“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Tapestries …..

Monday 5 Things 2

Photo: D. Paul Graham, “Breakers Elegance”, circa 2013

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Tapestries …..

Carol King’s “Tapestry” came up on my Spotify account last week. I have listened to it over and over in my office, my studio, and my car. The beauty and brilliance of King’s songwriting and voice on the album has stood the test of time. It reminded me of a M5T from 5 years ago. The beauty, the color, and the texture of a tapestry as seen from the front is juxtaposed by the back of a tapestry that looks disjointed, hectic, frayed, frantic and knotted. In a word, chaotic. Yet the chaos of the back of a tapestry is necessary for the beauty and richness of an arras when viewed from the front. How often do we present a beautiful front, yet our inner life resembles the back of a tapestry? How often do we only focus on our internal chaos, the back our own personal tapestry if you would? Frequently, we need a change in perspective to see the beauty that is seemingly created from the chaos that surrounds us, much of which we create ourselves. And quite often, that change in perspective doesn’t require much effort. If we simply move away from behind the disarray, the mess, the confusion and position ourselves head-on in front of the chaos, our beauty is revealed.  Today’s M5T shares some personal ways that I step out from the chaos of the back of my tapestry to appreciate the beauty and blessings in my life.

1. A Tapestry of Gratefulness.

So often we focus on the negative in our lives; overlooking all that we have to be grateful for. Everything happens for a reason and living a grateful life is a choice… a mindset. We can take the good and bad in life and be thankful for what we learn from each experience. We can consciously embrace the positive and negatives of our relationships and love unconditionally with purpose and gratefulness. We can consciously appreciate the abundance that we possess, and not take for granted all that we have. If we change our perspective, and but open our eyes and hearts, we can recognize and be grateful for the blessings, miracles and divine appointments that are in our lives, each and every day.

2. A Tapestry of Generosity.

A generous life is an intentional life. Changing our perspective to a mindset of generosity opens our eyes for more opportunities to give, to share and to love. There is joy and harmony that comes from being generous… without strings… without confines… without question. Generosity goes beyond just money. We can be generous with our time, our knowledge, and our love. Generosity is an action. An intent, a choice, and can define what moves our hearts.

3. A Tapestry of Grace.

There is nothing more humbling than giving or receiving undeserved and unmerited redemption, love, favor, kindness, tenderness, and forgiveness. There is an inner peace that can be found from the change of perspective that comes from forgiving with grace. There is profound, deep-set humility that comes from receiving grace when you know you are undeserving. Giving or receiving grace allows us to live a fuller life of commitment, compassion, intent, perspective, and purpose.

4. A Tapestry that is Genuine.

Definitely a work in progress in my own life. Being genuine means not getting caught up in other people’s lives and avoiding listening to or spreading gossip about others. It’s a change in perspective to understand your purpose, your calling in life and ignoring that inner hollow need to impress others. It’s learning to deal with the hurts, abuse, exploitations, and baggage of your past. It’s being comfortable in saying no to others without guilt; asking for forgiveness or embracing the power of forgiving others and moving on with your life and your dreams. It’s being self-aware; recognizing when you are being unauthentic and altering your behavior. It’s seeking and asking for help, and then working through the gut-wrenching work to change. It’s embracing vulnerabilities, understanding the core of who you are, not letting position or others define you, and being steadfast in your dreams. It’s choosing principles over popularity, laughing, and crying without shame, and being emphatic and emotive. It’s about having an opinion, being sincere and learning to truly, deeply, and passionately trust and love despite your fears.

5. A tapestry of Gravitas.

More work in progress here for me. A change in perspective is all the more needed in times of uncertainty, instability, and superficiality. Learning to handle all the stresses, inconsistencies, and confusion of life with gravitas means facing those issues head on with the dignity and seriousness deserving of each situation. Learning to hope, to listen and go genuinely deep with conversations… deciding not to pass judgement because everyone — no matter how they project outwardly for their lives — has inner points of pain. A life of gravitas is respecting others, being trustworthy with a sense of purpose, having authority through depth of character, and being a rock… whilst openly admitting you are not perfect, and nor are you a saint. It’s also having a sense of mission; purposefully taking steps to grow, to learn, to heal. Accepting who you are and then learning to be comfortable with yourself. Living with gravitas is a life of being able to trust yet verify without cynicism, tempering seriousness with humor, creating stability for yourself and others, all the while accepting calculated risks and having conviction with flexibility.

In the words of Carol King, here’s to a week of appreciating that your “life has been a tapestry / Of rich and royal hue / An everlasting vision / Of the ever-changing view / A wond’rous woven magic / In bits of blue and gold / A tapestry to feel and see.”

© 2023 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

For over 11 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T ™.  Each Monday, Paul shares his observations, thoughts and passions on people, life, and culture.

You can reach Paul by email at dpg@imagegraham.com