Every day, while walking to work through the NY Garment district, I pass a bunch of buildings. They have recently been doing some construction on one of the older ones. I think it used to be a fabric store that had been there since the dawn of man, and I suppose they’ve recently leased it to this variety store. They’ve been doing the construction for a while but I honestly didn’t even notice. I walk by the store, usually on the same side as the building and, well, I had no idea.
Then, yesterday, I walked by on the side of the street opposite the construction. And that’s when I saw what was going on. I don’t know how I missed it before, but they are making this old, invisible store beautiful. They are scraping off the old paint, patching the cracks and breaks and reviving the old architectural details that were probably hand crafted at the turn of the last century.
I feel like even if I’d seen this activity going on it still wouldn’t have really impacted me. But what I saw it from a distance, I could see the bigger picture:
See that? It’s the Before -Middle – After all at the same time.
I don’t know why, it just made me stop in my tracks and shoot the pictures. The whole rest of the way to work I thought about how – or maybe why- this was so compelling to me. I’m still not sure I’ve figured it out exactly, but it’s like, this beauty was there the whole time. Maybe the previous tenants saw it but didn’t care. Or maybe they saw a hint of the beauty in it, but decided it wasn’t worth investing the money to revive it. Or maybe they never saw it at all. But because they never did anything to share the beauty of their building, I never, ever noticed it. But this new tenant, he saw and recognized the beauty there. He put people to work to draw it out. He not only cleaned up the broken and neglected parts, and he not only painted it in a clean, fresh white, he decided to Celebrate the nuances and beautiful detail of the architecture by painting it—Muchy Silver— of all things!
And then I started thinking about us, as people. I think we all have areas about ourselves that are beautiful, that look, metaphorically, sorta like that “before” window. We don’t see the beauty there, or we don’t allow ourselves to see or share it’s value, we don’t nourish and express those parts of ourselves, even though, somewhere, deep down, we know that there is beauty there. Maybe we tell ourselves it’s not worth the effort. And sometimes it takes someone new in our lives who DOES see that beauty, who looks at us with fresh eyes to remind us that what we’ve got going on there IS beautiful. But then I started thinking that maybe it’s not only about someone else seeing it. Maybe the key is making the conscious choice, the daily effort to see ourselves through those fresh eyes. See our own potential for beauty where we may have been overlooking it before.
In a way, that’s actually what The Muchness Challenge does. Choosing to look at your world through these fresh eyes and think creatively for 30 days about the joy and beauty around you, opens you up to see the beauty within you. It’s really been so remarkable to see the challengers blossom as they go through the 30 days… It’s kinda like watching those windows go from sad and neglected to bright and Muchtastic.
I feel so grateful any time someone takes the 30 day challenge. I started this project because I LOVE being able to offer people an actionable way to put a smile on their face and find joy, and ultimately, reconnect with their identity and passion. If you’re thinking of taking the Challenge but don’t know where to start, Please contact me and let me help you muster up the courage and direction to get started. I LOVE doing that.
If you’re thinking you’d like to but aren’t quite ready, here’s a secret tip… In September we will be doing a Group Challenge that will not only help you tap into your Muchness, it’ll also teach you some incredible photography tips… AND we will even get a chance to chat online- face to face!! 🙂 I’m really excited about it! Stay tuned for more info to follow!!!