see the beauty first

January 6, 2015

See the beauty first. 

At the coffee shop, I noticed a man sitting with his son. Both wore expensive clothing but the kid's pants only came up as far as his upper thighs. It is embarrassing to admit but my first thought was judgmental. You know about those kids who won't pull their pants all the way up, right? Gangsters or wannabe gangsters. Troublemakers. That kid must have problems. 

That is when I caught myself. That is when I remembered what I learned in training to become a yoga teacher. "See the sri." It's the beauty. The inherent goodness. Yoga teachers are trained to look for it first in our students. Above all else. To look out at the bodies in front of us and notice what is beautiful about them, then let everything else flow from that perspective. We try to, anyway. We are human, too. 

I glanced around the coffee shop and saw it everywhere. In the light pouring through windows and from faces of people. I felt my heart expand and started to think about all of the good things being discussed, shared, worked on, created, collaborated...right there in the Starbucks on Madison Street. 

Looking again at the boy with half-pants and his well-suited dad, I smiled. They were talking. Having coffee together. Sharing something on an iPhone. Relating. Connecting. 

"Laura, how's your magazine coming? What Issue are you on?" I heard a voice from the barista making my coffee. It was Andrew, one of my favorites. He remembers things I tell him. 

"Issue Two," I said. "Still Issue Two. Everything is going more slowly that I originally planned, but it's designed and layout is done. I'm just waiting on one high-resolution logo thingy, then I can send it to the printer."

"That's so exciting," he said. "So many people quit when things don't go the way they planned. You keep going. I like that."

He was seeing the beauty first, too. And I felt grateful. It was the boost I needed.

Who will you see the beauty in today?