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Showing posts from January, 2019

Noticing + Gratitude = Beauty

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Part of relentless looking for beauty is noticing and being grateful for the things in your life that are often overlooked. It's why I've incorporated a gratitude practice into my daily routine, and it helps give me perspective when I'm going through a valley.

When making my lists of things for which I am thankful, I try to add new items each day as a way to broaden my awareness. Of course I'm still grateful for my husband and family, but I want to push myself beyond the obvious and put some intentional thought into my practice.

However, sometimes I get stumped! When that happens, I go to my senses for ideas. What do I see, taste, smell, feel, or hear that fills me with gratitude? Here's an example:


Sight: Sitting in my kitchen, I see curtains on my windows, and I'm grateful for the privacy, warmth, and darkness they provide.Taste: I'm eating a delicious, homemade salad, and I'm grateful for fresh produce, tangy dressing, and flavorful seasonings that are …

Expanding Team Spirit to Magnify Beauty

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Last weekend my mom and I went to a women’s basketball game as part of our season ticket package. We both enjoy watching the local college team since the university has been a part of our lives - I was received both of my degrees from MSU, and Mom was an employee who retired after forty-plus years. The Bobcats have always been, and will always be, our team.


As the game clock ticked down, the opposing team was making a comeback, and the crowd began to unify and rally. With each home score, we cheered excitedly, and when the referees made a bad call, we protested loudly. The closer the score, the more synchronized and passionate the response.

The crowd had taken on the emotions and the actions of the players, so together we shot each basket and felt every foul. We were all one tribe pushing each other to succeed. It felt energizing and beautiful to love on our team like this, but I realized that there could be a dark side to this behavior.

This is what humans have spent centuries doing - s…

Tracking Beauty

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Last weekend my husband and I celebrated Christmas with his sister's family, and one of the belated gifts I received was a fitness tracker.



You may be thinking, what am I, a woman who uses a wheelchair and other assistive devices, going to do with a fitness tracker?

Well, I originally I wanted it just for the heart rate and sleep tracking features, but surprisingly, I have been paying attention to another aspect as well: the step counter.

When digital pedometers became popular about a decade ago, I jumped on the bandwagon and clipped one to my hip, excited to see just how many steps an elementary teacher took from sunrise to sunset. I went about my day looking for ways to add extra steps and constantly craning my neck downwards to check the count. I never quite reached the recommended ten thousand steps, but I came close enough to keep up the monitoring for several months. However, as with most fads, my interest waned as I moved on to other priorities.

As I set up my new wristband, I …

Beauty on the Good Days

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I have written before about finding beauty on the bad days and how comforting it can be during challenging times.



But what do we do with the beauty we see on good days? When we are happy or experiencing joyful events, it's easy to slide into that place where everything is shiny and lovely. The sky is a brighter blue, grass and trees are greener, and faces of family and friends seem to glow. We want it to last forever, and when the luster inevitably fades, we typically respond in different ways.

It may be tempting to bemoan the loss and complain about how things aren't the same anymore. Some may chase the fleeting happiness with reckless desire while overlooking their current circumstance, and others may attempt to replicate the elation with substances or vices.

I get it. Our human experience leads us down multiple paths as we seek beauty, joy, and love, and these trials shape and mold us as we travel.

My approach started to change when my health challenges began to overwhelm my da…