In a recent podcast, I heard the following which stuck with me:
Practice recognizing beauty.
It’s not that beauty is hard to find, it’s that it’s easy to overlook.
YES, this resonates with me.
Most people (myself included) are experts at focusing on things that suck, be it politics, injustice in the world or that neighbor who’s too loud. But what about beauty?
What is beauty, actually, I asked myself.
I guess beauty can be in everything. A walk in nature. An image. A piece of furtniture. To me, there’s beauty in simplicity.
There’s even beauty in non-obvious places, like in melancholy or in death and decay.
Don’t think you need to find beauty where most people find beauty.
People are different.
To be honest, I don’t really get why people love flowers so much and spend a fortune on bouquets. I don’t love going to museums or watching plays or the opera. I guess I’m not that sophisticated and I’m done pretending that I like those things. I don’t get that much from reading poetry or fiction books either (I have a hard time just reading a page without my mind wandering).
With music, it’s easiest for me to appreciate beauty, so it’s my go-to. It’s effortless. I can spend a whole day listening to old songs or discover new genres, studying the chord progressions and thinking about how I’d improve the song. I can listen to one song 500 times in a row, no problem, if I like it.
Find out where you can spot beauty, where it is effortless.
Unfortunately, we can lose that apprecation for beauty. Sometimes my mind tricks me, and tells me that I don’t like music that much and that it’s just a waste of time. It’s like it wants me to forget that music can heal my soul, as cliche as that might sound. Anhedonia can creep in as we get older and our problems pile up, and that bubbly, carefree passion can get buried somewhere along the way.
That’s why, as with everything that matters, we should make appreciating beauty a practice. In difficult times, this practice will be much harder. You will have to look harder because everything seems dull and gray. But it’ll be worth it, it’s like an invisible curse that has to be broken so you can see beauty again. Some people can never really lift that curse, some succeed with the help of magic mushrooms or LSD. In the podcast, they talk about an exercise: Take a photograph of a flower each day. Maybe you can find a similar practice to incorporate into your life.
It’s a good idea to look for new ways and places to appreciate beauty, too, instead of only relying on your go-tos. Spotting beauty becomes much easier once you get to know something better. I can appreciate animes more since I’ve watched documentaries on how they’re made and how an animator can spend weeks on one scene. I also learned to appreciate colors and shapes more, and enjoy looking at fashion and interior design. I can appreciate a beautiful view or a lonely mountain hut. I can get into movies, but it’s easier if I watch them alone (and I’ll usually end up crying a bit, at some point, if it’s remotely sad).
But there’s more to beauty than just deriving momentary pleasure from it.
Seeking beauty can become your mantra, your true north, in your professional and personal life.
Look for beauty in every moment – you’ll find it!
(Conversely, look for sadness, futility and disappointment, and you’ll find it everywhere, too).
In the podcast, Tim Ferriss says that for him, beauty is what drives him now that he doesn’t need to worry about his bills anymore, and it’s much more sustainable and effortless than being whipped forward by fear of failure and overambition.
Can you find beauty in your day-to-day life too, even in your menial tasks at work? Try to cultivate an eye to spot beauty, I think it’ll do you good.
😴 What might help you find calm
Intentional ASMR Picks:
- One of the best, well-produced Barber roleplays (if you don’t mind the accent) is by Starling ASMR – especially those foam sounds
- Or how about this Hairdresser roleplay by Diamond ASMR (where she does “curtain bangs”, whatever that may be)
- I also recommend Maria’s new iconic sounds video with ear to ear whispers – I liked those glass orbs best
- Do you want to have a Chinese Princess do your nails? Then check out TingTing’s new video. Just the costume deserves praise, I think
💎 Hidden Gem:
ASMR Winkeyy is a young creator I hadn’t heard of before – here’s his trigger assortment which I really recommend!
Unintentional ASMR Picks:
- The channel Shoo Rayner drawing is a treasure trove for Unintentional ASMR. Here, he draws Santa’s dog sleigh with watercolors – it’s super relaxing!
- I love nature documentaries to calm down, especially those with David Attenborough. This one’s about a bullfrog dad protecting his tadpoles
- Here’s a pretty pleasant interview with star violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter(if you can stand German accents)
- Or how about Russian Bushcraft? (trust me, it’s good!) This channel is quite popular and very well done!