100 things i am thankful for
oh, what fun!: the benefits of being festive

looking for beauty in all the right places

Beauty postits 

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." 


Today I am celebrating the 2nd month of Random Acts of Kick Arse (RAOKA), a group I'm very fortunate to be a part of. Every month, this group -- which includes Life, Laughs, and Lemmings, The Jungle of Life, Jane Be Nimble, Joy Rebel, and Operation NICE -- joins together to take part in committing random acts over the course of one month. Each month we have a different theme and, for the month of November, the theme was BEAUTY. When the theme was announced, it didn't take me long to figure out what I wanted to do as my random act. I wanted to tell people they were beautiful. Of course, this was a little bit easier said than done when it came to turning this into a random act. While I'm probably confident enough to go around telling random people they are beautiful, I wasn't quite sure how well that would be received. Sure, it works for a friend or family member, but it's not exactly the most natural thing to walk up to a complete stranger and say, "You are beautiful!" (Though, now that I think about it, I would love if someone did that to me...)

Beautypostit1So, after giving it some thought, I decided to put my random act into words. Being the writer that I am, putting things into a written form is usually my best bet so it seemed fitting that I should use this tactic for this month's RAOKA theme. I decided to create little sticky notes (see the pictures in this post) with positive, beauty-focused sayings on them. I created a bunch at one time and carried them around with me everywhere, posting them in random places like bathroom mirrors or checkout counters or even on cars. I'll admit I often felt a bit guilty about it (was I littering? did people even want to read these little signs of mine?), but overall it felt great. I would imagine the next person to come by and see the sticky note smiling at it. It made me feel great to know that maybe someone was seeing it and it was making his or her day better.

Of course, posting these around town gave me some time to think about beauty and what it really means. It's interesting when you look at beauty all over the world and see how different cultures think about beauty. Different cultures have different standards of beauty, which makes it a very tricky thing to define. More important than defining, however, is realizing that we all possess it. We are all beautiful. I know, I know, that sounds incredibly hard to believe. Most of us have been taught that some things are beautiful and some things are not, but that's not true at all. What's true is that everything -- everything! -- has beauty in it. It's just a matter of looking for it...

Looking for beauty in everything isn't always easy. We've been taught to believe that certain things are   beautiful, which makes it difficult to find everything beautiful. But I really do believe that beauty is everywhere, in everything, and it's up to us to open our eyes and look around to see it. Like most things worth doing, looking for beauty in everything can be difficult at times. We don't always know how to see it. We don't always want to see it. But it's there. It's always there. And I'm going to share with you my ideas on how to find it.

How To Find Beauty Everywhere

  • Be present. If you pay attention, you're likely to realize that there really is beauty all around you. Yes, sometimes it's harder to see, but it's there and you're never going to be able to see it if you don't look around. So put that Crackberry down and look around. See the beauty!
  • Be open-minded. When you're looking around for all of that beauty, remember to keep an open mind. It's pretty hard to see true beauty if you're focused on the ideal standards that you've been inundated with your whole life. Trying looking at things from a fresh point of view and you'll see beauty everywhere!

  • Be positive. Of course, if you're looking for things not to be beautiful, you'll certainly see the ugly in them. So be positive! Focus on the good, even if it's a tiny little bit of good, and you'll start seeing more and more beauty in everything. Look for beauty and you will find it.

  • Be hopeful. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of hope to realize that there really is beauty in everything. Just like when you look for good, you find good, when you have hope that you'll see beauty in someone or something, you will. It's all about believing that there really is beauty all around us.

  • Be generous. It's easier to hold back sometimes, to want to refrain from labeling something or someone as beautiful. We tend to think of beauty as something that's rare and that "beautiful" is a word that should be doled out sparingly. But that's just silly! There's no limit to how much beauty there can be in the world.

  • Be creative. Yes, sometimes it takes a little bit of creativity to see the beauty in something, but I know you have the power to be imaginative and inventive and to realize that beauty doesn't have to come in a traditional package. Being creative will help you to recognize beauty you might not normally see.


