Tag: Beauty

5/13/12 “Revel in Abundance”

Good day, team.
The coach’s challenge this week is about abundance. Look around you. What do you see? Do you have everything you need? Do you have everything you want? What is the difference? Are you grateful for what you have, or do you find yourself constantly longing for what you don’t have?
This reminds me of a novel I read entitled “Shantaram” by Gregory Roberts, about life in the slums of Bombay, India. Most of the characters in this book live in small, handmade huts on the outskirts of the city. They own a change of clothes, a toothbrush, a cup, a plate, a fork and a mat to sleep on. (And these are the lucky ones!) I am amazed at how happy these people are and how they experience abundance in their lives. They are grateful for the smallest things because they have so little. I also read another novel about a young girl who was born into a family of billionaires and has all she’s ever wanted. Her life is characterized by continual displeasure with everyone and everything around her. The contrast between the two stories is obvious: Abundance is not about having more and more things but about our attitude toward the things we have.
We live in a world of enormous wealth and consumerism. The selection of products is overwhelming at times. Do you ever find yourself in the store unable to decide among the 30 brands of laundry detergent on the shelf? The time I often spend analyzing which brand to buy is actually worth far more to me than any benefit I might derive from saving money or getting better quality with the “right” choice. I’m actually happier if I have a more limited selection. Faced with too many options, I chafe for what isn’t available, and then I’m dissatisfied with what is.
Cultivating an awareness of our surroundings is one of the best ways to experience abundance. Right now, we are enjoying the beauty of spring. The power of nature is everywhere. Wildflowers are in bloom, trees are resplendent in many different shades of green, and the increasing warm weather draws us outside to revel in nature’s abundance. Each of us can experience this wonderful season but only if we take the time to see it, smell it, touch it. This time of year, we can be especially grateful for the warmth of welcome sunshine on our skin. Perhaps you find yourself arranging flowers and their fragrance fills you with happiness. Finding ways to experience these delights of the season increases my feelings of abundance and gratitude for what I experience in my life.
This week, take a moment or two to appreciate the abundance in your life. Do you have plenty to eat? Are you surrounded by people who love you? Maybe you live in a beautiful place and always have the wonders of nature around you. Perhaps your home brings you great pleasure as you soak in your tub, spend many wonderful hours in your garden or relax in your easy chair. Whatever abundance is around you, give yourself time to revel in it.
When we feel abundant, we tend to attract abundance. When we cultivate an attitude of scarcity, our minds focus on what we don’t have, and in turn, we attract less of what we need and want. Try finding something in your environment this week that makes you truly grateful. Experience how happy and abundant this appreciation makes you feel. Enjoy life as William Blake expressed it in “Auguries of Innocence”:
To see a World in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.
Have a great week!
Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2012 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

5/23/11 “Choosing Optimism”

Good day, team.

This week’s challenge comes directly from a wonderful blog called “Tiny Wisdom,” http://tinybuddha.com/quotes/tiny-wisdom-on-choosing-optimism. Many thanks to my friend, Patty Mitchell, for the introduction. Here’s a recent post from the site, which begins with the following quote:

“I am a pessimist because of intelligence but an optimist because of will.” — Antonio Gramsci

“They say that ignorance is bliss, and there’s a really good reason for it. There are a lot of things we learn as we get older that can get us down if we dwell on them.

“The world feels a lot safer when you believe in Santa Claus and magic, and haven’t yet learned about the tragedies and injustices that happen every day, all over the world.

“It’s a lot easier to feel happy when you believe that everyone has pure intentions and don’t yet realize that people sometimes hurt other people, knowingly and intentionally.

“If you want to, you can easily find tons of reasons to live your life scared and negative. You can use all kinds of logic to justify a bitter, guarded attitude, as if it’s the only way to protect yourself from bad things that could happen.

“The irony is that this is the worst thing that could happen because it makes the space inside your head persistently painful — and it doesn’t actually prevent pain or misfortune. It’s a self-made prison that you can only escape by choosing to shift your perspective.

“Since tomorrow is always uncertain, you can torture yourself hiding from the bad things that could happen, or you can decide to take responsibility for creating the good. But you can’t do both at the same time.

“Today if you’re feeling like the odds are stacked against you, ask yourself, which you would prefer — to assume that things will go wrong and then find evidence to confirm you’re right, or to believe that good things will happen and then make every effort to create them?”

This piece of writing really touched me this weekend. Over the past two weeks, I have struggled to maintain a positive attitude, which is unusual for me. My internal world, although complex in various states of mind and heart, is generally a pretty positive place. I don’t seem to dwell in many dark, scary places. But sometimes a wave comes over me, and my usual buoyancy is interrupted by a feeling of drowning in sorrow, worry or negativity of some sort.

