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Everything teems with richness, everything aspires to ascend, and be purified. Everything sings, celebrates, serves, develops, evolves, uplifts, aspires to be arranged in oneness.
As we near the end of this blog, we also draw closer to the real beginning of your Slow Beauty practice. I just love how endings and beginnings meld together into an infinite cycle.
As we turn our attention toward mapping, you are going to start thinking about creating a personal map for your unique journey. Here you will identify things you are already doing, aspects of this blog that appeal to you, and other ideas you’ve heard about but haven’t yet been able to incorporate into your life. This Slow Beauty practice has some external expressions, but most of the work is invisible. It happens from the inside out. This includes all of the thoughts we think and the feelings we feel. Through the practice we’ll be laying out in this section, we’re essentially clearing the space between ourself and our thoughts and feelings, and making sure those thoughts and feelings of ours are nontoxic, functional, natural, and beautiful.
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We can think of our inner life like the interior of a home. We put so much effort into creating a safe, aesthetically pleasing, organized, healthy environment at home. Of course we should want the same standards for our interior home as well. Slow Beauty mapping is the act of replacing inner life estrangement with inner life engagement; with that, we design our dream home within. And guess what? You and you alone are the architect, the contractor, the subcontractors, the specialists, the interior designer, and the resident.
Some of us may only need some minor renovations within, while others will require more extensive construction. Only you will know what you need, since no one else can peek inside this interior home of yours. The approach you take to develop your map and the practice that ensues will help you see yourself, others, and life itself through a new, clearer, and sharper lens. It’s as if you are looking through a pair of binoculars to see something in the distance, and you move the focusers just right and suddenly what was fuzzy and difficult to make out is clear as day. Mapping is your opportunity to chart a course to clear out the toxins, old baggage, and junk you’ve been hiding in the proverbial closet, and to get superfocused, purposeful, and intentional about life. And if you need to bring in the bulldozer to do some heavy lifting, well then, go for it! It’s your home, after all.
I opened this chapter with one of my favorite quotes by the great mystic Kook, because when you map it out, your Slow Beauty practice engraves his ideas in your heart. Your map should do everything that he describes; it should teem with richness and inspire you to ascend and be purified. It should sing to you and celebrate you, serve and develop you, evolve and uplift you. And, most important, it should make you feel whole.
What you seek is seeking you.
Through your intuition, you are your one and only true guide, guru, and master of your life and destiny. Any other type of guide is purely an inspirational one (which, of course, is always a good thing). In this section, we will identify those people who act as a source of light and inspiration in our life. These are the people who exemplify qualities that we would like to awaken within ourself. For example, Einstein might be a guide because he personifies a youthful spirit of wonder. Or perhaps your grandmother is because of her resilience.
You can also think of this as a process of selecting your own personal board of trustees or advisory council. Keeping these people in mind and identifying why they’re important and worthy of emulation gives us a touchstone, both on a moment-by-moment basis and in those situations when we’re making key decisions.
Guides are archetypes. They are akin to invisible energies that exist across cultures, and in our collective consciousness. They are a collection of our myths, experiences, histories, and beliefs. All are alive and accessible to us, regardless of our limited perspective of death. Their imprints live on.
For a bit of inspiration, here are some of my guides and their credentials. I consult with them often through their writings, teachings, poetry, music, and imagery.
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