The Beauty Collection


Published by Psych Central: World of Psychology:  A Grace-Filled Beauty Routine




Parched for Blind Beauty


I am going in blind. Blindness seems to be what is needed. To let go of my usual seeing.
A year of clear vision. Of twenty-twenty.
Because my perspective is unclear; my beliefs (which sometimes feels like I have none – I believe everything because I doubt nothing – and I believe nothing because I question just about everything – and at the end of the day, I know nothing), my aims ( have been aimed at aimlessness – unable to find worthy targets), my purpose (I am without), and my values (unknown).
All that.
That which has served me well now fails me. My freedoms and pursuit of happiness have served me, yes, and now fails me – hurts me – like a double-edged sword I have not been skillful with. Starving for new freedoms and new pursuits.
Craving, aching – starving for pursuits of self-respect and for significance in my surroundings. Parched for a beauty that is unseen, but can be felt. For a beauty unseen, but known
She asks me, “If you were blind, how would you know I was beautiful?”
Blind now.
Thrust into the abyss of nothingness (but everythingness), and into the depths of; I don’t know.
Going into the unknown like I’ve never known.
Aiming for targets that my everyday senses don’t understand.
Starving to see what I can’t see. To hear what I don’t hear, and to feel what I don’t feel.
To question such beauty within me. And to discover, there is little-to-none.
To find new territory within –  to quench my thirst.
Parched I am for a beauty unseen.


I asked myself, where was beauty today? 
His eyes:
Waited for me as I walked down the steps. I felt the masculine gesture to let a lady walk by.
I looked up to meet his eyes, and without my words, I let my eyes say thank you.
I lingered for a few milliseconds to add an unspoken, “I see you, and I witness your gesture, and it is greatly appreciated. Thank you.”
And with the slightest nod of his head and a subtle smile, his eyes let me know that he appreciated my appreciation.
Her eyes:
I felt something coming at me as I walked toward my car. They were about twenty feet away- walking toward me – waiting for me to meet them. They had a presence of joy. A bouncy-sort-of-joy and I looked up to meet them.
Her eyes.
I smiled at the beauty of her joy. And she smiled as if to say, “Thank you for seeing me.”
And both of us nodded an unspoken, “Good day to you, you beautiful soul,” and ” A good day to you, you beautiful soul.”
His eyes:
Were bagging my groceries.
I had to look away.
The intensity coming from his unspoken, I see you – was directed toward me.
His smile was great – as if he was lost in his own delight and inviting me in.
I looked away and then forced myself to see – into his eyes so I could say…I see you too.
I was left with a feeling of awe, and maybe some jealousy, as to his capacity to be lost in his own beautiful space.
And I was so very grateful to witness that which I so desperately want to believe exists.
Depth. Beauty. Joy. And appreciation. In human connection.




The Sweaty Embrace of Ourselves.
It was the most beautiful thing to happen that day.
She says to me as I sit next to her, “I feel like I’m in a different place.”
I don’t know her.
She is still breathing hard, staring out the window. I am wiping sweat from my body. Accumulations of deep breath and sweat from the completed Bikram class.
I inquire, “You feel good?”
Still looking out the window, befuddled almost, she replies, as if questioning her own experience, “… … ...I feel so proud of myself.”
It was as if this was the first time she’d felt proud of herself. Or maybe it’s been too long since the experience. I didn’t ask. I didn’t want to distract her from bathing in her own glory.
Then I started feeling proud of her. And we were both sitting in the midst of sweetness.
I remember seeing her in class. Taking breaks from poses. Resting, but never leaving the room.
She stayed in the room. And that’s one of the hardest things to do in a Bikram class. For some of us, it’s not about the poses (yet) – it’s just the act of learning to pay attention to ourselves. To closely observe our bodies (i.e. body temperature), and to observe the mind that questions why we showed up to this sweaty embrace.
And it wouldn’t be worth it if we didn’t sweat. The heat, the sweat, the holding of the poses – no music, no distractions – it’s a class that demands something from us. Demands that we actually pay attention to ourselves.
The gift is just that; if we can stand to stay with ourselves for the entire class. To do what we need to do, to take care of ourselves, to not give up, is something that runs deep. To be in contact with that depth within our being is priceless. You will be in a different place.
I didn’t particularly feel proud of myself that day, or maybe I did, I, however, was more interested in the fact that her feeling was contagious.  I felt proud of her– and that was the most beautiful thing that happened to me that day.

originally published @ The Mindful Word