I noticed this past week that I was particularly susceptible to external impressions and the media. Perhaps, I was less able to defend my inner lightness of being with the onslaught of negative news that we are bombarded with daily. When I found myself bursting into tears after finishing the last few pages of a book I’ve been reading about American POWs in Japan during World War II (not a light read by any stretch), I realized that I need to be careful about what kinds of information I consume. We are what we eat, and that’s as true about the kind of cellular food we buy at the grocery store as it is about the kind of intellectual and emotional food we buy on Amazon.

So, this week’s challenge is to take the words from “Tiny Wisdom” to heart. Try having the will to change your attitude about something that’s dragging you down. If you feel resentful or angry, try taking the energy of those feelings and use it for something positive. It’s a good practice to try finding the positive side of situations that appear to be nothing but negative.

To help with my attitude, I’ve decided to become more selective this week about what I take in. Maybe I’ll visit a place of great beauty so that the impressions I take in are more uplifting. Whatever I do, it’s definitely time for a change of heart and mind.

Have a good week!


Kathleen Doyle-White

Pathfinders Coaching

(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

1/25/10- “Beauty”

Good day, team,

This week’s challenge is about beauty: beauty in what we see, beauty in what we do, how we perceive beauty and the effect it has upon us.

I was thinking about this subject today because it was an incredibly beautiful day. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and days of brilliant blue sky and bright sunshine are few and far between from November to June. It’s a long, painful stretch of grey days, often with continuous rain or at least consistently cloudy skies. We do our best to combat the depression that can often come from day after day of rain, but there’s no doubt, it takes a toll on most of us. Even the most avid rain lovers start to complain when even at the end of May, it’s only 45 degrees and still raining.

Today it was 54 degrees and completely clear. I marveled at how blue the sky was, how bright the reflection of the sun on the water, the added lift the warmth gave to every person I saw who was walking around without a jacket or coat, secretly smiling to themselves, thinking that maybe spring was not so far away. All of this right smack dab in the middle of January. Miracles never cease.

Before that day, I had been a bit depressed by recent events: the death and destruction in Haiti, the recent Supreme Court ruling about corporate funding for political campaigns, mud slides in California, the health care bill seeming farther away than ever from passage, the occasional grief that still surfaces in me about my father’s death. I began to feel that the few forward steps we were all able to take last year had gotten reversed and we had been losing ground since Jan. 1.

Today was the complete opposite of that drudgery and depression because the sheer beauty of it lifted me far beyond the doldrums I has been experiencing. This is the true miracle of beauty: It fills us up to new heights, it inspires us, it makes us grateful in a moment for the pleasure we are experiencing.

Years ago, I was sitting in a restaurant with a boyfriend of mine. There just happened to be many beautiful women in the restaurant that evening, and it was almost impossible not to gaze at their faces, their bodies, the way they moved, what they were wearing. Whether you were male or female, you could not ignore the beautiful sights in the room. At one point, I became a little embarrassed that I was staring at a woman whose beautiful face was truly amazing to see. I said to my boyfriend, “Well, a thing of beauty is a joy forever.” He gave me an appreciative smile and said, “No kidding!”

At that moment, a fairly homely woman came into the restaurant. I felt a little sorry for her. She was the ugly ducking amidst the beautiful swans. My boyfriend looked at her and said, “Isn’t it amazing? I’ve never looked at a woman who I couldn’t find in some way beautiful. Look at that woman’s nose: It’s perfectly shaped.” I couldn’t believe his comment. In all that beauty, he was commenting on the homeliest woman in the room. But when I looked at her more closely, I saw that she did have an incredibly beautiful nose.

This week, try noticing the beauty around you. Maybe it’s the curve of someone’s arm or the way a person’s eyes light up when smiling. Perhaps you see the beauty in the face of your spouse as he or she asks you how your day went, or your child’s particular way of showing you love. Try looking out the window more than a few times this week. Even in winter there is beauty: the shape of tree limbs without leaves, the way water reflects many different shades of grey or blue, how fire and heat glow in the fireplace. Perhaps you’ll notice the steam that rises from a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea and the beautiful patterns it makes as it curls up into the air.

If you haven’t done so in awhile, go to a place that showcases beauty, like an art museum or a park. Find your way to a place that fills you up with its beauty and be thankful for it. Sometimes to lift my spirits I walk into a florist shop and breathe in the lovely scents and gaze at the pretty arrangements.

Confucius said, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Try noticing the beauty around you this week. I guarantee you, it will change your state and your attitude for the better.

Have a good week.


Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2010 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search, Inc., all rights reserved.