A Cloud’s Gold Lining

The Golden Temple at night, beautiful in its silence.
The Golden Temple at night, beautiful in its silence.

The other day I spent an hour on the phone with a woman in California, hearing her story for a client project. She kept using the word “beautiful.”

Every experience in her life’s journey was beautiful. I’ve never met her in person, but her voice just sang with sweet happiness, and I believed her when she said something was beautiful – whether she was referring to her 2 a.m. volunteer service washing the marble floors of the Golden Temple or her journey into yoga or her uncertainty over career aspirations and next steps.

Everything was beautiful.

It reminds me of the movie years ago called Life is BeautifulI hated it, but everyone else loved it. An Italian man is imprisoned in a Nazi camp and he acts jolly and joyful for his son, so as not to scare him. At the time, people told me I would understand when I became a parent, that you would do anything to not break your child’s world.

I see it in a way now, but I couldn’t fathom finding beauty in such circumstances back then. I’ve learned, though, that seeing the world as beautiful is a choice. The world is neither beautiful nor ugly – it just is. You make of it what you make of it depending on your own disposition and level of happiness.

Audrey Hepburn said: “I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”

When I get a cantankerous email from the ex or a client is not communicating clearly or I am simply running out of time to get everything done, I can look at my life as going to pot or I can look at it as full and beautiful and cherish the gifts before me.

Happiness and beauty are choices.

Ajeet Kaur in concert at Karma Yoga this past Sunday night
Ajeet Kaur in concert at Karma Yoga this past Sunday night

Sunday night, Shaya, Eliana and I went to a concert at Karma Yoga featuring Ajeet Kaur. She’s a Kundalini Yoga performer and this was a kirtan concert, a performance of musical mantras. I loved it. I swam in heavenly devotion to the beauty of the music and the words and the happiness that came from dancing and moving to the beat, letting the sound current move me.

There is a song by many Kundalini artists whose refrain chants about being bountiful, beautiful, blissful, and we sing it in class as if we mean it. The rest of the world may think it odd, hokey, hippy-dippy. I don’t care. I truly felt as if I were in the place I was meant to be, that all my life had led to that moment and that’s where I wanted to stay, always.

But I had to leave. Take the music into my house, away from that cocoon. Live the values and ideals as I walk through my days. See beauty in imperfection. Hear beauty in the voice of someone I may not be fond of. Choose to see the good.

Choose to see the good.

Much of the time, I do see the beauty, but I fall prey to humanness, too. I find the flaws, I whine, I get cranky, I feel misunderstood. It’s ok. I swim my way back through the dark to the beautiful moments and people. To truth.

A favorite poet of mine, Rainer Maria Rilke, wrote, in Letters to a Young Poet“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue…”

“Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is,to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you win then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Love the questions.

Love the questions.

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