Monthly Theme: Beauty

Go deeper into this month’s theme with reading, video and music


Diving Deeper

Reflect on BEAUTY

  • Have you ever experienced a “beautiful goodbye”?
  • When were you first healed by beauty?
  • What did your family of origin teach you about what it means “to be beautiful”?
  • What parts of life have grown more beautiful as you’ve aged?

Quotes about BEAUTY

  • Blaise Pascal – In difficult times, carry something beautiful in your heart.”
  • Sean Parker Dennison – “The ability to see beauty is the beginning of our moral sensibility. What we believe is beautiful we will not wantonly destroy.” 
  • Mary Katherine Morn – “We are here so that together we might heed the admonitions of beauty.  Answer its call to create, protect, and preserve.”
  • Zoe Kravitz – “Beauty is when you can appreciate yourself. When you love yourself, that’s when you’re most beautiful?”

BEAUTY Bookshelf

  • Beauty: The Invisible Embrace by John O’Donohue
  • Old In Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over by Nell Irvin Painter
  • Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
  • The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
  • Kabat-Zinn. On the connection between awakening, embodiment and healing.

Movies about BEAUTY

  • Real Women Have Curves On the tangled web of beauty, culture and family relationships.
  • This Beautiful Fantastic
  • A Beautiful Mind Definitely time to watch it again!
  • Dumplin’

BEAUTY in Online Essays. Podcasts, and Videos

Songs about BEAUTY

  • Listen to a play list of songs about Nurturing Beauty on Spotify here

Monthly Spiritual Challenge – Make Good Art 

 My spiritual challenge to you for the month of May on theme of Beauty is to MAKE GOOD ART. Before you protest, don’t. Hear me out. By the age of ten, most of us have learned to shy away from artistic self-expression because we begin to notice that our efforts aren’t as “good” as some others. We stop drawing because we don’t think our drawings are good. We stop dancing because other kids laugh at us or we feel we look silly. We stop singing because we notice we’re off key or others tell us we have a “bad” voice. We stop playing a musical instrument because we haven’t taken to it right away and we struggle to make music instead of noise. We stop writing because the teacher returns our papers covered in red ink, corrections, and criticism. If you are an adult who thinks, “I can’t sing.” Or “I don’t dance.” Or “I can’t write.” Or “I can’t draw or paint.” Then this challenge is directed at you most of all.
 Everyone can make art. Everyone should make art. Don’t worry about your art being “good” or “beautiful” because any art you make is both good and beautiful. So my challenge to you is to make good art. Make some art at least once a week this month. Twice a week if you can manage it. You don’t need to show it to anyone, but I’d love to see it or hear it if you’re willing.
 Ten years ago, the writer Neil Gaiman delivered the commencement address to The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and his charge to them was MAKE GOOD ART!

“Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life  can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.
 Make good art.
“I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.
Make it on the good days too.”
 You can watch that entire talk here and read a complete transcript here.

If you don’t know where to begin to make your own good art, here are some ideas.
There are great resources online and in your local library. Look up “how to” videos on YouTube. YouTube is full of fantastic free lessons on any art form you’re interested in. Likewise, your local library has “how to” books on any art or craft that interests you.
If you’re shying away from drawing, try Zentangles. Video intro to Zentangles.
If even those seem intimidating, get a good coloring book and some crayons or colored pencils. Check out these coloring books aimed at adults who want to color on Amazon.
Here are some great writing prompts from Written Word.
If you play a musical instrument but haven’t picked it up in a while, now is the time.
Anyone can be a photographer these days. The phone on your camera is ready and waiting.
Explore computer and phone apps for making photographs into paintings, cartoons, and line drawings.
Perhaps crafting is more up your alley in terms of creative expression. Try making a collage
Rev. Tony is available for consultation and questions. And as always, Rev. Tony would love to hear about your experiences with this challenge. Email him ( or call or text him (508-344-3668) and let him know what you thought of this challenge.