The curve in your neck
Crows feet around the eyes
Stretch marks from childbirth
Your belly with its round enjoyment
Beyond the untouched beauty of the newborn, our bodies show we have lived: we are alive.
Remember the beauty of your heart:
Sacrifices for the ones we love
Compassion for strangers
Empathy that our stories evoke
Peace when we truly feel heard
Anger that insists on better
Even fear that reminds us what is important, even as it stops us in our tracks. Our hearts’ beauty brings meaning, connects us.
Remember the beauty of the things we cannot know:
The moments of transcendence
Flow and wordlessness
The deep knowing of connection to all things.
True compassion: the love of self, and of all.
Just as a wave in an ocean is impermanent, so are we. And as the way, we will always be part of the wholeness and beauty of the ocean.
Remember the beauty of the things we disown:
The things we hide
Our struggles and shame
How we break social norms, feel ugly, alone.
These doorways to insightfulness and empathy
Routes to creativity that ‘normal’ never reach
The beauty of freedom when “What is wrong with you?” becomes merely “What is.”
Remember the beauty of ordinariness:
The gift of caring in the small ways
Getting up, brushing teeth, packing lunch
We deal with late trains, aching bodies, system errors
Celebrate mini-triumphs: yummy cakes, goals scored, songs shared
Getting on with our ordinary, imperfect, loving lives
Parents, carers, friends, children: beautiful not because they are extraordinary, but because of who they are. And that is enough.
Yes, remember the beauty of people:
How we connect, emphathise and argue.
How we weep, get stuck and try again.
How we move.
How we stay still.
How we love.
How we fail.
The beauty of the energy and impermanence of people in all our glorious imperfection. Ah, what beauty.
Devi Clark coaches purposeful people who want a meaningful career in a charity or social enterprise, but are finding it hard to get their foot in the door. She is the founder of a social enterprise, the Outsiders’ Network, turning the pain of feeling different into the courage to change the world. Devi is the curator of TEDxAylesbury and the author of 4 books for ethical career changers which will be available on Kindle early in 2015. You can find out more at www.mynewleaf.co.uk.
Image courtesy of Francesco Gallarotti.