

 

A LESSON IN HUMILITY


 LOVELY IMAGE VIA  SIGNORA E MARE

LOVELY IMAGE VIA SIGNORA E MARE

The title of this particular entry was written on 11 October, 2014 as a draft. I have no idea what was on my mind that day, nor what impulse drove me to write it, but as I encounter the words today, I find myself in need of so much of that very virtue; in need of so much humility...

It is so easy to get caught up in a world of busy tasks and little whims. It is easy to forget where one stands in relation to the entire universe, and the smallness; yet greatness of our ever searching soul.

Oh how do I need to be reminded of the simple beauty in life; even as I share this little project, which promotes that very ideology. I am grateful for the great community I have come to know; one who shares the same longing for what is true, good, and beautiful. Let us remind one another; lest we lose sight...

A CALL TO BE AWAKE


 IMAGE: ELEANOR HARDWICK

IMAGE: ELEANOR HARDWICK

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.
— Roald Dahl

BY: MARISOL B.

Many of us have ran across individuals and situations filled with a je ne sais quois; something out of the ordinary. We have all been around people that seem to be in a state of grace which helps them navigate through circumstances in an almost seamless manner.

We wonder how they may reach such a state of peace and we leave their presence wanting a bit more of that for our own lives. During an interview, writer Dan Millman elaborated on the topic of interior peace and mentioned a story of inquiry; where a soul who wondered the identity of another; so distinct, received the answer, "I am awake."

What exactly does it mean to be awake? A shot or two of espresso every morning might make our brains more alert, but it is our ability to intentionally notice life in its fullness, that brings about a wider readiness to conquer each part of the day.

OUR THOUGHT PROCESS

During a recent research, UCLA professor Alan Castel found interesting data surrounding the way we filter information, pay attention to certain details, or assume how things should be, based on accumulated knowledge.

Our brains filter information which we think might not be relevant to our most important needs or wants, and miss valuable details on the periphery that would at times allow for great insight.

When we are children, we are fortunate to constantly explore the world around us, and as we grow older, the accumulation of information demands a different thought process; therefore, the option to maintain a sense of wonder becomes available through intentional behavior.

NOTICING PERIPHERIES

To be awake, is to step outside of our busy brains for a bit and to allow ourselves to take notice. It is to raise our conscious thought process during moments of our day, so that we may give space to otherwise missed possibilities.

We are called to focus and prioritize, but also to avoid tunnel vision and awaken to the details around us.

Let us navigate through either tempest or calm waters with ease, awareness, and great joy.

A PLACE TO CALL HOME

By Marisol B.

MMXV | PAGE 3 of 365

As we begin a new year, I pause to ponder about additional ways in  which I may become my best self. This is something I tend to do year-round, but given the occasion of a brand new year, I wished to give it a bit more thought.

As I kept pondering, I remembered about a TED talk by Elizabet Gilbert that had inspired me in the past, so I decided to search for it to listen anew; and it was then, that I was once again reminded of the importance of recognizing home. That little happy place where I am called to wholeheartedly devote myself for the duration of my life.

I would like to share the talk below, as I hope that it provides just as much inspiration:


A TALE OF FORGIVENESS


PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: By Marisol B.

LETTERING: By Ian Barnard as part of his recent project Inkwell

when you have a bad day; a really bad day, try and treat the world better than it treated you.
— Patrick Stump

I write these lines after a few days of event styling. Despite my tired body and mind, I look back with joy; given the beautiful results of the project. It is; however, a particular experience within the design process that I feel inspired to share.

A few months ago, I was printing a few graphics and I requested help from one of the staff members at a printing company. My request pertained to a specific type of paper offered as an option in the past; however, a usually lovely lady insisted that this particular paper was not offered as an option unless I paid an unreasonable amount for it. What she mentioned seemed out of the ordinary - this was not my first time printing there, and my tired-self frowned upon it; instead of just asking for simple clarification.

I decided to go back at a later time when I had all necessary materials on hand; but as I left, I knew I had not been the most pleasant person to the lady assisting, so I felt a bit silly. I knew I would have to go back to the same establishment eventually, and my pride crunched my heart.

The following time I went back to the same printer, I was assisted by a very lovely staff member and I left with everything that was needed and more. I was grateful, but somehow, I still remembered my previous incident with the other employee.

This week, as I worked on yet another project, I noticed that the one person available to help, was the lady previously mentioned, and filled with pride, I went about my business; however, my heart knew there was a little corner that needed to persevere in love; especially in the small opportunities one is given.

As I began to make some paper cuts, I realized that I was short on time, so I inquired about help for a particular stack of items. She provided a very dry "yes", and proceeded to announce the price for each cut, to which I peacefully replied with a "yes please, that would be wonderful."

