I have recently moved into a beautiful space with a massage therapist, Aleshia Marie. She offers exceptional bespoke treatments with the most luxurious attention to detail. Aleshia Marie herself radiates beauty. As soon as you step into the doors, you are met with the tranquility of timber flooring, linen furnishings, and the charming details of an old railway cottage. In the presence of this kind of beauty, I feel peaceful and integrated. This got me thinking about the grounding capacity of beauty.
The late John O'Donohue wrote about the healing and integrating nature of beauty and how in modern living, we have confused an aggressive, commercial, superficial glamour for beauty. When life feels heavy and full of worries, small offerings of beauty, those gentle moments of care and connection, the silence of nature, or the steadying rhythm of waves, can help us to endure the most bleak and testing times. There is no need to push, prove, or be in competition. A peaceful trust can begin to wash over. There is no difficulty that can contaminate us if we are able to find a place of beauty in which to reside, even if the only place is somewhere within ourselves.
In modern living, we have become so fixated and focussed on our points of vulnerability and imperfection that we can become harsh, ugly, and mean to ourselves and to others. Discovering the beauty of grace, which I think is a quiet presence of kindness, can bring compassion and understanding to those unwanted flaws and help us to carry our own baggage more beautifully.
It was Blaise Pascal who said: In difficult times you should always carry something beautiful in your mind.