My everyday therapeutic dosage of beauty

Two words jumped out at me from the page of a magazine: beauty therapy. I had to write them down on a scrap of paper. I have been saving this scrap of paper and came across it yesterday. The article these words came from was about beauty care for the body, but the meaning that struck me that day was quite different. What I was thinking about was seeing beauty as a therapy for the spirit.

I remember passing through a sleepy town in eastern Oregon for lunch. I was immediately struck by its lack of beauty. The restaurant we stopped at was monochromatic. As we ate our lunch by the window, I looked out at the unremarkable houses that lined the street and noticed that while all was tidy, there was not one flower or garden or planter box, nor any colorful elements, no whimsy, no personal touch at all. The lawns were mowed very short. There were no people outside in their yard. I felt a melancholy shift come over me.

I remember thinking, what if I lived here? I imagined that I would plant a yard full of flowers and herbs, have a bird feeder, wind chimes, an arbor and colorfully painted yard furniture. I would add some colorful shutters to the windows and put a heart wreath on my front door. I would be outside in the garden often. I would sing.

You see, I need this beauty around me. And even if I were poor, I would start some flowers from seed or at the very least recycle my food scraps and grow a glorious compost pile! By the way, I think composting is beautiful, bringing such dark, rich life back to the soil. Yes, somehow I would find a way to bring beauty into my world.

This brings to mind the movie It’s A Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart playing the affable George Bailey, and how we got a glimpse of what the world would be like when he wished that he had never been born. Without him, the town became ugly and uninviting. He truly changed his whole town by being the kindhearted person he was, bringing love and beauty into the lives of all around him.

We do effect our world in little, seemingly insignificant ways. I believe that planting a flower or creating something beautiful is a noble and high calling, yet is an accessible one. Even a child can do these things. I believe that my art should reflect my view of life and living. And to me it reflects the beauty that I see in nature. This is what inspires me, and what I want to share with everyone who cares to look at my work.

I need to be surrounded by beauty, immersed in its essence. I can’t live without my beauty therapy. How about you?

Thanks for reading my thoughts today ~ Karen

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26 thoughts on “My everyday therapeutic dosage of beauty

  1. When I was little, my mother said you need to find beauty in everything you see because God made it! for us to enjoy and embrace She was an oil painter and saw the world in shades of color. She taught me to see nature’s shades and realize every color works with each other…just take look around and see how well they work together! My mother is getting up there in years and suffered a stroke which did not effect her body just her sense of color. What a shame but she still sees with her mind.

    I appreciate your comment about “even if I were poor I would start seeds to grow flowers. I believe in the theory that money doesn’t by beauty, beauty is every where if you open your eyes and soul. Keep it clean and simple…

    Have a wonderful and safe holiday!

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  2. What lovely thoughts today Karen. Like you, I need beauty around me. I love intense colour; on the walls surrounding me, in my garden and in my rugs. Although I admire those who decorate with white, I could not live in that environment. Gardening is a lot of work. However, it brings me such joy to walk through the gardens and pick flowers to have in the house. Thanks for reminding me that when I leave work I need to stop and enjoy the beauty that surrounds me.

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  3. What a wonderful post for us to think about as we start our day! Thanks Karen.
    BTW, did you make that darling INSPIRE banner?????? How precious is that.
    I need one that says STRETCH……..so I will remember to stretch myself out of my comfort zone. Shoot, I need another that says BE STRONG! These are just darling.
    Made by your hands or not? I just love it.

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  4. Karen,
    Thank-you for such an inspiring post! I love how you see things and are able to enlighten the world with your sense of appreciation for color and beauty in simple things! I plan to go forth today and plant yet another plant and look for ways to bring beauty where I am able!
    Happy Memorial Day!
    Hugs!
    Cathy G

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  5. While I sit on my glider with a Scottie beside me another at my feet and my feisty female barking at every sound, my courtyard becomes a haven from all that is not beautiful. I drink my morning coffee glide back and forth thinking of all the plant watering I need to do but instead check your blog for my special morning treat. You are so special and I see so many memories in your words. The hummingbird is just a few feet from me and I’m going to take more time to enjoy it’s beauty. Thank you.

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  6. I love your words! Yes, we should never lose our childlike spirit and desire to create. I believe our desire to create beauty and imagination originates from the Master Creator. Without beauty, our world just shrivels up and is desolate! I remember my mother’s zinnia patch when I was a small child. I would play on my swingset while she tended her little flower garden. It was nothing fancy, but it brightened our little world! I also remember my great-grandparent’s little cottage with the porch swing, the tulips lining the sidewalk and the gorgeous rambling roses at the side of the house. Now, that little neighborhood is in the middle of the hood–I would be terrified to drive there now, — the last time I saw it it was desolate and run down, no flowers or anything of beauty.

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  7. Several years ago my mother gave me a stepping stone with the words “take time to smell the roses” which was very thoughtful but at the time really didn’t seem to fit into the way I approached my garden and sometime my life–. When I thanked her for the gift, she sadly confessed that she had not followed those words and wanted me to not make the same mistake. I walk by that stepping stone almost daily remembering her words when I pass. Needless, to say I am older now and slower which allows me to really enjoy the garden and all God’s wonders. Thank you for sharing and allowing all of us to have a memory on this day and blessings to all those who have served and are serving our country so we can “take time to smell the roses”.

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  8. I like to be surrounded by beauty too. This week the hummingbirds & orioles coming to the feeder on my patio are my beauties. 🙂 Thank you for inspiring me today!

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  9. That someone who is a stranger to me could be my soul sister is a miracle of the computer age. I find beauty to be a haven. I can see my Grandfather working amongst his beloved dahlias with such love and tenderness that even as a child I recognized how precious they were to him. Sometimes I would help with the planting of the bed. I remember once my Grandmother commenting to him that I was planting the bulb upside down; his comment back was…it’ll find the sun, just take a bit longer. I was 5 or 6, yet his words were the most beautiful I had ever heard. I often find that beauty is the imperfection of a thing…the ugly repair on the large wooden bowl full of old used darners in my living room. If we are open to receive beauty, it’ll surround us.

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  10. Karen, Your words really lifted me up today. I believe you are one of the George Bailey’s of our generation. Please keep on doing what you do. Your love of beauty grows even more beautiful as you share it with all of us.
    Sincerely,
    Alicia Kay

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