Do you wish you could be truly present?
Utterly lost in a moment?
Like a child blowing on a dandelion and noticing each white puff drifting off into the wind.
It’s so easy to lose yourself in this fast-paced world. Before you know it, you’re a productive human whose only job is to go about your daily routine. Workout, work, friends/family, repeat.
You see everything around you, but you don’t really see it.
Of course, one way to be more present is through mindfulness and meditation. But I always wondered if there was more. And I recently discovered another way. I stumbled upon a website called the VIA Institute on Character. It’s a scientific organization founded to advance the science of positive psychology. To appreciate the beauty in everyday life, they recommend maintaining a beauty log.
A beauty log is a small journal where you write about the beauty you noticed in something around you. In your surroundings. It could be anything, from the flowers in your backyard to a quiet moment you shared with a stranger. It encourages you to see the beauty in something you would otherwise let pass.
I like to write 1 entry every day, and sometimes I’ll decide to write while I’m in the middle of a moment. To preserve the memory and look out for as many beautiful details as I can.
To give you an example, here’s my entry for today:
“I noticed my dog curling in his bed. His limbs were all twisted with each other; he looked so cute. This cuddly golden cutie. He makes that corner of my room beautiful. He is beautiful. His nose is nuzzled on his blanket. The sun is shining on his golden fur as my sister plays the piano. And I can’t help but feel a small smile on my face. It’s a warm feeling. Staring at him. Staring at something so beautiful, and then have it stare back at you.”
This exercise helped me pay attention to what I was seeing and how it made me feel. My dog is adorable, but I really took the time to see how cutely his legs twisted together and how his nose rested on the blanket.
I was fully immersed into the present moment.
And you know one of the most powerful emotions this exercise makes you feel? Gratitude. Gratitude for this earth. Gratitude for your existence. Gratitude for your life. Gratitude for this moment.
It’s a simple yet powerful exercise.
So, just take a few minutes to pause and mindfully observe your surroundings. Use all your five senses. Ask yourself,
What do you see?
What do you hear?
What do you smell/touch/taste?
How does it make you feel?
Remember that you’re a living, breathing human on a beautiful planet.
Beauty is all around you.
You just have to notice it.