‘How to live beautifully’ is a provocative title for an article. Every person reading this article will have a different definition of what ‘how to live beautifully’ means. The following is my view on living beautifully and, hopefully, it might provoke something in you.
William Morris (1834-1896), was an English textile designer, artist, writer associated with the pre-Raphaelites and the Arts and Crafts movement. He wrote, ‘Beauty, which is what is meant by art, using the word in its widest sense, is, I contend, no mere accident to human life, which people can take or leave as they choose, but a positive necessity of life.” He recommended, ‘If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’
I enjoy creating a life where beauty and artistry are as important as form and function. One of the ways I create a richer experience of life is learning more about the past and how that knowledge can inform different choices for the things with which I surround myself. We can each see things no one else can and from our unique vantage point can then choose for ourselves those things and experiences that create and sustain beauty for each of us.
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. What you might value and wish to add to your life may have no interest for another person. What do you think is beautiful? What excites you? What would you like to say with your surroundings and choices? Beauty for you could be clean, modern lines of clothing or furniture or food OR it could be vintage clothing, furniture and craft beers. I have a colleague who drinks her morning tea in a bone china antique cup and saucer. Her husband prefers big pottery mugs. They both say their tea (or coffee) tastes better in them. I will take an extra 15 seconds to choose a colorful cloth napkin for mealtime rather than grabbing a paper towel. That makes me smile. What if living beautifully for you was as simple as choosing what makes you smile?
What if ‘how to live beautifully’ is also in how you interact with other people or creatures? Living beautifully for me means honoring myself and others in my thoughts, words, actions, and choices. When I treat myself and others with respect, caring and consideration, I like myself better and that makes everything more beautiful in my life, and the people around me (including my cat) are happier also. It is a choice that we can make every moment and every day.
So, have I ‘provoked you at all? What do you think you can do or be to ‘live beautifully’ your way?
Christopher Hughes is a communications mentor, arts and antiques curator and certified Right Voice for You facilitator. He has an undergraduate degree in Opera and Song from the University of Western Ontario and a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications from QUT. Chris spent time in the world of professional opera and later used his voice in various industries, from singing telegrams to voice-overs for videos, cartoons and elevators. He is currently the Managing Director and curator at the Antique Guild in Brisbane and Vice President of Australian Antique an Art Dealers Association. He facilitates classes for Right Voice for You and The Elegance of Living; both special programs by Access Consciousness. He desires is to help people to “live beautifully” and encourages everyone to always take the best things off the shelf and use them, including the best parts of themselves. Follow at @RightVoiceForU.