Tag Archives: Beauty

Perception: Learning How to View the Glass

When we focus on the negativity in our lives it forms a cascading effect of compounding negativity wherein each little thing that occurs becomes exponentially more severe and negative than it would if it had occurred independently of everything else. Humans have this tendency to seek order and to find patterns or reasons for things occurring and when we focus on the negative it tends to exacerbate the problem by assigning an underlying negative force focused on our personal lives.

This is problematic and it leads to a lot of harm, suffering and stress that could otherwise be averted by not linking everything together. However, this trait also tends to work in the opposite direction; i.e., when we focus on the positive the positive tends to have an escalating compounding effect of positivity. Many like to call this or liken it to “good luck” or a “stroke of luck” or “being blessed,” but what is happening regardless of the nominal characteristics associated with it is that the positive is being focused on and it changes how each particular event is analyzed and evaluated.

In a nutshell, the key for me is to not dwell on the negative things associating evil or harmful purpose to independent and mutually exclusive events, and instead focusing on the positive things in my life. This does not mean that I ignore that bad things happen because that would not be healthy and some things do not to be dealt with as they arise. But it does mean that I strive to not let those things consume my being by crowding out the beauty that surrounds me.

(Exercise)

Make a list of ten negative things in your life that come to mind. I think for most of us this should come fairly naturally and easily. Do not be concerned if you have a hard time with this because that means you are already on the path to achieving and maintaining greater peace and joy in your life.

Then beside or underneath that list, or even on another sheet entirely write of list of twice or three times as many positive things in your life or your world. For many of us, myself included this is often much harder at first because we are not accustomed to looking for the beauty in our own lives, but it is there I assure you.

When you are finished look at the two lists side-by-side and allow yourself to feel how seeing the positivity in your life makes your feel. You may even enjoy a practice that I like doing; I like to burn the list of negative things because it symbolizes my letting go of the harmful things in my life. I actually feel as though I am letting go of the negative thinking I tend to allow to harbor in my soul crowding out the light.

I was surprised to learn that it was not the things that happen in my life, no matter how problematic they may seem to be that cause the harm to my spiritual well-being, but rather, it was how I perceived and thought about those events that caused the harm.

(Conclusion)

This is the philosophy behind viewing the glass either half full or half empty and it one method I have found useful in helping me to envision and experience the world and myself as being full of opportunity and beauty. Perceiving the glass as half empty reveals a thought that something is being taken away from us that we feel we deserve, which dramatically decreases our level of peace and contentment. In contrast, viewing the glass as half full reveals a thought that something has been given that was not deserved, an unwarranted gift. Learning how to view life as a gift and not as something that is deserved which is being stolen from me has allowed me the freedom to live in the grace that abounds uninhibited by the feeling that the world is out to get me. It has made a tremendous difference in my level of serenity, and I hope it helps some of you as well.

The Adventure: Finding Beauty Everywhere

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The rain, clouds, sun and scenery aligned in just the right conditions to inspire the seeker in me. So, after I finished this essay on the moral urgency of the Americans during WWII, I sought out a prime location and filled my being with beauty. I had to do this after focusing on such tragic times. I needed to be reminded of the beauty and what it is we are fighting and working so hard for. It is easy to become blinded in a world of tragedy; there is certainly a world full of tragic occurrences, but that is certainly not all there is.

I believe that we will find what we want to find in the world and the people around us. If we want to find the ugly, it will definitely rears its foul head. However, and although it takes more effort because this is not how most of us are trained to interact with the world and those we share it with, if we earnestly seek the light and the brilliance in them, then it will rise out of them like the the sun in the morning. This is where belief comes into play; if and when we believe people are great and display that belief with the relevant expectations of greatness from each and every individual, then that is what will materialize.The converse unfortunately, as most of us have witnessed firsthand is also the case, that when we expect evil to emerge from people and act accordingly, that is what tends to emerge.

The journey and the adventure then is to seek out beauty in the world and the people around us and to find it everywhere our attention settles.

Mount Rainier (June 21, 2014)

By Michael Anthony Moynihan a.k.a. Renaissance the Poet
By Michael Anthony Moynihan a.k.a. Renaissance the Poet

 

The perfect conditions converged to create a beautiful shot.

First, the sky was clear enough to see our great Mount Rainier all the way from Seattle. Now, this is something that is not a regular occurrence and I am not sure whether this is because of the region being overcast much of the time or because of the result of the smog that is filtering into the region from all the automobiles releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. Whichever is the case, it is not the case that the mountain is always visible from Seattle and it just so happened that it was on the eve of June 21, 2014.

The second factor that converged was that the sun was setting onto the mountain with all of the brilliant hues so common and familiar with sunsets, which is the perfect formula for an amazing photograph.

The last factor, was I had my camera handy and I was both willing and able to head out to snap a shot.

When I noticed this convergence, I snagged up my camera and jumped on my bicycle and headed out to find the location from which to shoot my first real shot of Mt. Rainier. I live in the White Center neighborhood of Seattle and I chased my shot all the way to Burien, which is about 5 miles or so away from where I left from. The problem was that I left just before the sun was begining to set and I still had to find a location, but I was determined beyond reason, not to give up no matter how much it hurt and to capture the shot I had my heart set on. It is good to have the maxim resting firmly in my heart that when I set a goal that I do everything in my power to accomplish it, and that is precisely what I did. I found the location and I got the short I had my heart set on.

I love being spontaneous and I love taking pictures. I hope that you all enjoy this one, I know I sure do.

Exclusion and Ignorance: Historically Not Good

If we accept that “men” have been made in the image or likeness of God, then whose image are “women” made in?

If it is true that nothing can come from nothing and that noting can come from something that is less perfect than itself, then how can it be that “women” have come from “men” when it is self-evident that “women” are much more beautiful than “men”?

Beauty is one of the necessary conditions of defining perfection.