Have I mentioned how much I love stories? How powerful I think they are? How transformative they can be?
Well, let me tell you here and now that I think stories can make a huge difference in our lives. I guess that’s why I keep telling them….besides the fact that I was born in Ireland and stories just come with the territory! My last two Thursday Zoom sessions have been zoning in on Paddy & the Tornado…a story about disaster and how it affects us. It’s pretty relevant right now obviously and you can check it out on my website whenever the mood hits you for some inspiration.
As we say in Ireland ‘Beauty loves neglected places”. A disaster can highlight neglect; therefore, a disaster can create beauty. You’ll find that in Paddy & the Tornado and you may be finding that all around you as we learn to respond to this pandemic. Every day, we see musicians and dancers and regular folks sending out beautiful creations on video, from their living rooms or balconies. We see acts of kindness and generosity…we see gratitude and bravery in our neighbourhoods, in the grocery store, on the news.
All of this makes me think that there are 3 kinds of beauty and of course I want to share that with you.
- Village Intelligence. This is the beauty that emerges when something happens to shake up and threaten a community. People come together in ways they don’t normally; they help each other; they acknowledge one another; they realize they’re all in the same situation and so they have more empathy. A lot of creativity bursts forth—-businesses find new ways to operate, people reimagine new ways to communicate and express themselves. New levels of awareness and generosity flourish. I heard recently that the Irish government is repaying the generous support given to them during the potato famine years ago. There is a bountiful beauty in what emerges from our community…from our family, our neighbourhood, our country. We feel our connection to these communities more deeply.
- Sensory Beauty. Beauty in the eye of the beholder. Look around! we are surrounded with beauty we can see, smell, touch, hear and taste. Spring is in beautiful bloom everywhere…gardens are outrageously bursting forth! Smells of freshly baked bread emerge from kitchens; strangers smile and greet each other walking on the street …and respectfully give each other space. The beauty when someone takes off their mask and shows us their vulnerability …a rare and treasured sight! There’s the other end of outside beauty too—the darker end of the spectrum—terror, damage and death. There’s a certain beauty in this aspect too and one that has been embraced by storytellers throughout history.
- Purpose-Driven Beauty. The third kind of beauty comes from a clearly defined direction and a commitment to seeing that into being. You know what I mean. You may have even experienced this kind of beauty. You decide you are going to complete that novel and get it to the publisher…and you do! You want to learn how to play the piano and even though you are now middle-aged, you sign up for an on-line course and by golly…you do it! This beauty comes from a clear intention and the discipline to follow through. Sometimes we need support with defining our purpose. We know there’s something we want to do or be…but we’re just now sure what that is. …or how to get there. That’s where mentorship comes in. So if that purpose is evading you and you feel that something is itching, consider getting in touch with me and talking about some help with direction. Now might be the time!
In the meantime, look for beauty in all its guises, in all its hiding places, in all the places you never thought to look before. It’s out there and it will feed your soul!