Beauty: An Essential Ingredient for Well-being
Be Strong Families staff has been on a 6-month long self-care journey sharing our reflections, and commitments related to improving our personal vitality. Our Journey to Vitality work-site wellness program, which addresses 7 domains of vitality (Physical, Spiritual, Environmental, Financial, Emotional/Mental and Social), has been a great way to get to know and support one another and to practice a wide-range of self-care habits to boost our overall well-being.
During the month of April, we worked on Environmental Vitality. Thinking about what I could do to improve my immediate environment re-invigorated my appreciation for beauty in my life. The environmental challenge reminded me that having a beautiful and orderly home is a source of joy and peace and that it wasn’t about having a magazine-worthy home or an obsessively organized sock drawer. This gave me the motivation I needed to clean out and re-arrange my home office. With the clutter gone, I can once again enjoy the plants, wall color and cherished objects that made me so happy when I first set-up the room and now I am more productive.
Our environmental challenge also stirred a memory of a painting that changed my life. I went to a Chicano art exhibit that included a gorgeous painting that lovingly captured a neighborhood that looked just like the one where I worked as a community organizer. Seeing the beauty and hope in the artist’s vision of the community brought tears to my eyes. I realized that I had lost my own vision of the beauty and possibilities in the area. I no longer felt the love and satisfaction that had inspired me to take the job. This helped me make the tough decision to move on, so I could restore my emotional well-being and passion for the work.
These experiences affirmed, for me, the power of art and beauty to sustain our vitality through personal challenges. At Be Strong Families programs and events, we pay special attention to creating an inviting ambiance because we know that personal vitality is the foundation for everything we do in life, within our families, friendships and workplaces. Our intention in creating a welcoming atmosphere at our events is to strengthen each person’s resilience by providing an experience of joy, delight or respite. Beauty and pleasure are key to creating collective experiences that help us connect to one another, renew our creativity and enliven our spirits, especially in turbulent times.
What is beautiful to you?
How does being around beauty make you feel?
You might also consider taking action:
What is one thing you could easily do to make your living or working environment more reflective of your authentic self and your positive values?
On May 15, Be Strong Families and our partner Foothill Family Services hosted a Caregiver Appreciation event at the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona. http://www.dacenter.org/ The space was filled with a youth art exhibit that created a comfortable and energizing environment for an uplifting conversation on the theme of “Taking Care of Yourself”. We are excited to share that we will continue to combine art and conversation at several additional events in this gallery space in the coming months.
Be Strong Families invites you to reflect on beauty as part of your own vitality by considering these questions (adapted from Be Strong Families/ Living the Protective Factors affirmation cards, Way 13: Be in Beauty):
To find out more about what psychologists say about the relationship between beauty and well-being, check out this article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-personal-renaissance/201309/the-healing-power-beauty
To learn more about the relationship between pleasure, healing and social change, see adrienne maree brown’s latest book Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good at https://www.akpress.org/pleasure-activism.html
Check out more ways to tend to your personal vitality and increase your resilience with the Living the Protective affirmation cards and Vitality café deck. Sign-up and start your Journey to Vitality today!