17 Feb 2021

Beauty: A Different Kind Of Therapy


Beauty demands our attention.

It deserves our attention.


Janelle McCulloch recently wrote about “quiet beauty” and how it kept her going through the last year; her words truly resonated with me. Beauty, whatever kind is my therapy during these crazy months we have all experienced. You can read what she wrote on Instagram here.


“Quiet Beauty”, what a wonderful expression.

Beauty can be caught in a glimpse, in action, with a word or an experience. It doesn’t have to be grand or all-encompassing but a small dose every day is like therapy to me. We need to remember our own small worlds can be as beautiful as our global lives once were. I don’t need to board a plane, catch a train or hike a trail to steal my fix of beauty. Searching for and acknowledging our own “quiet beauty” is the way to open our hearts and nourish our minds when our familiar pastimes are challenged.


How do you find beauty in your everyday?

Observing comes easy to me. Taking note can be as determined as a particular search or as random as a gaze outwards. It can have no rhyme or reason and conversely, I can be looking with great intent. Searching for my small dose of beauty takes me through my most-loved books and down the rabbit hole of social media. Arranging and re-arranging florals is a must-have tonic for me as is studying the architectural elements in my hood. Every day there is a new building to discover – the ornamentation, the paint colours, the garden plantings.


I never really think it matters what we notice as long as we have our eyes wide open.

How often we move through life looking but without seeing? It happens more than we credit.



Planning what we cook and how we lay the table can be a shot of beauty if we let it. Finding beauty can require personal effort as much as it can be a lazy love affair. I’ve looked through my wardrobe and analysed what pieces I find to be beautiful and why. They may be languishing quietly but I am still appreciating their loveliness. Our sustaining skincare rituals can carry us to another world. Words and their transporting power sustain me. Reading is the greatest pleasure and that alone can fill the beauty banks indefinitely. In films, the characters and interiors do much the same and are a never-ending antidote when we need a fix.


The possibility of beauty is never-ending.

Walking to the kitchen just now to make a cup of tea and I have crossed paths with so much I love. Beauty is not only in appearance it is in the memories it evokes and the potential to transport. Not to mention the beauty we share with friends and family.


Grand and lavish occasions are beautiful but not necessarily where we find true beauty; for all their intent, extravagance and exception they are not really the winners. Stolen glimpses, intimate moments and profound appreciation are what counts. xv



A Different Kind of Therapy

janelle mcculloch’s beautiful books here



italian chic  ||  may i come in  ||  cabana  ||  the big book of chic


country, city, coast  ||  houses, gardens, people  ||  new york splendour  ||  chateau life



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7 Comments

rena.spain

Beauty is indeed everywhere – just open your eyes and heart and let it in. Again wonderful thoughts Vicki.

Reply
Sandra Kruck

Dear Vicki, Thank you for reminding us to look for beauty in everything, it is all around us if we only realise it. I too have enjoyed the quieter days at home and enjoying our beautiful home and time together with my husband. I am also reliving our wonderful overseas holidays and thankful I made photo books of our memories.

Reply
Linda B

I love this, Vicki. I have been cultivating similar thoughts and awareness about beauty for years, from artistic angles,and psychological/spiritual perspectives. What is truly beautiful to us nurtures our souls in the best way.

Some years back, I had an “artist’s date” with myself (a la Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”) sitting in a sweet local cafe, The B-Line. As I sat in a corner by the front window, watching the goings on both in the cafe and on the street while sipping a lovely glass of wine and nibbling a delicious chocolate cookie, I suddenly realized that what mattered so much to me was the awareness of beauty. It came particularly to me through seeing the colorful clothing of the server as she floated up and down the short flight of steps between the tiers of the cafe, especially the particular shade of cornflower blue of her tights framed by the ornate metal balustrade of the stairs. I became acutely conscious of how I had made a lifelong habit of looking for beauty always and everywhere, and have maintained the conscious effort ever since.

A little sad postscript: the B-Line is one of our local casualties of the pandemic. Closed for good. . .Sad (though not as sad as losing someone near and dear to Covid, as I unfortunately know.)

Reply
Paula Robinson

SO true, Vicki! A little while ago, I felt drained and picked up “Highgrove, An English Country Garden”. I lost myself in its pages, the promise of each passing month and now I feel refreshed. I also want those sculpted hedgerows – what a wonderful alternative to walls!

Reply
anitapelayorivera

Good morning Vicki!

So true. Using the senses we’ve been accorded to record beauty in every quiet corner as well as in the most obvious is crucial in all seasons of life but more so, now. Thank you.

Reply
Mary

Beauty right now comes to me via my garden birds, bunches of pale Valentine rosebuds and carnations still fresh looking . . . . .and today I picked my first daffodil from the saturated garden as icy rain falls.
Later I head out for another ‘trim’ as the silver strands grow in. . . . . . .I almost feel beautiful with this new look, older but more softer and natural.

Reply
Susie Martin

Beautiful post! And of course beauty is always in the eye of the beholder!! All those interior coffee table books, many of which I have & the rest very familiar to me, are an amazing source of continual reference to beauty. They are my weakness or possibly addiction! Xx

Reply

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