“Beauty scatters the seeds of hope in us.”  Sister Joan Chittister

Several months ago I became more keenly aware that one of my primary passions  – that which fuels my soul – is the cultivation of beauty.

In fact, I recently wrote in my personal notes, “I am an agent of transformation.  I discover and create beauty where there was once that which was less than beautiful.”

It’s why I love thrift stores, flea markets, and HGTV.

It’s why I love the work I do.

So why is beauty so powerful in our lives?

When we observe and experience suffering, we feel pain.  Sometimes we feel helpless, recognizing our limitations.  Beauty brings hope because it shifts our gaze away from the suffering and pain to something greater – to the awareness of creation and our capacity to create other than suffering.

Beauty – in all its varied expressions – that stimulates all of our senses – reminds us that there is something inside of each of us that is beyond death, loss, suffering, and despair.  And ironically, it is often in death, loss, suffering, and despair that beauty is seen more clearly and more vibrantly.

Beauty is also powerful because it activates the emotion of gratitude.  We experience gratitude when we see beauty, even if we are not consciously aware of it.  We are thankful for the pleasure of the experience of beauty.  We appreciate beauty.  Gratitude opens our hearts and minds to possibility, potential, expansion, creativity, and life.

Today I thought I’d share some additional inspirational thoughts about beauty.  Though there are many shallow or cynical quotes about beauty, I’ve chosen several that I like.  I thought you might like them, as well.  I trust they will inspire you to look for beauty in your day today.

“Beauty is whatever gives joy.”  Edna St. Vincent Millay

“To love beauty is to see light.”   Victor Hugo

“Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.”  John Ray

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”  Jawaharial Nehru

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.”  Anne Frank

“Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.”  Saint Augustine

“For me the greatest beauty always lies in the greatest clarity.”  Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.”  Albert Einstein

“The beautiful remains so in ugly surroundings.”  Malcom de Chazai

“In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty.”   Christopher Morley

“Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite.”  Francis Bacon

“Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention.”   Deepak Chopra

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”  Rumi