This week a friend and I visited the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Generally I’m not a fan of museums. My solar plexus places them on a spectrum of extremes: stagnant warehouses or jostling super-centers. . . traps to be avoided or escaped. But Crystal Bridges promises vast windows, natural lighting and outdoor walking paths, along with an intriguing visiting-exhibit: Van Gogh to Rothko. World class expression in the american heartland.
I was not disappointed. In fact I drank in the creative and natural beauty like a soothing, rejuvenating tea. The exuberance played in Giacomo Balla’s Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash.. The respect and compassion conveyed in Pissaro’s Peasants in a Field. The surprising merlot redbuds tucked along sculpted walking paths and the always elevating dogwoods. In their presence, stress knots tied and tugged by the demands of work and other life responsibilities loosened. Opening the way for smiles. Relaxation Conversation. Just what I needed.
Some spiritual traditions say that the solar plexus is the most powerful energy center in the human microcosm. Sensitive. Absorptive. On the upside an unsung workhouse: clearing, processing, purifying, generating spontaneous giving and shared delight. Also a potential pit for dis-ease and resentment. Does your experience agree?
Beauty immersions lighten the solar plexus load. Re-set overwrought sensitivity to poised tranquility. Magnetize an overall sense of well-being. Sustain health on the way of Heart-full living.
Of course beauty can be encountered in the closeness of one’s own home, favorite walkway or interior imagination. But sometimes, even (or especially) in a busy life, travelling outside the usual is worth the extra effort.