For Alice Vivian, yoga therapist, Beauty is everywhere. All you have to do is take time to gaze at little things that surround us. From her garden, she invites us to refocus on our inner selves and take time to appreciate every moment of peace and connection with nature.
Can you tell us about the last time Beauty helped you or healed you ?
It was a few days ago, in this garden where I have been spending my time for a month –this interview was recorded during lockdown-. More precisely, 2 days ago, I had spent an awful night, you know those nights where one wakes up, feels a little misty, has doubts, stress, hesitations… I opened the shutters and saw the garden, everything was so calm, there was a beautiful blue sky, the roses bushes tinted with amazing colors. Everything was peaceful, harmonious and that did me some good. I took time to go in the garden, go and breathe a bit, observe each flower, each tree, stay in the grass for a moment. It was really a suspended moment. It allowed me to refocus, to reconnect to what was really important to me and to enjoy this peaceful and joyful moment in this happy simplicity.
How do you bring more Beauty to the world ?
I act every day for a more aligned, serene and happy world by accompanying individuals to regain their head, heart and body alignment. Recovering this unity, in order to be able to spread their magic, their light. I believe that when we are in our truth, when we are aligned, when we are in our light, we are beautiful because we are happy. This is how I try to bring Beauty to this world, trying to allow each person to find their own truth because I believe that Beauty lies in our truth, in our light.
If I say Beauty, what do you think of ?
I think of nature. I find it very difficult to separate Beauty from nature. I find that nature is the essence of beauty because it is the essence of purity. I like what is authentic, what is true. I don’t like what is tampered, disguised, something that is not in its truth loses its beauty in my opinion. For me, Beauty is the natural and the living, it’s also an emotions. Beauty can be colours, shaoes, in harmony, in suspended moments. Something that makes time suddenly become quality. When you say Beauty, I think of the body in movement, of fluidity, grace, something that is soft for the eyes, that is light, that will surround the heart like a balm, that will do us some good, that will soften the heart and bring us a lot of inside warmth. Beauty for me is sobriety, simplicity, purity. I find that beauty is in the essence.
Do you believe that Beauty will save us ? How ?
I believe that Beauty can save the world. I want to believe so, of course. We live in a world that, I find, particularly violent, in words, in pictures, in what we experience. And I think we really need Beauty. For me, Beauty is harmony, peace, it also touches emotions that are very deep inside us, it is reconnecting us to the living, to the outside, to nature. But also to reconnect ourselves to our own living, to what lives inside us, with emotions that are sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes comfortable, but no matter what, to what lives, what vibrates. I think that Beauty can reconcile us with our inner selves, can reconnect us with who we deeply are and it can bring us so much harmony, lightness and gentleness in a world that is far too brutal. So yes, I think that beauty can save the world.
Do you remember the first thing that amazed you as a child ?
A lot of things, that’s what’s wonderful about being a child, it’s that ability to be amazed even by smallest things and one should never lose that ability. I was shattered by my first trips, in a good way. I remember the lakes in the United States where I was lucky enough to go, the Cape Cod lake, and I remember being amazed in the morning. We had a house by the lake and I could see it so calm, so beautiful with this pontoon boat, all we had to do was jump in the water. The trees all around, there was -once again- something very peaceful, very calm that really touched me when I was a child. And I think of a second moment of wonder, I was little, and I saw a ballet dancer, I found this woman beautiful : she was filled with light, she danced with the elements and that amazed me. I think that dance is a wonderful art, which inspires me a lot of beauty, a lot of grace and a lot of well-being.
Where does Beauty hide ? Can it be found in the most ordinary things ?
Beauty is everywhere. I think what’s important is to try to re-train ourselves (because as a child we do it very well) to see Beauty everywhere, in simple things. I really believe that Beauty is everywhere if we know how to see it, if we know how to look at it and if we know how to take the time to look at it. It means that we have to stop, that we have to get out of this constant agitation in which we live, to be able to take moments of observation, of wonder, of contemplation. In contemplation, you see beautiful things : like that daisy right next to you, to which you never look at, all of a sudden, you’re going to take the time to look at each petal. Flowers are part of our daily life and yet, we don’t look at them enough.
Beauty can also be found in someone’s smile, in a peaceful moment, in a music that will bring up emotions. It’s taking this habit of going to observe what we don’t usually observe and when we change our gaze, all of a sudden, we can see absolutely beautiful things. So Beauty, for me, lies in little things, simple and essential at the same time; whether it is in nature, in relationships, in the beauty of emotions , we really enjoy the moment. Beauty is in those present moment and in this connection to the body and the heart, to sensations and emotions and therefore it is everywhere !
What is your motto or philosophy in life to make you feel beautiful and fulfilled ?
I have a mantra, which carries me a lot, and I also think that has guided my activity and my profession a little bit, which is a quote from Oscar Wilde : “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”. I think that we are beautiful and that we emit Beauty when we are aligned with our values, when we accept who we are without trying to appear someone else, without trying to hide, when we are in our pure emotions, when we accept our defaults, our qualities. We are not in a standard of Beauty, I think that Beauty is quite the opposite of standards. Beauty is not a trend, it is not a winter or summer color, Beauty is really what we have within us. So, the more we are going to be in agreement with who we are, our inner self, why we are here, the more I think we are going to be in this Beauty. I have the impression that through meditation, I can spread more Beauty. Above all, I’m going to be in inner peace, in a feeling that inspires me with Beauty.
Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.Oscar Wilde
What feeling does Beauty arouse in you ? Could you describe it?
What Beauty inspires me is harmony, deep emotions. When I was young I used to spend hours looking at Botticelli’s paintings, this Italian Renaissance art, which is, for me, extreme Beauty. I find that there is purity, aestheticism that is beautiful. I am really touched by purity, harmony, by something that is -again- authentic, true. What touches me are the landscapes of nature, where you find yourself one morning, at sunrise, by a mountain or by a lake, and everything is calm. It’s just you and nature, and you become one. I find that these are absolutely amazing moments, when I am facing this pure beauty, this pure essence, this moment of harmony and inner peace. Beauty can manifests itself, by a feeling of fullness, a feeling of unity : either with the person I find beautiful, or with the nature I am in. There is this feeling of suddenly reconnecting to oneself, to others, to the planet in general. Beauty can be so beautiful sometimes, you feel like crying because it means that you’re touched and beauty can make you cry, music or a dance ballet can make me cry. If there is grace, gentleness and fullness, I feel like I am in moments of Beauty, suspended moments.