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What Uplifts You?

June 14, 2011

The elevator ride from the ground floor to the 2nd floor where my mother lives didn’t take very long – maybe 40 seconds.

The door was slow to open.  I stepped in, greeted a woman I had not seen before — at least not that I recall. She was wearing the uniform of a worker in this skilled nursing facility. As we said hello and made eye contact, I noticed something different. Donning full make-up, from foundation and blush to long eyelashes and lipstick perfectly applied. She looked beautiful and I told her so. She smiled brightly and said, “Thank you.”

As we continued the ride up, I noticed that she was wearing long, dangly, sparkling earrings with a matching necklace; the kind of jewelry most of us save for that rare evening out when formal attire is suggested.

I commented further, acknowledging her with, “Wow! You are looking glamorous.”

She laughed and said, “I love to dress up; it makes me happy. I like to wear things I think are pretty. It makes me feel good.” Then, she went on to say, “I don’t let my job define me, I define myself. I like to look pretty and it doesn’t matter to me whether other people expect to see me in this uniform wearing rhinestone earrings and necklace or not. I enjoy it.”

As I exited the elevator, I said, “I’m glad you do. It’s certainly a pleasure to see you and to hear about the good feeling you get from dressing up for work.”

As I walked to Mom’s room, I reflected on a conversation I had with a friend the previous day. Sharon told me, “I have to experience something beautiful everyday. It could be a picture on my wall, wearing a pretty scarf, reading a beautiful card, seeing a flower or shrub, sunrise or sunset, a well-manicured lawn, a beautiful cathedral, a smiling face, or hearing the laughter of children. My soul needs it. It uplifts me.”

Turns out, the same is true for me. I’m uplifted by beauty too. It only took the 40-second ride from the ground floor to the 2nd floor to be uplifted by the Patient Care Technician’s expression of beauty. My friend’s comment about her soul-deep need for beauty reminded me of the lift I get when take in that which is lovely.

What uplifts you? For most of us, it’s the simple things – things like those mentioned above. Do you get enough beauty and pleasures to satisfy your soul’s longing? Could you boost your happiness quotient by adding just one thing each day that makes you feel good – one thing that adds more beauty and pleasure to your life? Remember, the happier you are, the healthier and more productive you are. Now that’s an outcome worth reaching for.

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