We all have embedded values driving what we believe, how we think, and shaping how we live.
A number of years ago I settled on “depth and beauty” as my life motto. By choosing these particular words to express my fundamental “who” and “what”, I was necessarily rejecting others that are also hugely meaningful to me. This is important because a life motto should be as accurate, pure and straightforward as possible.
I don’t recall exactly where my love for depth and beauty originally came from, or when I first became aware of their enormously important place in my psyche and practice. I suspect they took up residence in my soul early on in my life journey – my parents certainly had a significant role to play, even if mostly unsconsciously so.
My dad was a tailor and my mom a world class cook. Both had a very keen sense of what constituted beautiful, meaningful and valuable.
Each also possessed an affection for subtlety married to a powerful distaste for the obvious and vulgar. From food to clothing to culture, they taught us to respect mystery and the intangible, eternal essence of beauty over the shallow, offensive qualities of the only-practical and temporary.
I strongly remember my dad admonishing me one day to rather spend three times the money on one, high quality pair of shoes than buying three pairs of cheap shoes which would necessarily need regular replacement, thereby ending up costing more. He spoke with kind respect of the gifted shoemaker investing his time, talent and passion into creating something used every day that was as much functional as beautiful. Useful and attractive. Quality, value and pleasure over the simply convenient.
Today I see how their preferences resonated with my soul – they were already in me since birth and so they were nurturing the seeds already sown.
From politics, fashion, business, religion and entertainment to education, there is no longer excuse for shallowness or ugliness. We have enough knowledge and technology available in the world at large to avoid choosing the cheap, expedient, temporal and shallow. We can adorn the things we make and how we live with at least a base level of depth and beauty. From spoons we use at dinner to wheelchairs, it’s possible to inculcate the things that reflect us as humans with mystery, magic and beautiful usefulness.
I am often asked how one decides or settles on a life motto. My belief is that it’s already deeply in you, so all it requires is some discovery, understanding and expression. Essentially, it’s about intentionally living out who and what you already are.
And the most intriguing part is that each and every life motto is completely unique to the individual who carries it! You can find out more about this at LiveUniq. Suffice to say that once you know yours, it impacts your life positively on so many levels that mere existence is transformed into intentional destiny.
May you quickly discover, understand and express your unique life motto!