As you can see, searching for beauty in everything can require a lot of work. However, in my opinion, it's an important activity because seeing beauty in everything makes life better. Just think about how you feel when you see something really beautiful. You are in awe. You are moved. You are excited by the possibilities of beautiful things in your life. Now just think about what it would be like to feel that way all the time (or, at least, most of the time). What if you could see the beauty in everything? What if you could be excited by the gorgeousness in every person, place, and thing you came across?

I doubt I'll ever be the type to see beauty in everything, but I'm certainly more aware of it now that I've thought about it and written this post. Just right now I'm staring out my winter at the bare branches of a tree and normally I would think it was boring, bland, a depressing sign that winter is right around the corner. But not today! Today I'm looking at it and I'm amazed by it's beauty, by it's ability to be so stark and tall against the blue background of the sky. I'm impressed by how stoic it looks, how proud it seems, and how, in just a few short months it will begin producing those tiny green buds to tell me that spring is on the way.

So, as you can see, it really is possible to see beauty even when you don't think you'll be able to. It's not easy -- but what good thing usually is? -- but it's so worth it when you realize that you can look around you and see beauty everywhere. With that attitude, you can go through life seeing the good, seeing the beautiful, in everything. You can then share those thoughts and feelings with others, causing a ripple effect in which more and more people are seeing the beauty around them. Take the time to look at things around you today and see if you can see the beauty that surrounds each and every one of us.

How do you find beauty in your own life?
What are some of the most beautiful things you've seen lately?


Reader's Note: Tomorrow I'm off to celebrate the beauty that is New York City. Since I'll be hitting the Big Apple hard over the next few days, I won't be responding to comments on Thursday, but I WILL be reading them so feel free to share your thoughts on beauty in the comments section. And if you're looking for more to read today, check out my guest post on Urban Monk, "Finding Peace in Happiness." 



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What an awesome idea! If I saw one of those I would definitely smile :) I might have to do that myself. I think that's wonderful :)

Hey, great idea with the post-its! No wonder the guy who invented them is rich (or so the story goes:) ).


Michelle - Thanks! I'm so glad you liked the idea and it's great to hear that seeing one of those would make you smile.

Eduard - Haha, very true! Post-Its are very useful -- especially when it comes to spreading happiness!

That is a great idea. I also think that there is beauty everywhere. I generally always find something beautiful on the water--birds, dolphins, reflections, ripples, fog and much more. Some of the most beautiful things that I've seen lately have been awesome sunsets, smiles, graceful egrets, and Christmas decorations.

Smile, you look FABULOUS!!!

Ok, that is HANDS DOWN my favorite. Plus your handwriting rocks. What a neat project!

I reckon finding those post-its would lift my mood any day. :)


I find and appreciate beauty a lot, but now I'm wondering whether I need to appreciate more ugly. I think I need to mix it up some more.

Syd - Thanks! There's definitely beauty everywhere and you brought up some great examples of where we can see beauty. I especially love sunsets and Christmas decorations!

Hayden - That's my favorite too. And thanks for the compliment on my handwriting! :) I love to write things!

Meream - Just writing them and posting them about definitely raised my mood so I hope that others felt happier when they saw them too! :)

J.D. - I think appreciating ugly really comes back to the idea of seeing beauty in everything. When you are appreciating the ugly, you're seeing the beauty in it!

This is a fantastic idea!!!
It's so true, beauty is everywhere! I agree 100%

It's kind of like those people who go to garage sales, and see the potential of an old ugly dirty piece of furniture. I, for the most part, am a pretty positive person...I can usually see the beauty in a particular person, or event. I always get a kick out of finding the positive or the beauty in a place where no one around me can...

Daniela - I'm so glad you liked it! It really is everywhere -- we just have to look around for it. :)

Dawn - It's exactly like that. Some people are really great at seeing the beauty in all things and it's important to remember that people see beauty differently so what might be ugly to one person is gorgeous to another!

