Saturday, January 7, 2023

Everyday Eulogy: Open-Hearted, Expressive Practices for a Kinder World

by Elizabeth Venart

In all our interactions, we have an opportunity to share the kindnesses that naturally arise in our hearts or to hold them in. Why bottle love or hold back that compliment on the top of your tongue? Why not share? 

When we express appreciation for those in our lives — for who they are and what they do — we have the opportunity to connect more deeply. They feel seen and loved. When we share compliments and appreciation with anyone with whom we encounter, we brighten their day. When we focus our eyes on beauty, our hearts fill. It’s easy to focus on things that frustrate or annoy us, but when we share what uplifts us, we can uplift others. Here are a few opportunities for everyday eulogy:

  • Giving compliments (admiring style, a great smile, accomplishments both large and small, demonstrations of courage or endurance)
  • Expressing appreciation for kindnesses we receive (a door held open, a home-cooked meal, a cup of tea, a helpful customer services rep, a friend who reaches out to say “hi”)
  • Writing short pieces of prose or poetry to capture beauty and gratitude (earl grey tea on a quiet Sunday morning, oak tree after snowfall, health after illness, a child’s laugh)
  • Taking photographs to capture moments of beauty, authenticity, connection, sparkle — training our eyes to see beauty and inviting our subjects’ natural light to come forward as we share how we see them (“you are fabulous!”).

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