As often happens when we’re lying in bed, he asked me for homework.
In the quiet darkness, a smile washed across my face and I closed my eyes. I softened my mind and laid my left hand on my chest, deepening into my heart for a few breaths. I then placed my right hand on his chest and listened to the silence. In a moment, I heard the word “beauty”.
Years ago, when I worked in New York City, I would ride the train to my office every morning. One day, as I walked up the stairs to exit the subway, I noticed that I was taking my first full breath in an hour.
Being sensitive to energy, sounds and smells, my daily hurried, harried and at-times scary commute had me pulling my energy very close to my body – “sucking it up” to get through the subway ride.
When I realized this, I knew that spending an hour of my day as small and tight and dim as possible was not the way I wanted to live my life.
I wanted my life to be filled with beauty.
I knew that beauty would invite me right into the heart of my sensitivity, rather than numb me from it, and give me a richer and fuller experience of life…even on the subway trains of New York City.
Beauty isn’t just seen, it’s felt.
Yes, beauty would be his homework.
“Your life is so rich and full”, I started, “it’s easy to get bound-up and tense, and lose sight of the beauty of life.
So once a day this week, I want you to choose something or someone that you find it difficult to see the beauty in and spend 3 minutes really seeing them. Take them in fully, observing them through the lens of what’s beautiful. If at any moment you find yourself being critical, go back to what’s beautiful. Look deeply and care-fully.
I find it easiest if I first imagine them as a newborn little thing. The precious perfection. You can’t help but fall in love.”
To receive beauty is to fall in love.
This simple practice of falling in love with strangers on the New York City subway changed my life, and even if we never made eye-contact, perhaps in some small way it changed theirs too.
—> In the comments below, I would love to connect with you. Are you willing to dive into the heart of your sensitivity and connect with beauty in this simple yet profound way? All it will take is 3 minutes today.