Beyond Sight – Appreciating Beauty

When most of us think of something beautiful, we think of using our sense of sight. But what are the other ways we can appreciate a thing of beauty?

Beyond Sight – Use of the Other Senses

Of course, we can appreciate beautiful things with our eyes, whether we are looking at people, nature, etc. But what can we do beyond that?

Let’s start with the sense of smell. Think about looking at a flower. Instead of just seeing the depth of the red rose, get closer and breathe in its fragrance. If you are standing near the top of a mountain, take in the view while absorbing the fresh air. When you are close to someone, pay attention to their scent, that particular fragrance or cologne, or just that aroma that is unique to them.

Then there is the sense of hearing. In the outdoors, you can hear wind rustling the leaves, water trickling down a stream, birds singing, and many other sounds of nature. Relax by listening to gentle music, or the beautiful voice of a great singer. Go beyond the looks of a person, and listen to what they say about their beliefs, and their dreams.

With the sense of touch, you can feel a rose’s delicate petals, the softness of a dandelion’s seed head, and the warmth of a loved one’s embrace.

With the last sense, the sense of taste, you can taste the kiss of true love, probably one of the most beautiful use of the that sense. You can create a visually appealing meal and slowly savor every bite. You can appreciate the work that went into a honeycomb, and taste the honey from it.

Experiencing Beauty Through Emotions

Whenever you apply any of your senses to appreciate something beautiful, you also have the opportunity to let the beauty affect you deeply. Standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, you can not only marvel it’s greatness in size, feel the winds on your skin, breathe in the fresh air, and hear the sounds of people voicing their awe. You can let one of nature’s greatest wonders take your breath away.

When you look at a stunning piece of art, you can go beyond visual appreciation by contemplating what the artist may have been inspired by, and what feelings the work evokes within you.

Sharing Beauty with Others

One of the most common ways beauty is shared with others, especially in the internet world, is through photographs. How can you help others truly appreciate a photo more than aesthetically? Use of present tense details, such as the weather conditions, the sounds around you, the way you felt when taking the photo, what inspired you to taking it, and how it made you feel when looking at it later would help those looking at it go into the moment with you, the photographer.

Finding Beauty Within Yourself

Finally, it is always important to remember that there is a beauty that lies with all of us. We do not have to always be looking towards others, or traveling to far away places to find something beautiful. There is something that makes each of us unique, and that is beautiful in itself. Find that beauty, and share it with the world. Encourage others to find what is beautiful in themselves.

How Do You Do It?

And now I ask you… how do you appreciate beauty?

A special thanks to one of my readers, PeaceLoveJoyBliss, for the intriguing question that inspired this post.

Comments

  1. says

    “Finally, it is always important to remember that there is a beauty that lies with all of us. We do not have to always be looking towards others, or traveling to far away places to find something beautiful. There is something that makes each of us unique, and that is beautiful in itself. Find that beauty, and share it with the world. Encourage others to find what is beautiful in themselves.”
    I just can’t shake off those lines!!

  2. PeaceLoveJoyBliss says

    Hi Kristi, I really like the way you structured your approach to the question of engaging beauty – from going beyond sight to the feelings in response, to the sharing of beauty, to finding beauty within. The forms of beauty are the objects of sense, imagination, and memory.

    In the light of truth, for the love of truth, finding beauty within is in a class by itself. All forms of beauty depend on it.

    Christopher

  3. says

    Moreover, everything in natrure inspire your sense of beauty. As for humans, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” so it’s all about how we look to ourselves and the others. In fact, all people are beautifull for me as I don’t put too much weight on how they look; rather their way of dealing is the keystone to see them beautiful or not.

  4. says

    Hi Kristi,
    Great post. I absolutely find beauty in uniqueness. Uniqueness of people, experiences and work. To appreciate it takes focus or passion – two commodities slipping as fast as the stockmarket these days. Focus seems to come through being inefficient at many things while being passionately efficient at one thing. OK…enough rambling for me!

  5. says

    Kristi, this is a very well written uplifting post!
    To appreciate beauty, one really has to be present. We so often miss all the beauty that is around us and within us, because we are so caught up in thinking. When we find that spaciousness inside then we are open to taking in all of our own beauty that is reflected in our world.
    Thanks for a great post!
    Miruh

  6. says

    Hi Kristi,
    I love to find the beauty in everything around me. There is nothing that makes me happier than to take a break from work to go for a walk, breath in the air, feel the sun, and look up to the beautiful leaves that are changing colors.

    Maries last blog post..Flower Pics

  7. says

    This is a great post that got me thinking. Of course, I appreciate beauty with my eyes. A glorious sunset, a rainbow, a baby’s innocent face. My ears love the beauty of a running brook and the sound of rain. But I also love the inner beauty of a person who lives their life from the inside out. Some people may have the perfect outward beauty and yet not really be beautiful. And yet others radiate a love for others that I find so attractive and endearing. To me…that’s real beauty.

    Debbies last blog post..Thankful Thursday – Friendship

  8. says

    @WD Favour: I think a lot of people look for beauty everywhere else, and forget that they have it in themselves too, and it’s just bursting to come out to be shared with others.

    @Christopher: Wonderful quote. And thank you for inspiring me to write this. :)

    @Hicham: Inner beauty is definitely much more awesome than outer.

    @Rich: Focus and passion indeed. I think a lot of people are losing the ability for both because of all the stress and lack of time pressure. We just have to find a way to make the time, find the calm, and then get those things back again.

