I love to cook and entertain. Fortunately, my beloved enjoys entertaining almost as much as I do and finds my desire to ‘create beauty’ umm… amusing/admirable/adorable… Yeah. That’s it.
Anyway, I do love to create a beautiful experience for everyone who comes to our home. To have the table look as good as I hope the food tastes.
This is why I spend a lot (read that – an inordinate amount) of time creating placecards for each guest and a unique look for the table-setting along with a menu that is inspiring and intriguing, as well as appetizing and fulfilling.
It pleases my creative heart and soothes my yearning to create beauty in the world.
I tell you this because I believe the world needs more beauty.
I believe that the only way to offset the ugly out there, is to create beauty, in here.
It doesn’t mean I’m ignoring the ugly in the world. It’s hard to ignore when newsfeeds are full of graphic accountings of humanity’s ability to destroy one another and the planet we depend upon for our very breath.
But there is little I can do about the bigger world beyond my own sphere of influence. And so, I do my best to ensure my sphere (some might call it a bubble) is as devoid of conflict, strife and hard edges as it can be.
That also doesn’t mean I cannot be prone to being edgie at times or behaving badly. It does mean that when I do miss a step or fall down in my behaviour, I do my best to get accountable and take responsibility for my missteps by cleaning up my act whenever I can.
And sometimes (read that most times) cleaning up my acting out requires I come back into integrity with my own self, inside me.
It means getting authentic inside so that who I am in the world is aligned with who I want to be in every aspect of my life.
When I used to coach at Choices, I remember every Sunday evening at the end of the five-day training, I’d think about how I am in ‘the room’ and ask myself, “Is how I am in the world outside this room aligned with how I am in this room?”
Often, I’d find gaps in my behaviour, in how I was presenting myself out there that were not aligned.
See, in a sacred space like the Choices room where hearts are broken open to the power of love and possibility (Discovery Seminars now that Choices no longer operates in Alberta) it is easy to be authentic. Not only is the room a safe space, it is a brave space – a space where no matter your human condition, you know without equivocation, you are loved, lovable, Love in action.
In the big world out there, it doesn’t always feel safe, and being brave can feel not only scary but dangerous.
How do you stand up to a bully when that bully has a gun?
How do you speak truth when truth-speaking could cost you your life or your family’s freedom?
And how do you create beauty when everything and everyone around you feels shrouded in the darkness of anger, fear and hopelessness?
I don’t have answers for the world ‘out there’. I do, however, now that what I create in here will ripple onward, out into the world in ways I can’t imagine.
And for that ripple to be filled with beauty, wonder and awe, I must release droplets of beauty, wonder and awe into the world around me with everything I do.
We live in times that feel unprecedentedly uncertain, at times confusing, at times nullifying and frightening.
I don’t know if what I feel today is worse than what my parents and their cohorts felt during WW2, or when I was a child and the Bay of Pigs was unfolding and we children were practicing hiding under our desks at school in case of an atom bomb going off. But, what I do know is, like my mother who wanted only to create beauty and peace in her world, I am doing my best to walk in her footsteps and do the same.
It is only the steps I am taking that can fill in the gaps between fear, hopelessness and possibility.
Sometimes, knowing I am imbuing each of my steps with beauty is all I need to bring myself back into integrity.
PS. It was my youngest daughter’s 35th birthday yesterday. To celebrate her, we held a dinner on Sunday night for family and friends. These are some of the photos. (thank you @ChristieeJames for the photos!)
And PPS. I used to avoid making cakes. I’m learning to love it! She wanted a “sprinkle cake’ – read that – Confetti Cake. I loved how it turned out!
I can no longer cook let alone entertain
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I am so sorry JoAnne. My sister has had to abbreviate her kitchen wizardry as well and it is a loss to her – and to those of us who so loved sharing in her joy of cooking and entertaining!
Thanks Louise for your kind words. I wish my health was otherwise but it is not unfortunately. Now I know how Mom felt when she stopped her cooking & baking. Mom would tell me about the dreams she had when she cooked especially “special” meals for family and friends. Mom was always able to describe the meal in its entirety then tell me that “she missed it so much”….I feel the same!!! So….you carry on the tradition so beautifully and I thank-you for that. Much Love from your elder sister, Jackie❤️
PS: I am so sorry “Joanne rambling” in Australia
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The concept of Beauty can be anything one wishes it to be. It can hide perceived flaws, it can mask insecurity, it can be as simple as picking a daisy in a field of wild grasses or gazing upon a landscape bathed in the stillness of a moonbeam. It can be the quiet solitude of a few free moments that allow one to take a deep breath in contemplation of next steps to be taken. Or it can be wild frenzy of river waters cascading down rapids instilling fear of the unknown into those willing to take the plunge downstream in kayak, canoe or river raft. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Some adages just do not grow old.
Love the “sprinkle cake” – so simple a concept, yet the beauty in its simplicity exudes the love of a Mother for a child.
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I love how you dive into creating beautiful imagery with words Iwona! Your gift is greatly appreciated. And yes — I too saw the ‘sprinkle cake’ through love in action. ❤
What a wonderful way to live! I believe beauty is a powerful thing to the human heart, and can bring change. There is a quote by the author Dostoevsky that goes “Beauty will save the world.” I enjoyed reading how you bring beauty to your life. 🌸
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Thank you! THe pedestrian bridge I can see from where I sit at my desk in front of our living room window was re-vamped over the past year. It is now a beautiful beacon of light with soft lights glowing – they even change colours as if in a delicate, ethereal dance with the night. I love that it’s beauty greets me and shimmers on the river’s surface. It reminds me that beauty is everywhere and beauty is in motion all around me. ❤