By Jennifer Pastiloff.
I am so excited that Beauty Hunting is now a thing in the world. As you may or may not know, that’s the title of my book. Beauty Hunting. In fact, type in beautyhunting.com and you’ll see that it leads you….HERE! I want to make the idea of Beauty Hunting viral-a world of people scouring the earth for what lights them up, for what makes then nod their head Yes Yes Yes, for what makes them never want to give up searching for what is beautiful in a world that is sometimes not very forgiving. In a world that is filled with pain and loss and sadness and war and trash- to actively seek beauty.
And look, there isn’t just pain and loss and sadness and trash- there are births and cups of really good coffee and big wide ass smiles and flowers that smell so good you have to stop in your tracks. There’s all sorts of good stuff on the surface and also sometimes, very deep under the surface.
My friend, the beloved comedian Steve Bridges, died suddenly a couple years ago. It was not beautiful.
But, through his death I met his sister Liz and she is now one of my closest friends. (She also dyes my grey hair monthly, so there’s that.) She even gave a lecture at my last Manifestation Retreat. I didn’t know her while he was alive. The day after he died I stood on his doorstep, on his Gone Surfing doormat, and there she was when the door opened. And here she is.
So there was a gift in the loss of him. Liz is the beauty I found. Our friendship flourished. Thank you, Steve.
Sometimes we have to look really closely and pay close attention for it because it doesn’t seem to be there. Beauty.
But it is.
And it’s imperative that we never stop searching for it.
It’s why I created the 5 Most Beautiful Things Project a couple years ago. I picked the number 5 because it was tweetable. (Hey, come on, I’m living in the same social media age as you are) and because I thought 5 was doable. Stop as often as you can and write down the 5 most beautiful things to you at that moment. #5mostbeautifulthings. << (It can change your life if you play this game. It will force you to look at someone and seek out what is beautiful about them rather than “I don’t like their shirt, her voice is annoying, he is an asshole, her nose is big.”)
Seriously. Try it. Imagine you are going to give a note to each person you talk to with the 5 most beautiful things about them. We actually do this at my retreat and it’s profound. It will shift the way you engage with people. You won’t be looking for what annoys you. (This is not to say that people will cease to annoy you. But still. Do your best to find what is beautiful.)
Beauty Hunting is what I had to do to survive.
I’ve had a lot of loss and then hearing loss and depression and all sorts of things that tried to get me to stop living. You might relate. Maybe you’ve also had a lot of shit. Most of us have. I had to go, “Jen, get your ass out of bed and look at people. Find what is beautiful or you will never get off that mattress, you will never quit this waitressing job that sucks your soul out with each coffee refill, you will never stop feeling sorry for yourself. Get up. Go. Look for it. It’s there.”
And I did. I found beauty everywhere. People often comment on how many interesting people I meet and on all these amazing experiences and encounters that I have and how coincidental it is. Au contraire. I hunt for these experiences and people. I make it my life’s work.
So, I have been asking myself how I can spread this movement. My book is on its way (my agent Linda will be happy to read this sentence.) But in the meantime, I challenge you to be a beauty hunter.
I decided that I will give away a prize for Beauty Hunting, because hey, that’s always fun. Prizes.
This week’s prize is this necklace by Asha Patel Designs.
Here are this week’s rules.
Must follow @jenpastiloff and @ashapateldesigns on Instagram. (This is only an instagram contest for now so perhaps consider creating an account if you don’t have one if you want to play.) Tag both of us in your post and use hashtag #beautyhunting. Hashtags are dumb, I know, I know. But we need to find the posts somehow and they sort it out, so use it, k?
Please do not forget to tag both of us in the post in the comments.
The more creative you are, the better. Write as much as you want (or that will fit in the space provided.) Post as many times as you can! Asha will pick a winner next Monday September 8th. Please leave your 5 most beautiful things in the comment section below, as well. Get your bow and arrow ready to hunt for what is beautiful.
If you look, you will find it.
Jennifer Pastiloff, Beauty Hunter, is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Check out jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health, Tuscany.She is also leading a Writing + The Body Retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch Jan 30-Feb 1 in Ojai (1 spot left.) She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.