    @Miruh: Exactly. I remember one day, going down a freeway that I travel on daily, just noticing these flowers that were blossoming on the side. I had never noticed them before, but the traffic was stopped, and my mind wasn’t consumed by the radio or a to do list. And I was so happy I saw them, because their colors were beautiful.

    @Marie: I miss fall colors. There aren’t the right type of trees in my area for that, but this fall I plan on traveling a bit to find an area with those gorgeous hues of oranges and reds.

    @Debbie: Well said. A loving, empathetic person is the most wonderful thing to behold.

  9. says

    “The beauty that lies with all of us.” Very poetic! I agree all the way with this. Showing beauty is why I’m in photography, and recently branching into portraiture.

    People are great. I used to believe that people were evil (when I was like 13), but that’s false and limiting. You can really understand and connect with others once you see the fire that burns within us all.

    Richard X. Thripps last blog post..Photo: Vegetarianism

  10. says

    Great blog and great post! What you’re saying about experiencing the world with the five senses reminds me of a book I love called “A Natural History of the Senses” by Diane Ackerman. She talks about different ways of experiencing beauty through the senses. She writes about Helen Keller whose nose was so sensitive that she could tell what occupation a person had by their smell. A teacher might smell like chalk, a doctor like antiseptic, and so on.

    I’m going to place a link to your blog on mine and I would appreciate it if you returned the favor.
    http://asad123.wordpress.com

    Asads last blog post..Song Analysis “Love for a Child” – Jason Mraz

  11. says

    Very nicely written, Kristi. The final question, though, throws me off because my mind is way to literal for it. How do I appreciate beauty; I’m not sure how to answer that. I do appreciate it, as it comes in so many different varieties, and therefore the reaction to it changes based on what it is. Still, I like to think that my inner sense knows it when it comes upon it, and acknowledges it by the emotion it instills in me, no matter which one it might be. Seeing a pretty woman is going to give me a different emotion than a cute baby, and seeing chocolate is going to give me a different emotion than smelling it (just made myself start craving chocolate).

    So, let’s just say I appreciate it, and I’m lucky to find it in many different fashions.

    Mitchs last blog post..Feedburner & Feedburner Feed Smith

  12. says

    I know one thing beautiful is to watch you kicking ass blogging.
    I better step up my A game I see you in my rearview :)
    Just wanted to stop by and say HIGH
    I think everyone is beautiful till they show otherwise:)
    Unfortunately most people show otherwise :(
    Keep up the great work
    Awesome Stumbled..

    John Sullivans last blog post..Web 3.0 is in effect get on board

  13. says

    Beauty is the caress of a loved one, the smell of pasta cooking after a long days work. Fresh percolated coffee brewing. The purr of a Ferrari or Harley as it roars by. Closing your eyes on a balmy night and letting the cool breeze caressing your skin.

    And if all that doesn’t work, then I would have to settle for a cold beer while watching the footy.

    Sires last blog post..Can You See The Human Apparition In This Splash Of Water

  14. says

    @Richard: Photography certainly is an excellent way to capture beauty and share it with others.

    I do believe some people are evil, but I think that it is a result of their environment, brain chemistry, and the way they were raised. Something had to be off in a few areas for someone to do some of the heinous things we hear about in the news.

    @Asad: That makes sense. Someone who doesn’t have one sense has stronger abilities in another. Even when I am in the dark, I can tell my hearing works better, which can be a good or bad thing when you consider the bumps in the night issue.

    I added you to my blogroll, btw. Interesting site!

    @Mitch: I guess when I say appreciate it, I mean to not just pass by things and not pay attention to them. Or when you see something beautiful, don’t just take in the visual, but find more ways to appreciate it. For me, that helps me just remember a moment that much more vividly.

    @John: Thank you! I know what you mean about people showing their true colors. But it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes it is great to be pleasantly surprised to meet people who are more beautiful on the inside than they are on the outside. Not just in the beginning, but always!

    @Sire: Very well said, especially the parts about caress and cool breezes. It has been cooler here recently, and I have enjoyed that a lot. Plus the lower temps make fore more snuggling opportunities with my fiancé. :)

  15. says

    Wow! This post is beautiful!

    I find beauty through ones actions. For instance, those that display their caring nature towards all life. Not necessarily the Mother Theresa’s of the world, but those brave enough to stand up against what they feel is wrong. Is that odd?

    I also have an overwhelming flood of awe (due to beauty) when I look at the stars. Normally after a few beers… To think of the vastness of space, and all the infinite number of ‘things’ to know…it’s mind-blowingly beautiful.

    “To know ultraviolet, infrared and x-ray,
    beauty to find in so many ways…”
    -The Moody Blues

    Wayne Johns last blog post..To the spammer dropping links in comments

  16. says

    “Encourage others to find what is beautiful in themselves.”
    I really like this sentence. But personally, I LOVE to leave others mood in order to make them happy. I seriously feel good doing that. And I guess that’s the beauty of me. I love making others happy. :)

  17. says

    @Jack: It is always a great feeling to make others happy. One thing I have been learning is that in order to do that for others, we have to be mindful that we are finding happiness for ourselves as well, because it is hard to give something that we do experience.

  18. says

    @Abdulrehman: Yes, I think if we let all the people important to us see our true selves, and let them know what we love about them, it would give them the inspiration to be more true to who they are as well.

  19. says

    Whether something is beautiful or not is decided by our emotion to a larger extent! Seeing, tasting, touching and smelling will be not useful at all if we are not full of emotion! Do you think so?