Dear Reader, 5 Minutes Toward Beauty is one of the 4 Tools to Awesome Your Life which we haven't yet discussed much. Today I want to talk about these 5 Minutes and their power.
What Is It?
With the 5 Minutes Towards Beauty tool, we just decide to take 5 minutes of our life each day and devote them towards creating something that's not practical or expedient. What we create doesn't have to be "beautiful" in the classic sense of "wow, that's lovely" but it does have to be beautiful in the sense that it exists for no other reason than to give delight.
In this sense, anything we create that's just fun or extravagant counts for the 5 Minutes Towards Beauty. In other words, you don't have to paint the Mona Lisa. It works just as well to make up a song about your socks as you get dressed in the morning.
Why Do It?
Devoting 5 Minutes Toward Beauty each day has the effect of aligning you with a central operating principle of the universe-- extravagant creativity. I don't know if you've noticed, but whatever forces there are whipping up this world, they are not stingy with creating things that are gorgeous, fun, and weird.
When we decide to be very grown up and just limit ourselves to creating things that serve our little grown up identities and our purely practical concerns, we cut ourselves off from this central operating principle. And we suffer for it-- we feel bored, dead, lifeless, depressed. We might develop neuroses-- being overly concerned about what other people think about us, feeling like our only value lies in how much money we have or how dazzling our career looks.
Those troubles are all symptoms of creative deficiency. They come from not being aligned with a central principle of the universe. Alignment with the spiritual principles that the world turns upon is necessary for us as human beings, because it connects us with positive forces much larger than ourselves that can awesome our lives far beyond our most daring hope.
How to Do It?
Aligning with spiritual principles is a matter of adjusting both attitude and action. Both of these adjustments happen through making small daily decisions. In order to align with creativity, we need to adjust our attitudes by deciding to see ourselves as divine collaborators in the service of the greatest piece of installation art ever-- planet earth -- not just as self-interested agents out to stay afloat. Similarly, we need to adjust our actions by deciding to make a small gesture each day that's in line with the spirit of our new decision about ourselves: 5 Minutes Toward Beauty.
Yeah, But What Can I Really Do In 5 Minutes?
More than you think! Here's a list of things that have worked for me and my associates:
1. Make up new song lyrics to your favorite tunes.
Lately I've been working up on coming up with new chants to chant to the Hare Krishna melodies I most enjoy.
2. Propagate tall tales about the unlikely and fantastic adventures of you heroic friends.
"Did you guys hear about the time Connor uncovered a lost treasure of Aztec coins at the bottom of the Highland Park Reservoir and distributed them to orphans in Lawrenceville after presenting his find at the London Archaelogical Society?"
3. Make up nick names for your friends. Keep going till you get one that sticks.
My friend Jon has surprisingly blond hair which he vigorously denies he has ever dyed. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for me and all others to call him Peroxide Jonny.
My friend Terry has a natural gift for leadership and a penchant for pants which are so close-fitting they remind me of super-hero tights. Therefore: Boy Wonder.
4. Dream up a rad party to throw. I'm excited about the upcoming Genius Gathering and the Lavender Picnic Tea-Time Fantasia.
5. Draw a stick-figure comic strip about you, your pals and your latest adventure.
6. Open an inspiring cookbook, choose a recipe and decide on your own special twist to add to it.
From recent experience, I suggest Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
7. Invent a new kind of yoga.
The glorious Jane Bullard and I are working on something called Bhakti Flow-- stay tuned for more details! But there's a whole world out there of innovation for you to still innovate. Like, who's gonna teach me Gardening Yoga? Or Big Fat Doggy Power Style? Perhaps you?
8. Start a blog and write a post.
Then make sure you tell me about it so I can read it, link to it, and love it.
Image Credit: Pink Flowering Gum by Tatters, found on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.