sunrise

See Your Beauty

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beautiful sunset

Have you ever seen a truly breathtaking sunrise? As the sunlight slowly brightens the sky, the sky changes to purple, pink, and orange. The horizon and trees stand out in dark contrast, adding to the magic of the scene. The clouds catch the light and glow in the most intense and phenomenal colours. Sometimes, don’t you just have to sit back, take it all in, and marvel and how lovely our planet is?

I wonder if we were able to soak up that beauty and thoroughly appreciate the awesomeness of those sunrise moments more often, would it change us? Would it help us to appreciate everything around us more and to see our own beauty?

Why is it easier to see beauty in other things than in ourselves? I’m not sure it is actually harder to see our own beauty, I think it’s just how we are looking around us. We don’t examine a sunrise with binoculars, but we do look at ourselves with close-up mirrors, with a critical eye. What if we stepped back and took in the whole view, like we do with gorgeous scenery? What if we became enraptured in the moment? What if we looked at ourselves that way?

Why not give it a try?

Stand a few feet away from a mirror but keep your eyes closed. Go back in time to the most beautiful sunrise or sunset you have ever seen. Try to recall it as vividly as possible. Remember the breeze, the sounds, anything and everything that made the scene amazing. Feel how your expression softens, how your face lightens. Aren’t you in awe of how amazing that sky was? Breathe deeply a few times and dwell there until you feel different — peaceful, amazed, and just… different. Now, s l o w l y open your eyes… Aren’t you beautiful too? Keep the same expression of awe… because you are awesome and beautiful!

You are every bit as lovely as the most beautiful sunset, you just can’t always see it. You can’t always see the sunrise or sunset either — sometimes, because it is cloudy, or because you are so unhappy you just don’t see it. But if you can get yourself out of your head and snap back to the present moment, you can see beauty everywhere. Once you learn to fully appreciate the beauty in the world around you, you can realize the beauty in yourself, too. Even if you only feel a little more beautiful, that’s progress!

I love taking what I know in one area of my life, or using one of my strengths, and applying it to an area I feel less secure. Take the beauty you see around you — that you can readily accept and see as a fact — and remind yourself that you are a part of that beauty, too. The world is an amazing place, and you are a part of it…. so you must be amazing, too.

It is so simple — see the beauty and believe that it applies to you, too. Slow down your pace and look around for the beauty that is everywhere. See it, and let it soak in. Flowers, sunsets, trees, dragonflies… many things are beautiful — each different, but equally beautiful. Is it so hard to believe that you too are beautiful, perfect, unique, just as you are? I hope not. : )

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Note 1: I do a lot more of this sort of introspective blogging on my book’s website loveyourskeletons.com. So head over to the blog and have a read!

Note 2: Am I lame for skipping the traditional “overview of 2012 blog post” or “what’s your New Year’s Resolution” topic? I don’t think so… I think it’s overdone. 😛

Happy Winter Solstice!

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Oops, I’m a day late with my “happy winter solstice” blog! I have a good excuse, though — on the day I should have been writing this blog, the 20th, I was making chocolates at a friend’s house! They turned out yummy, if melty… the milk chocolate I bought wouldn’t get very runny when melted, and once hardened and released from the mold, would start to melt in your hand as soon as you picked it up! Awesome! 🙂

Anyways, happy shortest day of the year — woo hoo! It doesn’t get any darker than this! And I am glad for that. Our day (sunrise to sunset) is only 6 hrs 17 minutes, and the maximum height the sun reaches is a measly 8.5 degrees! I have discovered that the sun does not shine in either of the kitchen windows (facing SW) until just before it goes down; the neighbour’s house casts a shadow all over ours. But that’s ok… in summer, the sun is gloriously high and the days wonderfully long… that’s what one has to remember at this time of year.

I can understand why ancient people would have had a festival shortly after the solstice — when you could start to measure that the days were getting longer. Maybe it was a distraction, a reason to party, or maybe it was just being grateful that the shortest day has come and gone and although it might not get warmer for a couple more months, it won’t get any darker. 🙂

To visualize the way the sun’s position changes, check this picture out (photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis):

This Astronomy Picture of the Day shows how the sun moves throughout the year — it is a composite of many photos taken at the same time and place, over the year. The up-and-down part you probably understand, but do you know what causes the left and right motion? Leave a comment if you know!

Sunrise

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The Sun advances
And the sky alights.
Clouds that were grey
Turn incredible shades
Of pink, orange, red,
The sky on fire.

As first light appears, I realize
That we aren’t standing still,
with the sun approaching.
We are on a massive, turning sphere,
In continual motion, dynamic.
I can almost feel the motion…
Almost.

As the sun breaks the horizon –
Orange, blazing, blinding –
The clouds are now yellow
Or white, or grey again.
Why don’t I notice the
Gradual change? It’s
Only when I glance away
And back again that I see
The beauty anew,
The dynamic sky,
So awesome,
So beautiful,
It strikes a chord in me.