Create a Beautiful Life in the Middle of the Ordinary

I’ve been going through Lisa Jacobs, Your Best Year 2018. The book has compelled me to really look at what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

Basically, it’s been a sort of kick-in-the-pants I needed this year.

I started thinking about things differently and that thinking caused me to dig in deep to figure out what I was doing with The Creative Season.

My goal through this website, the social media outlets, the art and the products, the workshops and retreats, is to inspire you to create a beautiful life no matter what season of life you’re going through.

The following is some of my thoughts and beliefs I recently journaled about beauty and why I do the things I do….

Beauty changes things.

We live in a world of superficial ‘pretty things.’ Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE pretty. I love to make, enjoy and see pretty things. But, the pretty things in and of themselves don’t inspire, compel or heal like beautiful things.

The word beautiful has two definitions. The first is pleasing the mind and the seasons aesthetically. The second definition of beauty is something that has a very high standard, excellence.

The definition of pretty is more superficial and less compelling. One definition describes pretty as “attractive in a delicate way, with being truly beautiful or handsome.” As an adverb, pretty is defined as “moderately high degree, fairly.” Finally, as an informal noun, pretty is defined as “an attractive thing, typically a pleasing thing, but an unnecessary accessory.”

Pretty is optional.

Beauty is not.

We live in a world that is full of pretty, but on the brink of being starved of the beautiful.

Consider the following:

The beauty of a conversation with a friend-

The beauty of learning a new skill-

The beauty of enjoying a long, leisurely meal with friends, new or old-

The beauty of watching all the leaves turn orange and crimson and brown in autumn…..

The beauty of watching the leaves pop out in the spring, fresh and bright as winter says farewell.

The beauty of sitting on the beach and staring at the waves rolling in over and over and over.

The beauty of long, unhurried walks-

The beauty of celebrating Christmas dinner with your loved ones-

The beauty of enjoying a quiet sunrise after surviving a season of heartache and loss-

The beauty of completing a new piece of art, a journal, a handmade scarf or piece of jewelry,

The beauty of fresh flowers for no reason except that they are beautiful and they bring beauty through their presence and unique colors and shapes-

The beauty of making a new friend.

I would not say (and I wager you would not either) that an important conversation with a friend was ‘pretty’ or describing a significant celebration as a ‘pretty night.’

There’s a reason for the phrase, the ‘beautiful fight,’ and not the ‘pretty fight.’

Most of us don’t desire to create a ‘pretty life,’ we want a beautiful life.

Creating a beautiful life is messy and wonderful and compelling.

But creating beauty is not without its pitfalls.

Getting to the beautiful life, attaining something that ‘aesthetically pleases the senses’ and can be described as ‘excellent, a very high standard,’ inevitably will demand a degree of messiness, effort, delays and frustration.

How to create a beautiful life?

I’m still learning, but here are four things I’ve learned so far.

  1. Decide to Pursue the Beautiful Spite of the Problems.

I’m adding ‘decide to do it’ first because let’s face it. It’s easy to look and observe and see all the other people do all the other things.

But watching other people doesn’t create a beautiful, messy life that you’ll love.

Buying all the supplies doesn’t make your life more beautiful.

Thinking about the great gatherings you’ll have also doesn’t create the beauty.

Only doing it creates the beauty.

And if I’ve learned anything, it’s been that on the way to creating beauty, there’s an awful lot of learning. Even something as simple as prioritizing watching the sunset can be challenging. There’s always a reason to do something else, be productive, push out the beauty for the sake of the urgent.

Saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else. Perhaps one of the hardest lessons of my adult life has been and is (I’m still learning this!) saying no to good things that prevent the beautiful things from happening.

Decide to do and soon, your life becomes more beautiful.

  1. Practice.

Learning. You can find courses and workshops to inspire and teach here. New ones offered throughout the year. If you’d like to know what classes are coming up, you can sign up for the Enewsletter at the bottom of the page.

Writing. Painting. Gardening. Playing an instrument. Sketching. Needlework. Journaling. Photography. Macrame. Cooking. There are so many ways to be creative.

Taking even 15 minutes a day to create can be life-changing. Ideas to inspire you to start your own #15MinuteCreativePractice can be found here and here. Try it a few days a week and see what happens.

Listening.

  1. Color.

Color is powerful and its beauty penetrates deep into our subconscious minds and hearts. Many of us appreciate the rich beauty of color, but there is so much more.

Learning how color works on the mind, how to blend and use colors in your art, décor, and even person style can increase the beauty in your life.

We’re heading into autumn and I’m starting to create the color swatch for my autumn palette as well as consider a few things I want to add to my living space to welcome in the autumn season.

If you’re curious and want to go deeper with color, I’ve written many blog posts on color. You might like to start here with one of my favorite colors.

 

  1. Bring beauty around you.

One of the easiest ways I’ve discovered beauty is through walks. I walk on a nature trail near my home or in the streets of the cities I visit, walking and observing lets beauty in.

Some people like more wild and rugged places. Others like more busy, curated spots. Experiment with what sings to your soul.

Other ways to bring in beauty is to turn off the television and turn on classical or jazz music.

Bring fresh flowers or plants inside.

Have designated “no phone/social media/television” time

It takes time and effort and sweat and frustration, but in the end it’s all worth it.

I’m so glad you’re here.

Melissa

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