All of us need reminders to see the beauty that is all around. Because sometimes it’s hard to see. Sometimes we spend so much time inside our heads, inside our stressful stories that our vision becomes blurry and foggy, and we stop noticing what’s right in front of our eyes.
The same goes for the beauty inside ourselves. Maybe it’s been forever since you’ve noticed that. Or maybe you never have.
Below are various prompts and questions from Meera Lee Patel’s gorgeous book Made Out of Stars: A Journal for Self-Realization to help you remember or to help you accurately see your surroundings and yourself with fresh eyes.
- What is most beautiful about: the morning light in your room; the first tree you see today; a stranger on the street; taking some time for yourself today; the last conversation you had?
- Identify three of your traits that you have trouble accepting. Then identify one positive aspect of each trait.
- Take a walk in the woods, practice feeling at home there, and write about the experience.
- What makes you feel connected to your heart, your spirit, your sense of self?
- What makes you feel connected to a stranger?
- Describe three beautiful things about: you; your home; your country; your planet; your universe.
- What makes you feel most connected to your body and your breath?
- Write about three fulfilling aspects of your life that you tend to overlook.
- When do you feel most connected to the world, and most alive?
Some of the above prompts might be harder to respond to than others. Consider asking a loved one to help you with the ones that focus on your inner beauty. Ironically, it’s usually easier for someone else to see our inner light. Consider asking a child to help you find the wonder, awe and beauty in your environment. It comes so naturally to them.
Or every night simply jot down one beautiful thing you observed that day—everything from a flower to the sky to a sweet exchange between strangers to an out-of-nowhere rain shower to how you handled a difficult situation to your daughter’s face as she watched the sunset.
In the journal, Patel includes this beautiful quote from Frances Hodgson Burnett: “Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us.”
What if you spent a moment or many minutes or an entire day thinking and feeling this way?