The Beautiful Way began with a simple question:
Does Beauty Matter?
Finding the answer launched a journey that took us from the origins of Western Civilization to the amazing discoveries of modern neuroscience. Today we can say emphatically - "Yes! Beauty matters, in ways that are essential to your personal health and well-being - as well as to your ability to connect in relationship and be happy.
To learn more about The Beautiful Way, watch our animated video, The Question.
The following is an excerpt from chapter one of Au Coeur: Why Beauty Matters Now:
That day at the inn, as we sat surrounded by the beautiful gardens we’d created and Daniel asked his question, we had no idea that the quest for an answer would change our lives. Like all great quests, we’ve ventured into the unknown and encountered many surprises along the way. While much of Au Coeur: Why Beauty Matters Now explores how our culture has historically understood beauty, we’ve come to know that beauty can only be truly understood in relationship to the future.
The future is always unknown. As human beings our primary instinct is survival. Therefore, confrontation with the unknown often instinctively evokes fear – an emotion accompanied by biochemical responses designed to insure that survival, including focused attention, reduced upper cognitive functioning, and the diversion of vital energies for flight or combat. This survival mechanism gives us an edge in response to clear and present danger, such as a bear in our yard. However, prolonged survival emotions in response to a generalized fear of the unknowable future deplete our body’s resources, frequently resulting in disease. And, this hyper-focused state is the opposite of what we need to engage in creative problem-solving.
Faced with future uncertainties appreciating beauty is a better response. Appreciate beauty and you experience an integrative state—exactly what’s needed to engage in creative problem-solving. And tuned into the qualities of beauty you’re more apt to become aware of beautiful possibilities and create beautiful solutions. Empowered, the beauty you create makes the world a better place for all of us.
But, unlike the instinctual response of fear, responding to the unknown by choosing to appreciate beauty requires an act of will. And willing your heart to engage in the receptive perception of beauty in response to the unknown—counter to your instinctual response of fear takes enormous courage.
Courage. From the word “coeur,” meaning “heart.”
And so our journey leads, back again, to the heart. The courageous, intuitive heart integrated with the wise, insightful head responding to the infinite expressions of beauty.
Au Coeur: Why Beauty Matters Now is not the end of our journey. It marks the beginning. The future remains unknown— a sacred canvas on which to create.
What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve made— today?
To purchase "Au Coeur: Why Beauty Matters Now" click here.