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!