The lilac-purple color peaking out from behind the rock was so beautiful I had to go look to find out what it was.
Tucked into the corner of my garden a small grouping of phlox was blooming. I spent a few minutes stooped down next to it, admiring its beauty. I even resorted to petting and talking to it. I thanked it for growing and expressing itself so beautifully and completely.
And then it hit me. This plant was completely successful. You might think the plant had no choice but to be successful, but then, you might not know plants as well as you think.
This plant chose to be doing its job in nature. It chose to provide us, who see so little, with a stunning display of beauty as part of the package.
I sat down beside this humble plant and asked myself, “What if providing beauty was a definition of success?”
That meant the hours in the garden with the intent of making it more beautiful, and providing more ways to see beauty, was a completely successful day at work.
That meant I could choose to assist, create, and support beauty as my intent every day, and if I accomplished that in some small measure I was successful.
That meant keeping the house orderly, cleaning up after myself, and making sure our house was comfortable and beautiful was not maintenance that took time I could use to be more successful, but was success itself.
What if we choose to make assisting, creating, and supporting beauty as a necessary ingredient of success?
Would we create shopping centers with acres of parking with only a few trees and a smattering of flowers by the door?
Would we design buildings that are square blocks with a window or two that don’t even open?
Would we put junk in our yards and in our woods? Would we create to throw away?
What if all those activities were seen and treated as the antithesis of success, and instead the house with the well tended garden is what is revered and honored ?
What if spending time creating in all art forms just to be part of the creation of beauty meant that at the end of the day we could say to ourselves, “This was a successful day.”
What would change?
Nature is successful in every measure of success. It does its job of proving us with a planet filled with water, air, and an infinite display of unique and extraordinary beauty.
What if we stopped abusing it while trying to become successful?
What if we made all decisions based not only on how it affects others for seven generations, but with an answer of “yes” to the question, “Is it beautiful?”
Wouldn’t life be filled with more mindfulness and kindness?
Wouldn’t there be less need for people to lie, cheat, be greedy, and choose violence as a solution?
Sometimes it feels as if there is so much wrong in the world that we fall victim to the temptation to believe that we can’t do anything about it.
We don’t need to believe this. It’s not true. So let’s start proving it.
Knowing that beauty comes in many forms and depends on how one is seeing it, let’s start by being conscious of it.
Let’s imitate nature and make sure that everything we do contains an element of creating and providing beauty for everyone – equally.
Let’s spend more time with nature. Let’s take our children into nature.
Let’s allow it to guide us into healing ourselves of the false identity of fear and greed, and choose beauty as the basis of our identity and as a key to a truly successful life.