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SEE THE BEAUTY
A 30-Day Celebration of Your Magnificent Life
BY JOOLS SINCLAIR
Your life is beautiful.
Not your life yesterday. Not your life tomorrow. Your life right now.
But if you’re like most people, you probably don’t feel that way. Under a nonstop onslaught of depressing news stories, social media brain drain, gossip, fake news, and everyday frustrations, your awesomeness gets worn away and lost. And with it, so does your chance at happiness, joy, and the life that you deserve.
See the Beauty: A 30-Day Celebration of Your Magnificent Life will help guide you back to seeing your life with clear eyes. Through this daily mindfulness and interactive gratitude program, you will learn to unplug from all the ugly noise and focus instead on the countless wonders that surround you each and every day.
The See the Beauty program is a path back to seeing life, your life, as it truly is: amazing, big, and beautiful. It’s a practice of “interactive gratitude” that will help you notice and then record the beauty in your life every day, letting you unplug from a negative world and reawaken into a positive one full of grace and appreciation.
Your life is full of beauty right now, even with the credit card debt, the extra 20 pounds, the divorce, the troubling news in the world, the terrible boss, and the car that makes a funny noise when you accelerate. Even in the midst of all the chaos, you are surrounded in beauty. But if you’re like most people, you barely know it’s there because you’ve fallen into a habit of focusing on the bad instead of the good.
I know this because that’s exactly what I was doing for most of my life. I was living inside a fog and I didn’t even know it. It finally dawned on me one day when I returned from a long walk.
It was during a period when I was writing my bestselling mystery series Forty-Four. Life was good. I was making six figures a year for the first time ever, I had fans waiting for my new releases, and I was doing what I had dreamt about since I was a kid—writing for a living. But for some reason I wasn’t particularly happy. Despite the money and success, most of the time I was still swept up and focused on the nitty-gritty problems of day-to-day living.
One afternoon after hours of being locked up with my main character, I was eager to escape and get some fresh air. Walks have always been an important part of writing for me, a chance to release endorphins while thinking about plots and scenes. So I slipped on my shoes and headed outside.
After a block or so, I stopped thinking about the story and turned my attention to my sore heels, which had been hurting and didn’t seem to be getting any better. This thought led me to thinking about how I probably should go see a doctor, and this thought led to how I had gained weight and didn’t want to get on that scale. As I rounded a corner, my brain hopscotched back to the book I was writing, but suddenly veered over to my frustration about how Forty-Four had been close to being made into a television series, but had lost out to a zombie show. (No, not that zombie show.)
My mind was on a wild ride, Mr. Toad at the wheel with no brakes and plenty of gas. When I turned around and headed back home, it kept going. I thought about obnoxious politicians, annoying celebrities, and about how the housing market had recovered everywhere in the country except the place where I actually owned a house.
When I returned home I drank some water and went over to an open window.
And that’s when it hit me.
The blue skies. Warm air. The smell of hot pine needles in the soft wind. It was the end of summer and the bright leaves had just a hint of orange at the edges. Purple wildflowers grew in the yard, red berries cascaded off vines, butterflies fluttered near the grass.
It was a fantastic time in Bend, Oregon, and I had battled snow and ice and cold temperatures for five months to get to this brief oasis of sunshine and warmth. And yet on the walk I had missed all of it, hadn’t even given it a second glance.
It was a startling and painful realization. But then I thought of something else.
What if this was happening all the time?
What if I spent most days focused on the negative aspects in life while ignoring the blessings around me?
Not long after, I started a simple daily practice of noticing the beauty in my life and recording it in a journal. And not just natural beauty like sunsets and colorful leaves, but all kinds. Everything that I saw, touched, tasted, heard, smelled, and felt. The beauty of the people I interacted with, the beauty of good writing, the beauty in the books I read and the music I listened to. The beauty in drinking a glass of wine at four o’clock on the deck, the soft fur of my cat at my fingertips.
I wanted to give these moments their proper respect, give them the attention they deserved. I certainly focused a lot on all those bad, grating things, why not spend at least 20 minutes a day thinking about all the good ones?
I made the commitment to sit down in the late afternoon every day with my journal for one month. And because I wanted this new practice to be fun and not just another writing obligation, I bought some nice colored pencils to sketch little illustrations alongside my short entries.
I put all of it in my journal, big moments of beauty and little moments. Everything. The email from a reader who loved my books, red-gold sunsets, cooking lasagne alla bolognese, the conversation I overheard between two five-year-olds talking about Batman, watching a Dodger game, a full moon rising up over the mountains, impromptu and silly dancing with my husband.
And, as the weeks went by, something magical happened. I started seeing more and more beauty, and it soon felt like I had entered into another world. A world that existed right there beside the negative one. A place that left me feeling happy and appreciative.
And that was how See the Beauty was born.
The program is not about slapping a happy face on devastating events or pretending that life is wonderful when you’re experiencing difficulties and are in a dark night of the soul. And it’s not about picking up a pencil and drawing a flower when everything feels like it’s falling apart.
Life is hard. But, if we’re honest, most of us would agree that our lives aren’t falling apart most of the time. Still, we’re in the habit of giving our attention and power over to negativity, a darkness that drains our energy and spirit. This negativity is everywhere, wanting and needing and feeding off the light inside us.
It’s on our phones, tablets, and laptops. It’s on the television at the gym when we’re trying to do a workout and at the hotel breakfast bar. It’s in the lunchroom chatter as we refill our coffee mugs. We have a tendency to not only listen to bad news and gossip, but we also spend valuable time reacting to it.
I’m not suggesting that you should remain ignorant or uncaring of the world’s woes. What I am saying is that you should be the one in charge of your focus. Not Fox News or CNN. Not the White House. Not Wall Street or Madison Avenue. You.
See the Beauty is a simple practice that allows you to step back, unplug, and start giving yourself a little time each day to appreciate your amazing life. And when you do this, you’ll begin seeing the following:
- Instead of lack, you’ll see the abundance that surrounds you;
- Instead of desire for the things you don’t have, you’ll feel gratitude for all the wonders that you already possess; and
- Instead of feeling overwhelmed by a mean, crazy, and out-of-control world, you’ll begin to see that your own life is really not so mean, so crazy, or so out-of-control but bursting with beauty.
While I can’t say that all my problems and habits of negative thinking have vanished since starting this practice years ago, I can tell you that making a conscious effort to notice beauty has helped cultivate a deep reverence and appreciation for my life.
Most days you’ll find me sitting at the table in the late afternoon with my journal open and a pencil in hand. It’s a routine that I am grateful to have found and am so excited to share with you.
Because the core of the See the Beauty program is about love, it is the perfect companion to all religions, philosophies, and beliefs.
So, welcome! I’m so glad that you’re here!
Thank you SO much Karen for having me on your amazing blog!
Sinclair is a bestselling author, teacher, speaker, and the creator of SEE THE BEAUTY, a program that helps people celebrate the beauty in their lives. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.
Links to Jool’s website, blog, books, etc.
Barnes and Noble:
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY: Jools is giving away a See the Beauty: A 30-Day Celebration of Your Magnificent Life Giveaway: One 30-Day class (either through Udemy or her website) to one lucky reader and one SEE THE BEAUTY Ebook to another lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. That’s two lucky readers!
Thanks, Jools, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!