“I´m going to make everything around me beautiful and that will be my life” is a quote by Elsie de Wolfe that has greatly inspired me.
Indeed, the quote often reminds me of “Don’t Miss the Flower – A Short Zen Story from Thich Nhat Hanh”
This story shares how, one day, the Buddha held up a flower in front of an audience of 1,250 monks and nuns. He did not say anything for quite a long time. The audience was perfectly silent. Everyone seemed to be thinking hard, trying to see the meaning behind the Buddha’s gesture.
Then, suddenly, the Buddha smiled. He smiled because someone in the audience smiled at him and at the flower. He was the only person who smiled, and the Buddha smiled back.
Many generations of Zen students have studied the meaning behind this story. What was the Buddha trying to communicate to his followers?
The answer may lie in the story. Everyone was thinking so hard as to what the Buddha was trying to convey that they missed the flower itself. The beauty right in front of them. The flower which could only be appreciated by being present instead of thinking about the meaning.
I guess this is a problem in life. If we are not fully present in the moment, we miss the flowers of life that are blooming all around us.
If we spend all of our time thinking, either about the past or the future, we miss the blessings of the now.
If we are so absorbed in looking for meaning in everything that we see, do, hear, feel or touch, we miss the actual experience of these things.
Only by being present can we notice the beauty of life blooming inside and outside of us. The magical in the mundane. The little miracles of life that we take for granted. The very things that make life so much more beautiful.
The quote inspires me to make my life beautiful by seeing the beauty that is already around me and sharing this beauty with others who see the magic too.
Beauty is blooming all around you if you open your eyes and heart to the present. Make everything beautiful, my friends, and that will be your life. Don´t miss the flowers because, without beauty and being able to see the magical in the mundane, what else really is there?
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.