Monday, June 09, 2008

The Alphabet Backwards: Looking for the Lovely

(Please check below for Project Blue)

Ok... I'm feeling lazy. I thought about writing on loneliness this morning or longing, but my heart isn't in it. It's a languid hot day here on the East Coast. Only in the 70s at the moment, but destined, according to the weather bureau to go up to 95 or so. Doesn't feel as humid as it did yesterday, which is nice. But I digress... I wanted to use the word languid. I love words. I suppose I could write about love, but that would require a lot of effort and thinking and talking about layers of meaning and I just don't feel like doing it. I would recommend a wonderful book by Don Miguel Ruiz, though, called The Mastery of Love. I read it during a very difficult time in my life and it helped me to survive.

Anyway, I decided to do something a little different this morning. Not sure if it's a good idea or not. A couple of years ago there was a children's book contest. You had to write a children's book of 100 words - no more than that. I decided to enter and I really loved what I wrote. It was a rare occasion when I actually thought I might win. (I didn't. Sigh. Didn't even come in 3rd or any number.) Anyway, my book was based on the concept I so love from Hawaiian Mysticism: Energy flows where attention goes.... and it's called Looking for the Lovely. I tried adding a few little pictures so it would seem illustrated. Wish I could draw.

Amanda awoke feeling sad and scared. It was the first day of school. Her family had just moved to Beckersville and she hadn't made any friends yet. "What if nobody likes me?" she asked her mother. "What if I don't belong?"


Her mother smiled, hugged her, and said, "Look for the Lovely."


"The Lovely... what's that? How can that help?"


"The Lovely is anything beautiful, anything that appeals to your heart and spirit. "When I was about your age, I too was feeling alone and unsure of myself. Grandmother Lucy taught me about looking for The Lovely.


"The Lovely can be anything - a flower, a kitten, a blue sky, a pretty tree, a friend's smile, or even a kind word or a funny joke. The Lovely is anything that lightens your heart or gives you joy - and it is everywhere if you make the effort to look for it.



"I don't see how that will help," Amanda mumbled, "I want to BE the lovely that everyone else looks for."

Her mother smiled at her. "You already are The Lovely to me; you're very pretty - inside and out. The magic of looking for The Lovely is that it not only draws the good and beautiful to us, it somehow reflects our own beauty outward at the same time. Let's practice right now while you eat your breakfast.
I'll go first: I see you, of course, fluffy clouds in a blue sky and my favorite sugar bowl. Now it's your turn.

Amanda smiled for the first time that morning: "Your face, Mom... and Mittens kitten... And Dad's galoshes," she giggled. "This is fun! "



On the ride to school, Amanda was amazed at all The Lovely she saw: "Look at that tree, Mom!" "And that
funny looking d
og!"



In class, she continued to look for The Lovely. She noticed the beautiful pink of her teacher's dress... And a bright orange butterfly floating outside the classroom window. She was so absorbed in watching for The Lovely that she completely forgot to be worried about not knowing her classmates.

When a girl tapped her on the shoulder and said "Hi, my name is Jenny," Amanda smiled, broadly.

"I'm Amanda... You have the prettiest hair," she said, still absorbed in looking for The Lovely.

"Thank you," Jenny blushed happily, "Miss Smith said you're new here. That was me last year, so I thought you might need a friend."

"Do I ever!" Amanda blurted out. "I was so scared about coming to school this morning! You can't imagine!"

"Really? You seemed so relaxed and happy that I felt less shy about saying hello."

Amanda laughed, "My mother taught me a game this morning called Looking for the Lovely."

"I got so absorbed looking for lovely things that I forgot how scared I was!"

"How cool. Can I play too?" Jennifer asked.

"Sure. Want me to go first?"

That was the first day of a life-long friendship. For the rest of their live they always looked for beauty and magic... And it was LOVELY.

The End


This all reminds me of another very simple - and similar - concept - that has changed my life. About four years ago, I read this article by a man named Alan Cohen. He talks about using the mantra "Thank You for Everything. I have no complaints whatsoever." No matter what happens, or how bad it seems, try approaching it with this thought (even if you don't feel like you mean it) . For myself, I have round that doing so shifts my relationship to my situation. I also think that it opens the door to the Universe to bring in something new and better. There is great power in gratitude and putting your focus on what is beautiful and positive.

So that's my post for today's Alphabet Backwards. Only eleven letters left! Yippee! May your day be filled with love and loveliness.


6 comments:

Dianne said...

that's beautiful Raven. Looking for the Lovely and shifting your focus - how simple, yet powerful!

Any time I need to look for some lovely I can always come here.

david mcmahon said...

G'day from Australia,

Came here from QuillDancer's blog. I'd never heard of Alan Cohen - but he shares my outlook on life.

Raven said...

Shuck, dianne... thanks.

Nice to meet you David. I really like Alan Cohen's essays. They are very simple but often profound.

SnoopMurph said...

I love this and that mantra is a great one. I need to print that to put on my desk!

Can't wait to see what the next letter stories will be!

Leau said...

Just lovely. Thanks for reminding me to see everything. I come by way of David's blog. I'll be back!

Indrani said...

This is soooo beautifully written. I liked the story of Amanda and her mother "Look for the Lovely".
I must teach my daughters a few tips like this to face the world.

I came via David's.

-indrani.