Happy SMART Day Everyone!
When most people search for happiness, they seldom think of beauty or being artful unless they claim to be an artist. I certainly used to think that way. When focused on creating a happy and successful life, I seldom realized that unless I was also creating something artful or beautiful, that dream often eluded me. I think that is because there is something inside each of us that finds peace, harmony, awe and connection whenever we see and recognize beauty. And if we don’t see beauty, then no matter how close we are to achieving any goal, something seems to be missing. That’s why I believe it is critical to create beauty when living SMART 365.
This idea recently became crystal clear to me when I heard a speaker named Jules Dervaes explain his radical transformation of a modern urban home into a Urban Homestead in Pasadena, CA. There in the midst of a residential neighborhood, they created not just a vegetable garden, but a farm! In the beginning, when they converted the entire front yard and started planting, Dervaes explained that he knew that in order for his transformation to be accepted by his neighbors, he needed to make it beautiful. In other words, as long as it could be seen through the eyes of beauty all would be well. When I heard that message it struck me that we all gravitate to beauty. Even with all our individual likes and dislikes there is something uniting and accepting about beauty.
Why is that? Why does creating beauty add so much to the quality of our lives? Perhaps because when we see something that is beautiful it creates the feeling of delight and wonder within us. Scientifically, seeing beauty can also soothe pain, comfort sorrow, distract from illness or inspire hope and virtue in those that see it. And it matters little whether the thing being admired is in natural or man-made—as long as it resonates with a experience of beauty.
According to philosopher Roger Scrutin and author, “Why Beauty Matters”, “beauty has been central to our civilization for over 2,000 years.” From its beginnings in ancient Greece, philosophy has reflected on the place of beauty in art, poetry, music, architecture and everyday life.” He goes on to say, “Philosophers have argued that through the pursuit of beauty we shape the world as a home. We also come to understand our nature as spiritual beings.”
Simply said, beauty and an artful approach to life lift our perceptions to a higher level. As author Henry James said, “ It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance, and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.” Regardless of whether it is natural or man-made, art has to ability to make something, anything special. That’s why a SMART life requires an artful approach to all that we do 365.
“The human soul needs actual beauty more than bread.” –D.H.Lawrence