Beliefnet
Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

beverage-books-caffeine

We live in a crass world. Our politicians are noisy. Our celebrities can be loud and vulgar. And we can encounter rudeness even when doing something as mundane as going to the grocery store or driving down the street. The world can be an exhausting place.

That is why most of us crave something better than what the world offers. We want to have beauty and elegance in our lives. We want to participate in civilized, intellectual discourse. We want moments of pure peace.

The problem is that the world, through advertising, will tell you that a beautiful life is only available to the rich. If you have enough money to drive a Lexus, own a 5K square foot home and wear expensive clothing, only then will you live a serene and elegant life.

But a beautiful, elegant life doesn’t come from having a lot of money. If you ever watched the show, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” you know that people with an abundance of money can choose to spend their money on very crass things. Instead, gracious, elegant living comes from the simple choices that we make throughout the day.

Below are some very inexpensive ways to bring beauty into your life. Consider incorporating them into your lifestyle and see how your quality of life changes!

Become A Classical Music Aficionado: I enjoy all kinds of music – jazz, rock, pop, alternative. However, there is something about classical music that brings a serenity and a spirituality to life. For me, this sentiment is beautifully illustrated in the movie, “Amadeus.”  In that movie, Salieri says when he hears Mozart’s music, “This was a music I’d never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling. It seemed to me that I was hearing the voice of God.” That is the power of classical music.

Back in the day, you needed to have a lot of money to enjoy classical music. You either had to have enough money to buy albums or CDs, or you had to have the money to attend classical music concerts. Today, you can just go on YouTube to enjoy incredible classical music selections for free.

If you are not well-versed in classical music, try a selection of the works of the best composers. For instance, if you do a Google search for “the best of Bach” or “the best of Mozart,” you will get treated to a wonderful selection of pieces from the greatest composers of all time. As your education in classical music grows, you’ll find that certain performers may appeal to you. You may enjoy the cello performances of Yo Yo Ma, or the singing of Kiri Te Kanawa.

Classical music brings an elegance to even the most mundane tasks. There are few things more enjoyable than cooking while listening to Handel’s “Messiah,” or driving in the car with Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” playing. Incorporate classical music into your life and see how your life becomes more lovely.

Become Your Own Personal Chef: Preparing food is a necessary part life. So, you may as well become good at it. One of the better uses of the Internet is to get great recipes for free. The days of needing to buy a cookbook are over.

There are many terrific websites with great recipes that are reviewed by other cooks. For example, All Recipes and Epicurious are both websites that I go to regularly for top notch recipes. My husband is more creative and will look for interesting recipes from other cultures on individual food blogs.

Eating well-prepared food is an important part of having an elegant lifestyle. Not only is it comforting at the end of the day to enjoy a top-quality meal with your family, but it is nice to be able to entertain friends with unique dishes. And once you know how to cook well, I can assure you that there is no restaurant that will be able to compare with your home cooking. My husband and I will go out to dinner for a special occasion, or simply to take a break for the evening, but rarely do we eat food at a restaurant that is as good as what we can prepare at home.

Become A Book Worm: The most effective way that you can bring serenity and peace to your life is to turn off your television and spend your time reading. There are terrific, informative articles that you can read on the Internet for free. But if you love the feel of a book in your hands, as I do, then consider getting a library card. Most communities still value books and have well-funded public libraries.

For me, going to a high-quality library is like being a kid in a candy store. It is exciting to have so many great books to choose from. If there is a topic that interests you, I can guarantee that your library has a book about it. Moreover, if you want to be transported to another world, you will find works of fiction that can take you to places that you’ve never been.

The benefit of reading is that it allows us to quiet our minds by simply focusing on one thing. When we are reading, we can’t multitask. All we can do is sit and focus on the words on the page. It is good for our brains to focus in such a manner instead of always trying to do ten things at once.

When you read, try to pick high quality literature or books with a positive message. Make sure that you read beautiful prose or choose writing that is inspirational. Allow your reading to enrich your life with new ideas and new ways of viewing the world.

This week, try incorporating these simple, inexpensive ways to create beauty in your life. Having a beautiful, elegant life isn’t about having a certain amount of money. It is about making good choices about how we spend our time.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus