Updated: May 8, 2020
STOP. Look up at the beauty of this moment. And remember to be fully alive.
I’m writing as if I know you… I probably do if you are reading this, but maybe not? Maybe we’ve never met and you’ve somehow stumbled upon my little experiment.
Whoever you are, you are undoubtedly reading this in the future, as each moment I write another period of presence fades into the background and what lies ahead is unknown. There’s been a lot of talk lately, [at present time, I’m seven weeks into self-quarantine from the global pandemic known as (the novel) Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19 -- I’m not entirely clear on which is the right label] about the illusive unknown that we are in, and that lies ahead. Is it me? Or is this remarkably silly sounding? Like we could ever really predict the future?! Sure, we had reasonable guesses about the way things might unfold in the weeks and months ahead, especially if we were good planners -- and executors of said plans.
In truth, this time has only highlighted the fundamental nature of reality: every living moment is an unknown. I don’t know if in the next moment, I will to continue to breathe, if my heart will continue to beat, if my eyes will continue to give me sight to witness all of life I'm experiencing in this moment. None of that is a a "known." I do know, that in this moment, I am BE(auti)FULLY ALIVE.
What is BE(auti)FULLY ALIVE?
Well, It’s an experiment. It’s a mantra. It’s a personal value. It’s why I’m here, and I would offer, why we are all here. I like many others (though I know not everyone has escaped the plague of busy-ness during this pandemic) seem to have more time on my hands these days. With this feeling of spaciousness, imagination and creativity seems to be pouring out of me. I’m appreciating art and music in profoundly deeper ways. I’m noticing the quiet moments and how, they’re actually not so quiet at all… they’re beautifully FULL. In these moments of "quiet” it’s as if all of the magic of existence is illuminated. It’s breathtaking to witness the connectedness of everything in the seemingly "still” nature of life. In these moments, I am reminded of my aliveness, the aliveness of the world around me, how everything is constantly changing and evolving and dancing together in this chaotically beautiful web of life.
BE(auti)FULLY ALIVE is a practice of being in that “stillness” and appreciating moments that make me beautifully alive. In "still" moments where beauty ignites my aliveness.
What’s in a name? In this case, everything I suppose. Let me break this one down for you:
BE Existence, Realness, Meaning, Identity, Belong. Occupy. This is decidedly not DO. It’s inherent. BE does not have to try, or act in order to be. It simply is.
FULLY This is not a half-assed attempt. This is igniting all of your “BE”ingness -- taking up all the space you occupy, belong to, exist in.
ALIVE The quality of fully experiencing and feeling your BE’ingness
Bringing it together through BEAUTY.
In working with my personal values, this word always came through as something that was of considerable importance to me, yet I had an allergic reaction to it. Growing up in Southern California, loving beauty to me was associated with living too much in the material world: loving beautiful things, beautiful people, beautiful spaces. I’ve felt the word was muddied by the “beauty” industry, an industry I was intimately involved with in the early part of my career. I’ve wanted to “redefine” beauty for so long. In reality, there was no need to change it. I simply needed to come back to its essence. So what is the true meaning of beauty?
Here’s what Merriam Webster’s says:
Definition of beauty 1: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit : LOVELINESS
PLEASURABLY EXALTS THE MIND OR SPIRIT
Wow, YES!! That is the value that beauty brings to my life. To perceive something in the world (some bit of magic that sparked my attention) that gave pleasure to my senses in a way that exalts my spirit.
Why BE(auti)FULLY ALIVE ?
Because finding beauty in the world, in the oftentimes "forgettable” moments, is what makes me feel fully alive. We're in a special space of time right now, one that is calling us into more aliveness. We’ve been asleep for too long, consuming, distracting, dampening our aliveness -- with things that don’t actually have merit. I’m awakening from that slumber in this liminal space. I am discovering what truly draws my attention. What effect does that have on my life? To my inner experience, to the world around me, the people I love, the clients I serve, the Earth that I cherish? How does this BE(auti)FULLY ALIVE practice make my life fuller?
What are the beautiful moments that are grabbing your attention today?
HERE ARE MY LATEST BE(auti)FULLY ALIVE MOMENTS:
Angel. I’ve become insanely obsessed with the musical genius behind Billie Eilish, her angel of a brother Finneas O’Connell is an amazing producer, writer, singer... an illuminated musical being. This love song made me fall in love with music for the umpteenth time. I’ve listened to it no less than 20 times since discovering it recently.
Long (socially distant) walks with my French friend whose one of the most beautifully alive humans I’ve met recently. Whenever we spend time together, time seems to lose all meaning. We walk the city, notice the blossoming spring flowers and the vibrancy of their color, catch each other’s eye while laughing at funny interactions with strangers. All while, discussing the meaning of life and love (always).
Falling in love with writing. I feel more beautifully alive because of this space and this creative outlet. Thanks for giving me a reason to be here.
I’ll be chronicling my BE(auti)FULLY ALIVE moments in my blog and coalescing them into a ~monthly newsletter. I'd love if you'd join me on the journey, and send me moments that are calling you into more aliveness and beauty here.