At that point, I went back to finish cutting the rest of my items and she began to work on the stack I provided. As I made progress, I began to reflect on whether it would be appropriate to clarify the confusion, we both had a few weeks ago, and let her know I was sorry if I sounded a bit stressed.

After completing my task, I approached the counter and she walked towards me with a worried look. She asked whether I had brought extra paper as she had made a mistake with the cuts and ruined the job. I calmly added that I did not have any extra paper, but would not mind using some of theirs to reprint the job. She showed me the options and one of them included the same type of paper that originated tension on my previous visit.

After I re-printed everything and she made the correct cuts, she apologized and added that she would not charge for them. She said it had been a long day and her eyes were a bit teary. I told her not to worry at all; that I understood perfectly well, as we have all experienced those kind of days.

As I left the place, I was deeply grateful for the opportunity to reconnect humanly with her. I was glad we were both given the opportunity for humility and rectification.

What a great peace is felt when we practice compassion towards one another; regardless of our own little battles and sense of urgency.

A simple lesson of forgiveness within ordinary events of life...

THE BEAUTY OF FALLING DOWN

by Marisol B.

Not long ago, I was about to leave the parking lot of a lovely store. As I entered my vehicle; I witnessed a gentleman walking along the sidewalk almost fall. A sense of embarrassment followed, and I inevitably began to ponder about human shame after a fall.

high heels falling.jpg

I later came across this little video, where models who elegantly walk in high heels, suddenly find themselves out of balance. While some of the falls are actually a bit funny, what caught my attention were the various reactions for each occurrence, and I continued to ponder about our own ability to accept falls and failure gracefully; without allowing our ego to take over.

In the process, we are given the great opportunity to grow in humility and remember our identity and values despite it all.

Shame and embarrassment are very human factors that play between the pressure-filled areas of failure and success. Both of these require a realistic sense of identity and self knowledge, in order to keep us from a distorted self perception.

Interestingly, the research that Brené Brown, Ph.D. has conducted; leads to the differentiation of the two. In fact, she distinguishes shame from instances of guilt, embarrassment, and humiliation. Shame implies I am bad, the others show I did something wrong, someone said/did something wrong, or something wrong happened to me. Shame generates negative self-talk and hides true worth and dignity. It ignores the true root of the circumstance; however painful this may seem at the moment.

We set high standards, which entail risk; one of possibly falling, or losing our firmest step. In the process, we are given the great opportunity to grow in humility and remember our identity and values despite it all. We are given the opportunity to grow taller than the highest stiletto shoes. We gain great stature, reminded by our own humanity.

This evening I witnessed the same exact scene from yet another man; as I was pulling out of a parking lot. As he lost his balance, we made eye contact, and I chose to give him a quick and reassuring smile; one that would swiftly remind him of his humble; yet dignified place within the force of gravity...

SHINING BEAUTY INTO WHAT MANY FEAR

Every beautiful human person holds great purpose, but sometimes we allow fear to take over. Sometimes we listen too much to the outward noise and forget to look deep within; in order to fully understand, that every single one of us holds great purpose and dignity.

A pregnant mother was genuinely concerned, after finding out that her unborn child appeared to have a genetic disorder. She decided to write a letter to a national Down Syndrome Organization; asking for hope and guidance. The response she received, shines much light into an uncertain situation, and a creative agency was able to bring this story to life in a very beautiful way, with the below ad titled: DEAR FUTURE MOM.

CREDITS
Client: CoorDown
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Italy
Executive Creative Director: Agostino Toscana
Creative Directors: Luca Lorenzini, Luca Pannese
Art Director: Luca Pannese
Copywriter: Luca Lorenzini
Director: Luca Lucini
Production Company: The Family Film
Agency Producer: Sabrina Sanfratello
Head of TV: Raffaella Scarpetti
Original Music: Alessandro Cristofori, Diego Perugini for Stabbiolo Music
Postproduction: XChanges Vfx
Color Grading: Band
Audio Postproduction: Top Digital; Cat Sound International
Voiceover: Pasquale Anselmo

THE BEAUTY OF WHAT REMAINS

"To pay tribute to his late wife, a father and his young daughter posed for a series of photos that reflect on their lives without her." These were the words that preceded beautiful and moving images that left me thinking of the love and beauty that remains when a loved one is deceased.

The images portray a combination of love and suffering; but more importantly, they allow us to remember and understand the importance of being present to each other.

This wife and mother's battle with lung cancer did not leave a void. The pictures might not portray her face any longer, but she is nonetheless present through the love and connection that this father and daughter hold so dearly.

