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1000 Beautiful Things

Do you know the song A Thousand Beautiful Things by Annie Lennox?

It's hauntingly hopeful. 

The first time I heard it, I'd just gotten out of the hospital after being in a car accident with my husband. 

I was feeling unmoored—and not just because of my injuries, but because I could feel more coming, the way an animal can sense a storm.

We were in the process of building our dream home together, and a part of me knew something was off, that I'd never actually move into it with him.  And I never did. 

But back to my story.

I was in bed, nursing broken ribs and a fractured pelvis.  My friend Deb came over and sat with me so I wouldn't feel alone.

She had just gotten Annie's new album BARE, and wanted to share it with me.

If you're new here  (and don't know Deb) here she is. 

People mistake her for Annie all the time.

When we were in New York, a woman pushed past me to get to her, thinking she was the Diva herself.

Scroll down to the image below (on the left) and you'll see what I mean.

Now take a look at the image on the right.   

No showgirl headdress. 

No brilliant colours. 

Just Annie, stripped down—every line on her face and body exposed by white powder.

This is what Deb and I were staring at the first time we heard A Thousand Beautiful Things.

We didn't know we were each catching a glimpse of our future self.  We were just gripped by the song without fully understanding why.

Back then, we were young and beautiful.  Completely unaware of all the change headed our way.

The marriages we thought would last forever didn't—and a year (and a bit) after that day in my room, Deb and I were starting new lives.

Thank you for the air to breathe, the heart to beat, the eyes to see again (a thousand beautiful things).

I know now that Annie's song was giving us the instructions for how to come through that season of change.

Annie calls it her song of gratitude.

She says it arrived during a particularly dark period in her life, when she was trying to find a path back to joy but couldn't.

The song just popped in, like a voice whispering in her ear, reminding her that beauty is everywhere.

It's true, isn't it?

No matter how much ugliness the world produces, or how much loss we endure, beauty continues to bloom. 

Sometimes in full, vibrant, technicolor expression.  Sometimes quietly, with dignity and grace.

And not just around us, but deep within, from our center. 

When all the external layers are removed, what's left is the truly essential—the heartbeat, the breath, the sacred gift of life.

Learning this seems to be the point of the journey.  It's why the road is circular; a series of endings and new beginnings.  

When things get difficult, we're meant to keep walking—spiraling UP until we return to ourselves.

That's our true destination. 

And there is an abundance of support (and joy) if we look for it.

And along the way, a thousand beautiful things.

Sending you so much love,

P.S.  If you haven't heard the song, this is the version Deb and I listened to that day back in 2003.  A Thousand Beautiful Things.  And if you want a better understanding of the Change Cycle (courtesy Martha Beck), CLICK HERE.



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