That's a FANTASTIC way to spread beauty Dani! I'm with Hayden, seeing "Smile You look fabulous" randomly on a post-it would put a smile on my face for sure. Love it.

My Mum is the master of seeing the beauty. Actually, so is my partner Chris. They've taught me the value of finding the good in someone or something. It's always there and searching for it instantly takes judgement and negativity away.


Hreatfelt compliment and smile always does wonder. beauty is in eye of beholder, so anyone you love can be truly beautiful to you!

I sure would like to know, how people took it, when told them they are beautiful...it is sometimes hard to take I found, even when one has told from the heart.

The is nothing more beautiful than laughter...this was a fun post to read while smiling.
Thank you and your group sounds very inventive and full of good acts.

I liked pausing here right now - it was beautiful

I love the way you handled this month's random acts of kick arse --- way to go! Post-its = brilliant!

As for seeing beauty in everyone and everything, what I've learned for myself is that when I'm operating from a state of love, I can't help but see beauty. Love looks around and sees beauty everywhere it goes.

For the Post-its, I'm pretty sure they bought smiles to a lot of faces. Perhaps for once, these will be 'litters' that I can more than accept with an open heart. For me, I will always do my best to look at the positive side of people and things. So if I do not have anything good to say, I will usually keep my mouth shut. Reading this post had made me realize that it is not enough to just seeing the positive side of people and things. I also need to have an open-mind, be receptive to the beauty around me and not just focus on the norms. I am someone who may do thing spontaneously at time. I remember once a waitress was taking order at my table and after finishing with my friends' orders, she turned to face me and asked for my order. I was stunned at first and words naturally came out of my mouth and I said, "You are so beautiful that I have forgotten what I wanted to order." I hope that made her day. My friends were all teasing me saying that I must be at it again ... but that day, the words just came naturally from within.

I believe that seeing beauty in everything is not easy but when we cultivate a beautiful mind and soul, we will see beauty in everywhere we go.

Hi Dani,
I love the post it's you shared! What a great way to bring some beauty (and bright colors) into the world, and bring some joy to people's days!

I look to find at least one thing about someone that is positive/beautiful. For example: the person may have a great sense of humor, the person genuinely cares about others, the person is kind, generous, giving, patient, understanding, energetic, a good listener, fun to be around, etc. Or maybe I don't know the person at all so I look at things like: a pretty smile, beautiful eyes, nice hair, well groomed, nice voice, etc. I love scenic photos/pictures and I find nature beautiful. I just find a lot of beauty everywhere.

This is a wonderful idea! Yes, you are beautiful!

There is beauty in all that we see for what we see is a reflection our own beauty.

I saw two trees juxtaposed yesterday, an autumn-colored deciduous against an evergreen, with cloud and blue sky behind them -- right here on the street where we live -- blew me away. And blew me away again when I saw them today. I must take a picture tomorrow.

And it's supposed to snow here an inch tomorrow -- how beautiful is THAT?? Hope it does.

Ready for wacky next month. Indeed!!

Random Acts Of Kindness! ha i love that idea so much.

I know Ive been trying to write poems in an effort to capture my appreciation of things that catch my eye.

I realized a few months ago that I might have missed out on some good relationships with really cute girls in my life because I was just too afraid to tell them how pretty I think they are. I've been trying lately just to give out compliments and it's always great to see a girl smile when I give some genuine appreciation.

I think the new random acts of kindness theme is definitely awesome and will help me go in the right direction!

Ooh I love your blog. I think I'm going to join the random acts of kick arse as well. i wrote a piece called hope notes not too long ago on my blog. i think we be like-minded ;) I'm going to link to you so i can come back again for more inspiration. thank you.

Jacqui - Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment! I'm so happy to hear that you like Positively Present. You should definitely join in on a random acts of kick arse. It's lots of fun and really makes me happy!

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