We are called to recognize the presence of love in each other at every moment and stage in life. When my own mother passed in a tragic and sudden accident, I found the words that would allow me to know this lesson deep within my own heart. The words read:

"We don't own our cars, our homes, our loved ones, our bodies, our words, our beliefs. All of these things were loaned to us for a time and all of these things can be changed, lost, taken away. So what we truly own is our presence. We choose whether or not we are present to ourselves, to each other and to God."

How beautiful to learn of such profound love by the gaze of a father and daughter, who are present to each other as the days unfold.§

 

 

EXPERIENCE BEAUTY

AN INVITATION TO LIVE AND EXPERIENCE BEAUTY

One of the goals of this space is to inspire beauty, so that each one of us lives and experiences it within our own lives and circumstances.

We find however that "passive consumption" is predominant among social media users; where scrolling through wonderful images posted by friends or strangers alike, provide a sense of loneliness and even depression for many.

  lovely image via    ignite light    &nbsp;

lovely image via ignite light

 

While it is beautiful to witness breathtaking images of faraway lands, summer resorts and serenity in the middle of Central Park, it is important to understand that what each of these pictures represent, is an experience.

We do not need to lay on a white sanded beach in order to experience beauty. We have the ability to find joy in simple everyday moments and details, and until we learn to look in the right places, we will be prey to continual social envy and the haunting thought that "someone else's life could be better".

There are so many beautiful images floating through cyberspace, and inspiration should come forth from each one of these, to live our own experience. BeautyFound looks to be a source of inspiration, so an invitation is extended to #findbeauty; even as you find yourself seating within a cubicle or wandering busy city streets. It only takes a minute to stop and look closer:

  • Look out your window: Many times we are so entertained by tasks, that we miss wonderful little details outside our own home.
  • Notice others: Whether you are walking down busy streets or at work, we tend to blur the many people that walk past us. Try to notice someone's beauty; whether external or internal, and see yourself reflected in them and connected through something small.
  • Mind your food: We do not need to go to a fancy restaurant or be on vacation to savor each meal. Even if you ordered Chinese takeout, make the effort to serve on a beautiful plate and consciously enjoy every bite.
  • Discover the new: Many times we are so accustomed to our surroundings, that we fail to notice beautiful details, both old and new. Cherish each object decorating your home, or look at your neighborhood with brand new eyes. There is always something new to discover.
  • Be inspired: Continue to scroll down beautiful and inspiring images. There are so many wonderful and talented people, you should be able to enjoy in an active; rather than passive manner.
  • Enhance your senses: After looking at your screen and being thoroughly inspired, plan a visit to an actual beautiful place. This could be a museum to experience and admire art installations,  a bookstore to flip through actual pages, or a park to connect with nature and the smell of grass or pine.

       So by all means, this an invitation to be present in the moment and experience a sense of joy.


INTERIM BEAUTY: STRIVING FOR THE BEST


THE_BEST.jpg

As we strive for happiness and well being, there is a continuous desire for growth and improvement. We set goals and willingly create consistent patterns; yet, we become discouraged by the wait. The gradual process that envelopes each life and clouds perspective, tends to distract us from the beautiful truth; that the best is yet to come.

We must remind ourselves of that which is not visibly present; yet visibly possible.

We must learn that every small step makes us better and therefore drives us forward; never backwards.

We must learn to love the interim beauty that is present today, and work incessantly on its gradual transformation into an ever improving masterpiece. It is within this space in time that we build our character and achieve personal growth; within this moment, that commitment to ourselves and others becomes essential.

It is precisely here that our lives become ever more beautiful.

lovely image via

OUR POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH


flower1.jpg

EVERY NOBLE PURSUIT; NO MATTER HOW SMALL ~ HOLDS GREAT POTENTIAL

Picture a beautiful bouquet of flowers brought home from the market, and the moment in which the blooms are assembled in simple vases in order to add a touch of beauty to a breakfast table. Some of the buds have not fully bloomed and are artfully mixed with the ones that have; yet, in the midst of these two, there are tiny little ones that seem far from becoming flowers. They are almost too small to be noticed, but are placed nonetheless within the freshest of water.

Many days later, the little buds begin to grow and show the potential for beautiful blooms to be enjoyed in later days.

This is what happened to me as I arranged beautiful white freesias for a weekend breakfast with friends. I am fascinated by the little buds that seem to grow each day of the week, and it made me think of how many times, we are afraid to pursue noble causes, with the idea that our efforts might be too small; especially when compared to already blooming ones.

No effort is too small, and every big accomplishment starts with small constant actions.

I invite you to give, I invite you to act, to love, and to forge ahead with all noble pursuits; for every one of these; makes the difference, millions of individuals are afraid they won't make.