I was talking with a dear old friend, he’s in his mid 70’s and we’ve been close friends for 30 years, and we were talking about how we show up to life. What makes us tick, what get’s us naturally lit up. For me I was saying creating beauty in whatever ways show up in life. Like a sort of obsession with the qualities of soul and character and what is outstanding in our lives. I feel like I’ve lived almost parallel lives where one part was doing more mainstream work like consulting and coaching and facilitating to help clients uncover what they really wanted and ways to create more of that in their lives. Yet there was this whole other side of myself and work that was about creating gorgeous spaces, often restoring or reinventing apartments or homes that had been somewhat neglected.
The design work felt like an almost guilty pleasure, middle class possibilities. While I felt I should be doing my little part to make the world a bit better place. Jeff, my old friend gently pushed back saying this is what you have always done. You bring an aesthetic and heartfelt soulfulness to whatever you are engaged in. Even in conversations with me, he felt that I had an aesthetic ear for what was most beautiful and heartfelt in what he was talking about or exploring with me in the moment.
I think often times our loves and gifts can feel almost transparent to us if we aren’t paying close attention. My not quite seeing this love of savoring the beautiful in all our lives was no doubt aided by my inner criticism of this sort of stance and work wasn’t really work and didn’t do enough in the world. But I’m no longer tied to that somewhat diminishing thought.
I pulled up to our house the other day and there were two younger women walking by our place, probably college age, and one was saying to the other that she lusted after our home every time she walked by. That she thought it was gorgeous and it grabbed her. And I could have gone up and kissed her on the cheek for making my day. In that moment I was reminded of how much I love creating or shining a light on something that can bring others joy and love, no matter how simple that sounded. There is so much in our life that can feel challenging, where the creating or coming across something that moves us and takes us out of our busy minds and back to savoring life is, to me, invaluable.