Life Dimensions
March 2010
The Relationship Resource
Teaching the Dynamics of Healthy Relationships
In This Issue
Books In Review
Blueprint for Success
Quick Links
Marriage Fitness



One of my favorite songs is from one of my favorite musicals, Oklahoma. "Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I've got a wonderful feeling, everything's going my way."  I wonder if the beauty of the day brought about the wonderful feeling or if the wonderful feeling couldn't help but see the beauty of the day.  I know that sounds a lot like "what came first, the chicken or the egg?"


People are often classified as positive or negative thinkers or as someone who sees the glass half-full or half-empty.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Webster defines "beauty" as the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the sense or pleasurably; exalts the mind or spirit. 


We can be too busy  odistracted and forget about beauty.  It may seem useless.  Some may feel that they don't deserve beauty.  Others think beauty if for the highly educated or they have to be a part of the elite to appreciate it.  Beauty is free and available to everyone, in many forms. 


One of the first persons to emphasize the importance of beauty in the field of psychology was the Italian psychiatrist, Roberto Assagioli.  He would ask his patients and students what their favorite films were, what books they enjoyed, and what paintings and music affected them most.  As our world gets crazier with fast foods, fast highways and fast internet, we can feel more disconnected from reality.  Psychology has shown that what we think of as reality is really a construction of the mind.  We construct concepts of ourselves and our bodies, of other people, of men and women, of space, memory and time.  These are not objective realities, but ideas that are subject to change.  To be aware that our life as we perceive it is, at least in part, our own creation, and to know we can redesign it can give us a sense of freedom.  We are not imprisoned by a given situation, because it is an idea in our mind and that idea can influence our reality.  Once we realize that the stuff our reality is made of is mental, we have the power to change it.  We have a choice to see someone as a friend or foe, a challenge as a trap or a lucky break.   A trait may be a strength or weakness.  The world is as we see it and we can change that.  As the saying goes, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." We can choose to find beauty.  


Beauty has the extraordinary capacity to take us from one way of functioning to another, in an instant.  The moment we perceive beauty in its fullness and are filled with it, if only for that moment, we are not paranoid anymore, depressed, obsessive or bitter.   Beauty can appear as that miraculous element that resolves a critical situation.  Beauty is an incredible elixir to living fully. 


Each day, find beauty in yourself, in others and the world you live. 


Be beautiful!


A grandfather was taking his grandkids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past them.  Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog.  The kids began discussing the dog's duties.  "They use him to keep crowds back," said Reagan.

"No," said little Bentlie.  "He's just for good luck." Tyler brought the argument to a close by stating, "They use the dogs," he said firmly, "to find the fire hydrants."


My sister, who lives in Las Vegas and attends Mass at the Cathedral near the "Strip" told me that people will often put casino chips in the collection basket.  Since there are so many different casinos, the church takes them to a Franciscan monastery where they sort them and take them to the casinos for reimbursement.  I asked her whose job was that?  Her reply was "Chip monks!"




Relationship Tip



When I taught parenting classes years ago, one of the questions I would ask parents is, "How do children spell love?  I would reply, "The answer is T-I-M-E."  Having had my own children, I know firsthand how important the gift of time is in creating that loving feeling with them as they grew up.  As someone who does marriage counseling, I am more convinced than ever that the same holds true in adult relationships.  I know my husband loves me because he makes every effort to spend time with me.  Time is one of the greatest gifts of love.


Book In Review

One of my favorite people is at it again; this time with a book on beauty.  Piero Ferrucci who wrote the Power of Kindness (reviewed a few months ago) recently wrote Beauty and the Soul: The Extraordinary Power of Everyday Beauty to Heal Your Life.

Appreciating beauty in our everyday lives is essential to leading a happy, balanced and satisfying life.  He provides a compelling argument that beauty is the perfect medicine.


The book is divided into six parts.  Part One talks about how beauty gives us hope and strengthens our connection with the world by making us love life.  Part Two describes how beauty teaches us to live in the here and now, to catch the fleeting moments.  Part Three shows how beauty actually generates physical and mental health, redeeming the soul's pain.  Part Four emphasizes the importance of aesthetic intelligence, essential for having good relationships with others.  Part Five highlights the knowledge factor of beauty.  Not only does beauty evoke emotion in us, it opens our mind to think differently and make more enlightened decisions.  The last chapter demonstrates how beauty can promote respect for our environment and peace between peoples.  The book offers a fresh perspective on a much overlooked and under appreciated essential subject.  



Happy Spring!






Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for Beauty is god's handwriting.

                                      --Ralph Waldo Emerson



Anyone who has the ability to see beauty never grows old.


                                     --Franz Kafka


A thing of beauty is a joy forever.


                                     --John Keats


Beauty is one of the rare things that do not lead to doubt of God.

                                      --Jean Anouilh



Blueprint  for Success 

Blue Print for SuccessMary Ann Van Buskirk is a  keynote speaker and author and has been selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Blueprint for Success, a highly successful book series from Tennessee based Insight Publishing. The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) and Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager.) Van Buskirk, Blanchard and Covey, are joined by other well-known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.
Mary Ann Van Buskirk, M.A., M.Div. is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and co-founder of Positive Coaching with over twenty years of experience as a counselor, trainer and national speaker.  People who have worked with her report vast improvements in their abilities to relate in healthier ways at home and at work.  Success is a result of healthy relationships.


Mary Ann Van Buskirk
Life Dimensions