** pictured: Kevin Kubota and his son getting silly out on the salt flats of Bolivia **
There are beautiful experiences, and then there are Beautiful experiences. I’m pretty sure my very first Beautiful experience befell me while watching my new bride walk down the sidewalk of a little city park. With her arm under her fathers, her smile glowed as brightly as the sun around her simple, elegant white dress. Tears streamed uncontrollably from my eyes and I choked on my vows, but managed to squeak them out.
I was prepared for that one, and was pretty sure I would fall apart, and sure enough, I did. I was prepared for the next one as well. My first son, Kai, was delivered after 24 hours of hard work from his mother, and put in to our anxiously waiting arms. We weeped and stared at him in utter amazement. How could anything in the world be more Beautiful than this? We wondered and cried tears of joy.
I was somewhat prepared for the next one as well. My second son was coming in to the world and it was a beautiful morning, with rays of sunshine streaming through the windows of the pastel colored hospital room. As Clare prepared for her final push, the doctor turned to me and said, “Do you want to deliver him?” smiling calmly. I was caught off guard and overwhelmed with joy and fear at the same time. What if I drop him? What if I pull too hard and his head is permanently shaped like an alien’s? How could I say “No.”? I quickly put on some thin rubber gloves and with some brief coaching I readied, but could not steady, my nervous hands.
He came directly in to my hands, from his mother’s body, and it was the most amazingly beautiful experience I’ve ever had in my life. I wept, laughed, and loved his giant soul — wrapped in a little body, as we snuggled him around her chest. I was right, nothing could be more Beautiful than meeting your first child for the first time, but the second one could easily parallel the experience.
I was completely unprepared for the next one. It was a special day at Unity (although each one always proves to be special in its own way) as we had a guest — Greg Tamblyn. Reverend Jane had set the bar high, promoting his visit and touting his humor and song craft skills. From the moment he began to speak, we were all engaged. He spoke from the heart and his stories, jokes, and songs brought genuine belly laughs to even the sternest faces in the crowd. His use of humor as a tool for connection with people, as well as self-healing, was powerfully poignant. I began to imagine what the world would be like if everyone simply allowed themselves to let out their inner silly. It would be magical. Clowns would go out of business. He prepared us for his closing song, and it was a spiritual, beautiful chant. The men would sing the lower octave part and the women (and dudes blessed with soprano voices) would sing the higher. We practiced our parts separately for a few rounds, then prepared ourselves to layer it all together.
It began. We started all at once, and before I could sing out the first line of my part, a wave of emotion washed over me like a tsunami of Beautiful. I began to cry uncontrollably and could not for the life of me sing a single word — I choked them out, one by one. I let the music calm me, and after a few verses I was somewhat carrying my tune, but the tears did not stop. The absolutely beauty of the angelic voices in our community, layered in perfect harmony, and the haunting melody of the song, simply overtook me. There was a surge of loving energy in that harmonic experience that I would never have anticipated. I could feel God smiling and saying to me, “Here you go. You need some Beautiful today.”
I often find, and am very supportive of, seeking Beauty in solitude. This is necessary for us to really be able to hear our own thoughts clearly and to comprehend the messages from our great Spirit — that often waits until we are truly listening, to speak. For me, however, I’ve found the most powerful expressions of Beautiful in my life when I open myself to the loving energy of other people. There is a magical, exponential explosion of Love that happens when we let ourselves open to truly connect with fellow humans. With our children, this is naturally easy. With others, it sometimes takes a little work. We have to show up, open up, and let our hearts sing — even if it means squeaking out a tear-filled tune. The rewards are magical — far outweighing the temporary embarrassment of puffy, red eyes. Where can you find your Beautiful today?